The Cost of the Troubles Study Limited
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The Cost of the Troubles Study Ltd
Who are we?
The Cost of the Troubles Study Ltd is a
registered charity and a limited company. The Board of Directors
is composed of a team of people from all parts of the religious/political
spectrum who have all been directly affected by the violence of
the troubles. The Board also contains two researchers, one full-time,
- Marie Smyth, Research Fellow, INCORE (the United Nations University
and the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland) who is the project
director and one part-time, Mike Morrissey, Senior Lecturer in
Social Policy, The University of Ulster and Director of The Urban
Institute, Belfast. The project also employs two other members
of staff, - Marie Therese Fay, the Research Officer and Sarah
Oakes, the Project Administrator.
What are we doing?
Conducting action research which:
This material will be written and disseminated
in ways which maximise its accessibility, both to people in affected
communities and to the general public. It will also be presented
in a manner whereby it can be used by groups to argue for further
resources for their self-help and other programmes.
How are we doing it?
One of the most devastating effects
of the troubles on people affected by the violence is the sense
of disempowerment that many feel. We have planned research as
a team composed of those who have been physically and emotionally
affected by the troubles and researchers working in partnership.
Collaboration across the sectarian divide is also a significant
part of the work of the project. The directors and researchers
are drawn from both sides of the sectarian divide and this is
explicitly designed to ensure inclusiveness and to inform methods
of work and the analysis.
Why are we doing it?
Research on the effects of the troubles
has largely been psychiatric or psychological in focus, and has
focused on specific populations, such as the Enniskillen bomb
victims, There has been only one study which looks at the long
term affects (20+ years) of violent loss in the troubles. Little
or nothing is known about the extent of the impact of the troubles
on the population as a whole. Those who do not seek services,
- but nonetheless have suffered effects, - are undocumented. This
lack of epidemiological information means that policy and service
provision has been piecemeal or non-existent, partly because of
piecemeal information, Recently, there has been an increase in
the political will to address these issues and we are taking advantage
of that climate to propose further work.
What is the value of it?
- to Northern Ireland as a whole
The study will provide reliable, non-sensationalist
and ethically collected data on individual experiences of the
troubles. This can act as an alternative source to some existing
sources which do not share these characteristics, and will provide
data for the first time on groups and individuals whose experiences
have been under-represented. The establishment of the prevalence
of troubles-related difficulties in the total population will
be of value to policy-makers, and DHSS staff have described the
availability of such data as very valuable. The study will also
explore the relationship between troubles-related difficulties
and deprivation, and this part of the study will have implications
for a broad range of policy areas, including all of those agencies
currently who are involved in using frameworks to target social
Who are we?
We are a group of people from both of
the main traditions in Northern Ireland, who have been bereaved
or injured in the troubles, and who work with two researchers.
What do we want to do?
We wish to collect evidence on the effect
the troubles have had on everyone in Northern Ireland.
How will we do it?
We will carry out about forty interviews
with men and women, old and young, Catholic, Protestant and "other",
from various parts of Northern Ireland. These interviews will
provide a variety of personal stories of people's experiences
of the troubles. Later in 1997 and early in 1998 we will carry
out a survey of a sample of 3,500 people throughout Northern Ireland
who will be randomly chosen. We will ask people economic, health,
social, occupational and other effects of the troubles on them.
We will publish the results of what
we find, so that voluntary and government agencies can take into
account the effects of the troubles and so that everyone becomes
more aware of the issues and the situations in which people continue
What will people get out of it?
People we interview will be listened
to respectfully, and will have the chance to tell their story
and have it listened to and carefully recorded. This record will
be handled with discretion and confidentiality will be guaranteed
for those who wish it. This can be valuable in a situation where
some people, have the sense that no-one listens to them. When
people want us to, we will put people in touch with helping agencies.
Trained interviewers will give people information about where
to go for advice and help should they need it, how to help themselves,
and what voluntary groups exist for people affected by the troubles.
We will exhibit our range of findings
for the general public, and publicise them in the media, so that
the public know what we found and what we have concluded. We will
also publish them in booklet form.
What if we ask you to be interviewed?
We may ask you to be interviewed; or
you, or someone you know may wish to offer to be interviewed.
If we interview you, we will guarantee following:
We think our work is valuable, and we
hope you agree. If you would like to know more about the project
please contact us on 01232 747470 or 01232 742682 and we will
answer any questions you have about our work.
We can be contacted at:
The Cost of the Troubles Study
T: 01232 747470 or 01232 742682 (voice and fax)
The Cost of the Troubles is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee and not having share capital. We are funded by European sources, CCRU, and other charitable sources. The study will be conducted by people in communities with researchers from the University of Ulster, INCORE and the Urban Institute. A number of organisations such as Survivors of Trauma and WAVE are represented on our Board.
Half the Battle: Understanding the Effects of The Troubles on Children and Young People in Northern Ireland by Marie Smyth (1998). Derry Londonderry: INCORE. ISBN 0 9533305 2 4 Paperback 174pp £5.00
Do You See What I See? Young people's experience of the Troubles in their own words and photographs by the children and young people of: Sunningdale Youth Group; Survivors of Trauma, North Belfast; Woodvale Youth Group; Young people from The Alexander Park project in Belfast; Peace and Reconciliation Group, Derry Londonderry; with assistance from Joy Dyer (1998). Derry Londonderry: INCORE. ISBN 0 95333 05 1 6 Paperback 121pp £10.00 commercial sales; £5.00 and £2.50 unwaged and under 18s
Mapping Troubles-Related Deaths in Northern Ireland Marie Therese Fay, Mike Morrissey and Marie Smyth (1997). Derry Londonderry: INCORE. ISBN 1 85923 088 1 Paperback 80pp £3.50
Submission by Marie Smyth to the Northern Ireland Commission on Victims
Second submission by Marie Smyth to the Northern Ireland Commission on Victims; 'Residual matters relating to victims of the Troubles in the light of the Agreement document'
CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.
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