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Forgetful RemembranceSocial Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster$
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Guy Beiner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198749356.001.0001

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Into the Twenty-First Century

(p.538) 7 Post-Forgetting
Forgetful Remembrance

Guy Beiner

Oxford University Press

Popular commemoration of previously forbidden memories seems to signal the end of social forgetting. Though this is not necessarily the final word. The bicentenary of 1798 coincided with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, which promised to bring to Northern Ireland a new ‘parity of esteem’, accommodating traditions that had hitherto been forbidden. The wide range of commemorative activities through which the legacy of the United Irishmen has been publicly celebrated at a local and provincial level since 1998 gives the impression that all inhibitions about speaking of ‘Ninety-Eight’ have been overcome. Yet, on the background of continuing sectarian tensions in post-conflict Northern Ireland, there are indications that social forgetting has not been entirely eradicated.

Keywords:   Northern Ireland, post-conflict, commemoration, 1798 bicentenary, literature, poetry and drama, unionism, Orange Order, nationalism, republicanism

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