Page content

‘Refugees and Forced Displacement in Northern Ireland’s Troubles’ is a 262-page book looking at how both Catholics and Protestants fled their homes and sought safety and refuge during the thirty-year conflict.

Written by Dr Niall Gilmartin, Lecturer in Sociology at Ulster University and Dr Brendan Ciaran Browne, Lecturer in Conflict Transition at Trinity College Dublin, this fascinating book is based on 88 in depth interviews with victims and survivors, including former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, along with extensive secondary research.

The book provides the first comprehensive examination of forced displacement in Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’ and offers unique insights into the compelling narratives and experiences of those who fled their homes and communities. The content of the book identifies a range of forms of intimidation that led to displacement, it traces the mammoth task of transporting and rehousing tens of thousands of persons, and it also examines the legacy of hurt and dislocation that is still experienced today by those who suffered and survived displacement. The book offers a range of mechanisms which can help address the harms and loss of displacement.

Dr Niall Gilmartin commented:

“Forced displacement was a central and ubiquitous feature of the Troubles, effecting tens of thousands of persons. Yet its impact and the stories surrounding it have remained overlooked and forgotten. The stories contained in this book are heartrending, emotional, and compelling.

This thought-provoking work is the culmination of six years of work on displacement and aims to broaden prevailing understandings of conflict-related violence, harm, and loss in Northern Ireland to demonstrate the centrality of forced movement, territory, and demographics to the roots and subsequent trajectory of the Troubles. In doing so, it shows that to fully understand the eruption and outplaying of the Troubles and its elusive peace, we need to engage with and understand the consequences and legacy of forced displacement.”

“This book makes a significant contribution to the literature in the field and that there is no doubt that it helps to plug a substantial gap in the debate about the Troubles and their legacy.” Dr Patrick Fitzgerald, Head of Research and Development at The Mellon Centre for Migration Studies.

Published by Liverpool University Press and available to buy here at for £95.