'Whatever you say, say nothing': researching memory & identity in Mid-Ulster 1945-1969

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The influence of collective memory on political identity in Ireland has been well documented. It has particular force in Northern Ireland where there is fundamental disagreement about how and why the conflict erupted and how it should be resolved. This article outlines some of the issues encountered by an ‘insider’ when attempting to record and analyse the conflicting memories of a range of Protestants and Catholics who grew up in Mid-Ulster in the decades preceding the Troubles. In particular, it considers the challenges and opportunities presented by a two-pronged approach to oral history: using testimony as evidence about historical experience in the past and as evidence about historical memory – both collective and individual – in the present.

This is a reprint of the 2007 article published in vol. 35 issue 2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalOral History
Issue numberSpecial 50th Anniversary Issue
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2019


  • oral history
  • Mid-Ulster
  • memory
  • Northern Ireland


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