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Northern Ireland Centenary Historical Perspectives

2021 marked the centenary of the partition of the island of Ireland and the foundation of Northern Ireland. As part of the commemorations of these significant events, Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid, Marie Coleman and Paul Bew bring together twenty-two scholars to examine the diverse and sometimes challenging contours of Northern Irish history over the last 100 years.

In this book we see a portrait of a changing Northern Ireland, from the violent upheavals which characterised its birth, the uneasy political stability of the interwar years, the challenges of post-war economic, social and political change, the great turmoil and trauma of the Troubles, and the peace process era and beyond.

Political, social, economic and cultural history all feature, conveying the richness and diversity of the present scholarship on the history of Northern Ireland.



  • NIAMH GALLAGHER, Reordering the world in the aftermath of the First World War
  • PAUL BEW, Two great communal leaders: Sir James Craig (1870–1940) and Joe Devlin (1871–1934)
  • ADRIAN GRANT, Anticipating partition in Derry
  • HENRY PATTERSON, ‘Infamous attacks on women’: sectarian violence in Bangor in July 1920
  • TIM WILSON, The Belfast Troubles at one hundred
  • BRIAN BARTON, The Dáil cabinet’s mission to Belfast, 1921–2
  • SÍOBHRA AIKEN, Understanding trauma in the 1920s
  • DAVID TORRANCE, Secession or opting out? Northern Ireland and the Anglo-Irish Treaty
  • MARGARET O’CALLAGHAN, A border vignette: The Belleek–Pettigo events of June 1922
  • PETER LEARY, Tragedies and farce: partition and the border
  • TIMOTHY G. MCMAHON, ‘Not an inch’: Northern Ireland staking its claim before the Boundary Commission
  • GRAHAM WALKER, Northern Ireland: the United Kingdom’s first example of devolution
  • RICHARD ROSE, The quiet before the guns came out
  • GRAHAM BROWNLOW, Orange, green and in the red? A century of the Northern Ireland economy
  • ANDREW R. HOLMES, Being Religious in Northern Ireland, 1921–2021
  • CONNAL PARR, Class fractures: Ulster unionism and the challenge of the Protestant working class
  • MARGARET SCULL, The Armalite and the ballot box: republicanism(s) and Northern Ireland
  • ALISON GARDEN, Troubled love: the north and writing romance across the divide
  • GARETH MULVENNA, Teenage Kicks? Vignettes of youth culture in Northern Ireland
  • TOM HULME, Out of the shadows: one hundred years of LGBT life in Northern Ireland
  • LEANNE MCCORMICK, Controlling women’s bodies in Northern Ireland, 1921–2021
  • IAN MCBRIDE, Afterword

About the Author

Caoimhe Nic DháibhéidCAOIMHE NIC DHÁIBHÉID is senior lecturer in modern history at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Northern Ireland Centenary Historical Advisory Panel. She is the author of two books, Terrorist histories: individuals and political violence since the 19th century (2016) and Seán MacBride: a republican life, 1904–46 (2011). She is currently working on the history of emotions during the Irish revolutionary period.

Marie ColemanMARIE COLEMAN is professor in modern Irish history at Queen’s University Belfast and is member of the Northern Ireland Centenary Historical Advisory Panel. Her publications include The Irish Revolution, 1916–1923 (2002), County Longford and the Irish Revolution, 1910–1923 (2001) and a number of academic articles on gender, religion and pensions during and after the Irish Revolution.

Paul BewPAUL BEW is emeritus professor of politics at Queen’s University Belfast and an independent cross-bench peer in the House of Lords. He chairs the Northern Ireland Centenary Historical Advisory Panel. His recent publications include Churchill and Ireland (2016) and Ireland: the politics of enmity, 1789–2006 (2007). He has written biographies of John Redmond, Seán Lemass and Charles Stewart Parnell.