Introduction

How significant are justice and human rights for democracy? What are the moral dilemmas facing a community in the aftermath of an act of extreme political violence? How should communities deal with the loss they have experienced? What are the factors that push people in such communities to support the taking of life? Can the use of violence for political ends ever be justified? What part does revenge play when political conflict becomes violent? What is the state’s responsibility in preventing or breaking the cycle of violence? Is forgiveness necessary for reconciliation and enabling people to move on? How significant are justice and human rights to the building of a sustainable peace? And at a deeper level still, what does violent political conflict reveal about the nature of ‘peace’, ‘democracy’, ‘history’, ‘identity’ and our perception of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’?

Within inclusive workshops that respect all perspectives but equally permit all perspectives to be challenged, ‘epilogues’  facilitates discussion and reflection on these and other key questions for peace building. It does this by exploring ‘the conflict1 from the perspective of people who were part of it, or suffered as a result of it, and found themselves compelled to react to circumstances unfolding around them with what perspective they had at the time.
 


For ‘the conflict’ read: ‘the violent political conflict in and about ‘Northern Ireland’