chapter  6
Acknowledgement, truth, and the collective memory of the ‘disappeared’
WithLauren Dempster
Pages 39

This chapter explores the construction of memory of the ‘disappeared’ from the perspective of ‘narrative threads.’ It examines the Irish Republican Army use of apology and acknowledgement, the place of ‘truth,’ and the use of the memory of the ‘disappeared’ for political purposes as both ‘threads of narrative’ and as contributions to the transition in their own right. The chapter also explores the idea of ‘collective memory’ will be scrutinised in more depth, by engaging with the relevant theoretical literature and teasing out some ideas pertinent to improving understanding of the case at hand. However, an overview of scholarly work on collective memory reveals that Barbara A. Misztal description of ‘a concept defined and interpreted in many different ways’ is an accurate one. The stories the families tell, similarly, are traces, which, although highly personal, in being told – and in being heard – become part of the collective memory of the conflict.