Social Change and Community Action in Northern Ireland
The Northern experience also differs in that community action has not become a haven for ‘disillusioned politics’ - but rather has become an arena for political debate. The difference in Northern Ireland is the scale and concentration of these problems and the fact that popular attention is more often focused on the ‘National Question’ and, consequently, the long term aspiration of community groups is constantly under question. The recognition of the development cannot shadow or excuse the fact that the working class have suffered appalling deprivation. Despite the lack of optimism about the odds for any improvement in conditions, Northern Ireland has been noted for its wide range of community initiatives. The Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission which met for the first time in December 1969 was an element in a packet of measures introduced by the Westminster Government. The Community Relations Commission provided a certain degree of support for many of the developments.