A NEW book co-written by an Edge Hill academic tells the stories of the lives and deaths of the 99 people of Ardoyne killed between 1969 and 1998 as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Ardoyne: the untold truth does so primarily through the voices and memories of those who knew them best or were present at the time of their death; their relatives, friends and neighbours.

Over the last three years almost 300 interviews have been conducted by members of a local community-based group set up with this express purpose in mind: the Ardoyne Commemoration Project (ACP).

Dr Mark McGovern, a senior lecturer in the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences at Edge Hill, Ormskirk, was one of a team of six from the ACP who worked on the book. Also involved were Tom Holland, Patricia Lundy, Phil McTaggart, Kelley McTaggart and Helen McLarnon.

He said: “Ardoyne is a working class nationalist community in North Belfast and its people witnessed some of the worst levels of violence experienced during the last three decades.

“A series of oral history interviews were carried out in order to contextualise the individual stories. These form the basis of the historical introductions to each chapter.

“The book does not claim to provide a complete history of the district. Its aim is to show the impact of political violence on this community by ensuring that the voices of the relatives of the dead were heard.”

Ardoyne: the untold truth will be launched on 15 August 2002. The launch event, in Ardoyne, will include an address by the former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds. Guests will include Jimmy McGovern (writer of Cracker, Hillsborough, Dockers and Sunday) and Seamus Deane (Professor of Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame and author of Reading in the Dark).