Keeping their heads down: Shame and pride in the stories of Protestants in the Irish Republic

Thumbnail Image
DN_KeepingPV2015.pdf(652.34 KB)
Published Version
Nuttall, Deirdre
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
This study draws on a number of in-depth interviews to explore the ethnic aspect of Protestantism in the Republic of Ireland. We explore themes of shame and pride around issues of identity, together with a sense of loss of a minority rapidly losing cultural distinctiveness. Following Ireland‘s division, the ordinary Protestants of the south, comprising a range of religious denominations bound by history, intermarriage and culture, found themselves in a society in which their story was rarely told. The dominant narrative was one of a Catholic people, long oppressed by a wealthy Protestant minority. The story of ordinary Protestants, including those in rural and urban poverty, went largely unheard. Today, ordinary Protestants – small farmers, shop keepers, housewives – tell the story of Ireland as seen through their family‘s narratives. Themes of pride and shame, often intertwined, form a thread that binds their testimony, drawing on family, personal and local history, folklore and statements of identity.
Protestantism , Republic of Ireland , Memory , Narrative , Minorities
NUTTALL, D. 2015. Keeping their heads down: Shame and pride in the stories of Protestants in the Irish Republic. Journal of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions, 2(1), 47-72
Link to publisher’s version
©2015, The Author(s).