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Welcome to The Literature of the Troubles Project homepage.


The Literature of the Troubles Project, initiated and managed by Dr Brian Hanratty, is a two year (2007-2009), school focused, cross-community initiative, with its academic base in St Mary’s University College, Belfast.  It is underwritten by a generous grant of £88,500, from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation in London.  Using carefully selected Troubles literature, and a dialogical model of education, the Project seeks to enable Key Stage Four pupils to critically explore their identities and allegiances and to thereby facilitate possibilities for on-going peace and reconciliation against the background of Northern Ireland’s divided history.  It is also planned that materials and methodologies arising from the Project will be firmly embedded within the Northern Ireland GCSE English Language curriculum.


The primary aims of this project are:


  1. To raise consciousness among Key Stage Four students about contested areas of allegiance and identity.
  2. To help students re-examine their own attitudes to, and perceptions of, the 'Troubles’.
  3. To contribute to the preparation of Key Stage Four students for the English and/or English Literature GCSE examinations.

The Steering Group members who oversee the activities of this Project are:

Dr Brian Hanratty Project Manager/Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University College, Belfast

Joanne McCauley Project Development Officer

Damian Knipe Research Officer St Mary’s University College, Belfast

Professor John Gardner Professor of Education Queen's University, Belfast

Ms Majella Corrigan, Manager in Examination Services, Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment

Mr Michael McCurley, Senior Lecturer at Stranmillis University College, Belfast

Mr Colm Donaghy, Senior Lecturer at Stranmillis University College, Belfast

Mr Frank Hennessey, Head of Department, St Mary’s University College, Belfast

Mr Mel McMahon, Head of English, Abbey Christian Brothers' Grammar School, Newry

Mrs Eithne Mullan, Education Advisor, Belfast Education and Library Board

Mrs Lianne McCloskey, Education Advisor, South Eastern Education and Library Board