Keeping their heads down: Shame and pride in the stories of Protestants in the Irish Republic
ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork
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
©2015, The Author(s).