Protestants 'excluded from Irishness', book finds

 

PROTESTANTS ARE still excluded from “Irishness” because of the link between Irish identity and Catholicism and Gaelic cultural principles, a new book has found.

Outside the Glow: Protestants and Irishness in Independent Irelandwas launched by history professor RV Comerford in Dublin last night.

Author Heather K Crawford studied the experience of the Protestant minority in the 21st century and examined the nature of prejudice and discrimination based on religious and political differences.

She interviewed Protestants and Catholics and her findings confirmed that, although apparently integrated in society, southern Protestants felt they were not perceived as being “really Irish” by their Catholic compatriots.

She said underlying tensions still existed between Catholics and Protestants based on “memories” of past events.

Residual religious, ethnic and cultural tension suggested that to be truly Irish was to be Catholic. Consequently, Protestants and other minorities could not have “an authentic Irish identity”.