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Anne's Research Sheds New Light on Old Conflict

Fermanagh woman Anne Monaghan celebrates receiving her PhD today after seven years of research exploring the history and practice of conflict mediation in Northern Ireland.

A former community relations manager at the University of Ulster, Anne is also a trained mediator.

During the course of her research, the Ederney woman discovered a treasure trove of work on Northern Ireland by one of the world’s founding fathers of conflict mediation – Professor John Wear Burton.

“Professor Burton was a member of the Australian delegation at the founding of the United Nations,” said Anne. “That so distinguished an international figure had written about and analysed the conflict in Northern Ireland represents a major and important contribution to our knowledge of the conflict and the efforts to resolve/transform it.”

The papers, discovered by Anne during her research, will be handed over to the University of Ulster’s International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) in autumn 2013. A digital copy of the materials will be made available on the CAIN archive site, while the hard copy will be lodged for posterity in the University library.

Anne’s research was supervised by Professor Gillian Robinson and Dr Stephen Ryan, who said: “ John Burton was one of the leading conflict resolution specialists of his generation, noted for his initiatives that tried to combine theory and practice. Anne’s discovery of his papers relating to his work in Northern Ireland in the 1970s as part of her PhD studies at INCORE was a major find and contributed significantly to the value of her thesis.’

Professor Gillian Robinson added, “The deposit of these papers with the University of Ulster ensures that the work of John Burton in Northern Ireland can be fully acknowledged. When they are made available on the CAIN web resource which is the premier online resource of material on the Northern Ireland conflict they will be accessible to scholars and practitioners worldwide and will help ensure the legacy of John Burton’s work continues.”