Northern Ireland: Can Sean and John Live in Peace? by Carol Daugherty Rasnic

Northern Ireland: Can Sean and John Live in Peace? explores the reasons for Northern Ireland’s so-called “Troubles.” In a compelling and detailed narrative, Professor Rasnic addresses two primary causes of the conflict—religion and politics—and the source of response to the Troubles: the law. While serving as a Fulbright Distinguished Professor of Law at Queen’s University Belfast, she experienced the moods, hopes, and fears of those who have endured the atrocities.

Interspersed with the author’s personal interviews with many of the principals in the peace talks and vignettes that recall her childhood and adolescent years growing up in a small Southern town, Northern Ireland provides a clearer understanding of the essence of what has caused—and continues to cause—so much tragedy and grief in this beautiful province.

Praise for Northern Ireland

“Professor Rasnic addresses the divisive issues of Northern Ireland in a scholarly and balanced manner…This is a most worthwhile study which I gladly commend.”

      —The Most Reverend Robert Fames, Archbishop of Armagh (Church of Ireland)

 “…a very personal odyssey through the Northern Ireland situation…more reflective and ultimately probably more of a valuable perspective on the issues than yet another description of the law.”

      —T.P. Kennedy, Director, Law Society of Ireland

 “Professor Rasnic provides a unique point of view to the ‘Troubles’…a thoughtful analysis of the legal issues in a strife-torn land (with) parallels to the American experience. She shares personal stories from her time in Northern Ireland that give a profoundly human perspective on the political, legal and religious aspects of the conflict.”

      —The Most Reverend Walter F. Sullivan, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond (Virginia)

“I have read many different types of books over the past 60 years, but this book is by far the best, fiction or nonfiction alike.  Professor Rasnic has accomplished what many authors wish they had accomplished, by giving the legal perspective in a human and many time humerous way, makes for easier reading for those of us who may not always understand legaleaze.  This book in my estimation should be on the required reading list for anyone who wishes to understand the legal aspects and history of American and Irish similarities during the same periods of time.”

      -John W. Green “Bill” on

“The world has too many Northern Irelands, and most of the time we form our opinions from some political ideaology we have, or some news report or TV program.  What we really need to be honestly informed about these “trouble spots” such as the Middle East or Kashmire or Ireland is to read a well researched and well written book like Carol D. Rasnic work.  She has certainly paid her dues and told us about something she has studied and live in for many years.  And most important, she has not taken sides.”

      -George Salaita on

About the Author

Carol D. Rasnic is Professor of Employment and Labor Law at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She is licensed to practice law in Virginia as well as Tennessee and has engaged in private practice in both states. Professor Rasnic has taught each summer since 1991 at schools of law in Germany and Austria. In addition to this book, she is author of more than eighty law journal articles and two other law-related books. She was a 1992-1993 Fulbright Lecturer-Researcher at Friedrich-Alexanders-Universitact, Erlangan, Germany, a 1998 Fulbright Distinguished Professor at Queen’s University School of Law Belfast, and a 2003-2004 Fulbright Professor at National University of Ireland Galway. She was born and grew up in the southwestern corner of Virginia and lives with her husband, Jack, in Richmond. She is the mother of two sons whom she describes as the “lights in my life.”

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