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The Huffington Post: Why people in Britain need to try and understand the Northern Irish Conflict better

Politics and International Relations 19 April 2017

Paul Breen

Dr Paul Breen, Senior Lecturer in Academic English at the University of Westminster, wrote a blog for the Huffington Post which discussed the debate sparked by the recent death of Martin McGuinness, the former deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.

Dr Breen wrote that language used on social media describing or relating to Martin McGuinness’s death is not only shocking but is also points to a bigger issue - the lack of understanding in British society about the recent Irish history.

Dr Breen acknowledges the terrible atrocities inflicted by the Irish Republican Army on their home island and across the UK but also highlights British involvement in the violence and how this has been largely ignored.

Speaking about this complex historical scenario and how it has been oversimplified to the British public, Paul Breen said: “It’s as if there is only one side of the story, or some people have only ever been exposed to a very simple and singular narrative.”

In the blog he said: “The IRA did not just emerge out of the blue, but evolved from centuries of conflict, and then decades of systemic discrimination. People don’t have to sympathise with them, but they should at least understand the background they come from.”

Read the whole blog post on The Huffington Post.

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