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Peace for Ireland?

December 1995

Northern Ireland's political status has long been hotly contested, and recent developments--notably the end of the IRA cease-fire--suggest that lasting peace in the region remains elusive.

In light of these developments, we have assembled a number of articles that Atlantic Monthly contributors have written on Ireland during the long history of the Irish question. In 1916, in "Ireland, 1916--And Beyond" (December, 1916, Atlantic), Henry W. Massingham outlined a complex array of competing interests and unfortunate contingencies that had up to that point impeded England and Ireland from achieving a satisfactory accommodation. John V. Kelleher's "Can Ireland Unite?" (April, 1954, Atlantic) reviews some of the many difficulties involved in the reunification of Ireland but argues that "none of them is sufficient excuse for tolerating the continuance of Partition or for delaying even momentarily an intelligent, wholehearted attempt to end it." "Ulster's Children" (December, 1980, Atlantic) by Robert Coles considers the impact of protraced Catholic-Protestant hostility on the psyches of Northern Irish children.

Finally, we have included two autobiographical pieces by Conor Cruise O'Brien. In "Twentieth-Century Witness" (July, 1992, Atlantic) O'Brien describes the political fissures that split his own family. And in "The Roots of My Preoccupations" (July, 1994, Atlantic) he discusses the course of and influences on his career as one of Ireland's foremost politicians and diplomats.

What lies ahead for this troubled region? Will negotiations lead to compromise? Or is conflict in the region too deeply entrenched?


Copyright © 1995 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
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