Book review: Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City to the book launch of Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City


, by Peter Shirlow and Brendan Murtagh. The launch was at the Bookshop at Queen’s. Ken Reid and Jonathan Tongue introduced.

Shirlow’s and Murtagh’s research has revealed some disturbing facts, e.g. most murders took place within 100 metres (?) from the victim’s home, most of the violence occurred along ‘interface’ lines.

They go and speak with those who currently live in such areas, to get a firsthand account of what daily life is like.

But they don’t limit the resolution to these individuals. Instead, provocatively, they claim that for reconciliation to work, there must be the establishment of civic forgiveness. That is, it’s no good for one side to claim their victims deserve justice before the other. However, greater efforts are going to be required by the greater population, who have hitherto been able to ignore the depth of suffering.

If I get reading the book properly, I’ll provide a proper review.

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