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Identity, difference and community in Southern Irish Protestantism: The Protestants of West Cork

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Abstract:

This article looks at how the Protestants of West Cork came to terms with Irish independence, and how they have responded to the major social and political changes of the past decades. West Cork Protestants are geographically peripheral to the Southern Protestant population as a whole, and have a weaker socio-economic profile. They live in an area that saw some of the fiercest fighting and worst atrocities in the war of independence and civil war. Their experience throws considerable light on issues of whether Protestants were a privileged or oppressed minority, and whether and how they integrated into the new state. Extensive in-depth interviews are used to show how West Cork Protestants reconstructed their identity, defined their differences from Catholics and maintained community in the years since independence.

Keywords: Irish Protestants; West Cork; community; difference; identity; minority

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608940802680920

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University College Cork, Ireland 2: Department of Sociology, University College Cork, Ireland

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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