The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Peace Comes Dropping Slow

Dialogue and Conflict Management
in the Northern Ireland conflict, by Brian Lennon

Book Announcement

Brian Lennon • 10 December 2004

What was the role of the British and Irish Governments in the Northern Ireland Peace Process? How much did the military stalemate matter? What role did paramilitary leaders play? What were the day-to-day issues on the ground which at times threatened to collapse the process? How different was the experience of ordinary people on the ground from that of politicians? How did people try to handle the past?

In 1998, a few months before the Belfast Agreement, a group of Unionists, Nationalists, Loyalists, Republicans and others, came together to form Community Dialogue. The aim was to encourage understanding among groups divided by the conflict. For the next five years they ran residentials, seminars and conferences in which people from opposing local communities talked together about their fears and frustrations, their hopes and resentments. The dialogue covered issues such as the early release of prisoners, decommissioning, policing, justice, the threats to their identity, their feelings about a United Ireland. Peace Comes Dropping Slow is a reflection on what they said.

In it we can see echoes of the pain people felt at losing loved ones in the violence, their frustration when they thought their views were being ignored, the difficulties they had understanding why others acted the way they did. We can also hear the deep longing of many for an end to violence and for a new society in which people and their children are safe, there is respect for different identities, and people are no longer dominated by the past.

The peace process in Northern Ireland is a tender plant. Learning about its strengths and weaknesses is important for its survival and continued growth. People in other conflict situations can also learn what might or might work in their context.

The book is available directly from Community Dialogue or on our web site.

Community Dialogue
Tel: 028 9032 9995

373 Springfield Road
Belfast BT12 7DG














Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

11 December 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Post-Debacle Stress Syndrome
Anthony McIntyre

Keeping the Lid on Pandora's Box
Davy Adams

Paisley's Guide for Penitent Provos
Brian Mór

Talking to Mr. George
Fred A. Wilcox

Dr No Says No, Again; Dublin Wrong to Back Photos
Fr. Sean Mc Manus

A Way Out of the Impasse
Liam O Comain

'Eternal Elves of the West'
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Bobby Tohill vs. The Andersonstown News
Liam O Ruairc

Peace Comes Dropping Slow
Brian Lennon

6 December 2004

The Fleece Process
Anthony McIntyre

Padraic Paisley
Anthony McIntyre

Revolutionary Unionism
Dr John Coulter

Official Secrets
Mick Hall

Kilmichael Controversay Continues
Liam O Ruairc

Turkish Man Beaten and Racially Abused by PSNI in front of Witnesses

Iraq is Not the Second World War
Fred A Wilcox

Dancing at the Edge of the Abyss
Karen Lyden Cox



The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices