Cover image for Conflict in Northern Ireland : an encyclopedia
Conflict in Northern Ireland : an encyclopedia
Elliott, Sydney.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 730 pages ; 25 cm.
General Note:
"Published in the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland: a political directory, 1968-1999, by the Blackstaff Press Limited"--T.p. verso.

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA990.U46 E44 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This indispensable guide to the conflict in Northern Ireland during 30 years of "the Troubles", 1968 to 1999, covers the various elements at home and abroad that have had an influence on the hostilities. The A-to-Z entries discuss people, parties, organizations, and key places. Other sections cover election results (1968 to 1999), systems of government, office holders in Northern Ireland, and the security system. Enhancing this volume are a chronology of major events (1921 to 1999) and a subject index.

Author Notes

Sydney Elliott is a regular contributor on BBC radio and television and other television stations.

W. D. Flackes (1921-1993) was a writer and broadcaster who specialized in politics for more than 40 years.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Though belonging to the same series (Roots of Modern Conflict), these two volumes are quite different in presentation. More than two years in the making, Conflict in Korea is broader in scope than the title suggests. Entries attempt to take a longer view of the conflict, tracing it back to developments outside Korea and earlier in the twentieth century. The arrangement is alphabetical, with cross-reference where appropriate, and a bibliography of further readings attached to nearly every entry; a general bibliography expands these abbreviated citations. A chronology begins in 1910 and runs to December 18, 1998. The volume also has an index and a table of contents of main subject headings that provides an overview of the scope of the work. Among these, one can find some interesting entries in addition to those on people, places, and events, including Family reunions, Press correspondents of the Korean War, Television and the Korean War, Unofficial contacts between North and South Koreans, and War stories and war films of the Korean War. With many unique entries, this title supplements Greenwood's Historical Dictionary of the Korean War [RBB N 15 91], Facts On File's Korean War Almanac [RBB Ap 1 90], and Garland's Korean War: An Encyclopedia [RBB Mr 1 96]. That Conflict in Northern Ireland is actually a fifth edition of a book first published in 1980 under the title Northern Ireland: A Political Directory is a dispiriting reminder of how intractable this conflict has been, despite some recent progress. As in the Korean War volume, arrangement is alphabetical. There is an index, but no bibliography. The chronology is very detailed, with events listed almost day-by-day from 1921 to 1999. The A^-Z entries cover the period through December 31, 1998. Specific people, parties, organizations, events, and places are included but not broader themes. Following the entries is an addendum that updates events to July 1999. Also appended are lengthy descriptions of the systems of government and security and tables of election results from 1968 to 1999. Readers are likely to find this volume less accessible than Conflict in Korea. Font size is considerably smaller, and entries are not as readable. Frequent use of abbreviations that may be unfamiliar to an American audience means constantly referring to the four-page abbreviations table. There are no cross-references to aid navigation from one entry to another. Nevertheless, this is a useful work for understanding the situation in Northern Ireland. Both it and Conflict in Korea are recommended for libraries wanting encyclopedia treatment of two unresolved conflicts. The Northern Ireland volume would be a good addition to academic and larger public library collections, while the Korea volume could be used at the high-school level as well.

Library Journal Review

This hefty fifth edition of Elliott and Flackes's political encyclopedia of Northern Ireland is the first edition to be published in the United States. Given the encyclopedia's breadth, alphabetical headers would have helped, as many entries are multipage. A separate section called "Systems of Government" surveys governments from 1971 to the present. The challenge to any political history of Northern Ireland is currency, and Elliott and Flackes (both of the BBC; Flackes is now deceased) reach December 1998 with a lengthy entry on the Omagh bombing. They provide almost daily coverage of 22 years of "the Troubles," and every splinter group is identified and dissected. The Good Friday Agreement, however, is noted only in George Mitchell's entry, where it is also called the Belfast Agreement, for which there is no entry. Overall, a useful reference for public or academic libraries.--Robert C. Moore, Raytheon, Sudbury, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

As the Northern Ireland peace process faced its greatest obstacle in February 2000, most of the world felt justified in questioning the importance of "decommissioning." Although this work lacks a specific entry on decommissioning, it provides entries on the parties, politics, and personalities involved to help readers understand its importance. In its fifth edition (earlier editions were called Northern Ireland, a Political Directory, by William D. Flackes, then by Flackes and Elliott, 1980-94), this very timely and current resource deals with the Northern Ireland conflict up to the first suspension of the peace agreement in July 1999. It provides a comprehensive background: detailed essays on events, people, organizations, and much more, arranged alphabetically by name, and a comprehensive chronology of the conflict, 1921-July 1999. At first, the chronology is annual, but entries increase depressingly to daily as they deal with the current "Troubles" (1969 onwards). Other sections give details of elections, the security system, and government. A well-indexed, useful, and timely addition to any general reference collection. J. J. Doherty; Northern Arizona University