Catholics over represented in poorer communities

In yesterday’s Daily Ireland Ciaran Barnes questions Unionist assertions of ongoing discrimination adversely affecting Loyalist working class areas. Unfortunately the PDF of the Deloitte report (scroll down) I’m guessing he’s based his findings crashed my own browser when I tried to open it, but you may have better luck. If you do, could someone send me a copy?

  • maca
  • maca

    Don’t know what happened there, try again:
    anseo!

  • Mick Fealty

    I have it now Maca. Thanks.

  • El Matador

    Snap! I’ve the same article on our new blog El Blogador.

    Interesting points made in the piece- kinda takes away any small modicum of argument that the loyalists had about what caused them to riot.

    BTW, any chance of a reciprocal link to El Blogador? 😉

  • El Matador

    Sorry- dropped a ‘t’ from the http above. ‘Tis at El Blogador

  • peteb

    While I don’t buy into the argument that weak community infrastructure [as defined by?] or a lack of funding justifies rioting in this society.. it’s a strange article.

    Take the opening line –

    Official statistics have blown a hole in unionist claims that weak community infrastructure and a lack of funding are contributory factors behind recent loyalist rioting.

    Actually they do nothing of the sort.. even if we accept Barnes’ interpretation of the figures – from the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister, and only go up to 2001, btw – all they point to is that there is also weak community infrastruture [again defined by?] and lack of funding in other areas.

    The introduction of a comparison by religion is by Barnes.. it’s not present in the quotes he provides in the article, although it is arguably implied.

    But, more importantly, the article appears to be arguing that, and I’m obviously paraphrasing here – How can that be a contributing factor?… sure we’re worse off and we don’t riot… *ahem*

    And as a side-note.. I’d be interested to hear how Mick Hall would intrepret it 🙂

  • fair_deal

    The link is not going to the appropriate report

    LMAO.

    I wondered why the Irish News had been so slow on the pick up as NICVA began pushing this junk and a conspiracy theory about the report about a fortnight ago.

    The methodology is a joke. The Office of National Statistics has been working on the issue of social capital for years and draws in a range of statistics from a number of surveys while Deloitte went for a blunt and useless instrument.

    It works off a list of organisations that is not properly maintained or updated. It’s methodology is based chiefly on number of groups in an area – no assessment of what roles those groups cover, the range, depth or quality of their work, the degree of complementarity, collaboration or competition between the organisations. An area can have a key high-successful organisation delivering a broad range of services e.g. the Ashton centre in New Lodge (listed among NI’s top 100 companies) and an area like Tiger’s Bay can have over a dozen but according to Deloitte Tigers Bay has better social capital.

    A primary issue effecting social capital in Prod communities is fractionalism i.e too many groups, the social capital is spread too thinly over too many competing organisations. By Deloitte’s methodology fractionalism makes you look good!

    The fact this report is useless is clear from the fact it highlights Cherryvalley as an area with poor social capital!

    OFM/DFM’s report into social capital highlighted different attitudes to social capital highlighted “..working class Protestants may be unwilling or unable to work in a co-operative manner.” “Some working class areas where Unionism (of varying shades) is prevalent were considered to be experiencing community fragmentation and low political integration with institutional or political elites”

    However, I am sure this will all be poo-pooed in sectarian denial so “the needs of them’uns can be ignored and only us’uns are in need”.

  • 9countyprovience

    The issue is a smokescreen. The Unionist politicians aren’t trying to convince the UK government that their communities are underfunded. They are trying to distract the people they represent as to what the real problem within their community; The politicians themselves. The fact that jobs in manufacturing are on the decline in western Europe, and thus the fall in employment to those Protestants who would have traditionally got those jobs would give this illusion some weight.
    They are preying on ignorance, circumstance, fear and bigotory. Instead of listening to their communities fears and problems, they are telling their community what to fear and what their problems are.

  • steve48

    I first began using the concept of social capital in my role in community work in unionist areas of North Belfast some 5-6 years ago. It has a valuable contribution in terms of qualitative understanding of the strands that build communities. However in recognising that problems exist in unionist communities the government sought a blunt instrument to justify providing grants and have undermined the use of social capital by trying to use a complex concept very simply i.e. how much do we give them on a score of 1 – 10. I am currently writing a rebuttal of the article published in Scope and hope that NICVA will agree to publish in their next edition.

  • Jacko

    9countyprovience

    I agree.
    The issue, as well, from a loyalist paramilitary position is to make sure the ordinary residents of these areas don’t find out about the millions of pounds that actually have been allocated. Millions that they never were told about.
    And to avoid the next, obvious, questions: who got it and where did it disappear to.
    It should be easy to prove or disprove the claims of discrimination – there has to be records of where all the mountains of peace money went and who got it.
    That’s what good investigative journalists should be looking at – not falling meekly for this crap about inequality in funding.

  • fair_deal

    “I am currently writing a rebuttal of the article published in Scope and hope that NICVA will agree to publish in their next edition.”

    Makes two of us

  • Christopher Stalford

    “Noble Index of Deprivation – Two thirds of those in top 20 deprived wards in North are Catholic.”

    The Noble Index of Deprivation is far too blunt an instrument for measuring social need. This is because it operates on a ward-by-ward basis – it actually works to disguise the real levels of need of small communities surrounded by large areas of afflunece. In a Belfast context, the best example that I can think of is that of Taughmonagh – which is srurrounded by the much more affluent Malone area – it wont register on many indicies under Noble, yet who can deny the need of that community?

    The areas that I represent are some of the most needy and deprived in Ulster – a child from Sandy Row has less than a 2% chance of making it to University.

    As for weak infrastructure – it is a fact, acknowledged by DSD and SEUPB that working-class Protestant areas are suffering from weak infrastructure and low community capacity. This is to be compared with predominantly nationalist areas which are streets ahead on that score.

    For further reading I suggest bloogers take a look at the Taskforce Report commissioned by John Spellar when he was the Minister at DSD. The establishment of this Taskforce was opposed by Alex Maskey – I wonder why?

  • Christopher Stalford

    PS. I seem to recall the Daily Ireland (I’m almost certain it was Mr. Barnes) claiming that with a surplus of 99 votes, Sinn Fein/IRA would have got 2 people elected in Laganbank had they run a second candidate.

    So much for their grasp of statistics.

  • Christopher Stalford

    PS. I seem to recall the Daily Ireland (I’m almost certain it was Mr. Barnes) claiming that with a surplus of 99 votes, Sinn Fein/IRA would have got 2 people elected in Laganbank had they run a second candidate.

    So much for their grasp of statistics.

  • big white dove

    Chris a chara,
    I have got to agree with your analysis on the DIs grasp of statistics, however your grasp of noble would leave a lot tobe desired.
    It is my understanding that the latest figures go beyond individual ward measurments and break wards down to a point where the “pockets of poverty” to which you refer are identifiable.
    The case you cite of Taughmonagh is one I think the DUP should be embarrased by. Taughmonagh is an area where the Unionist community has been poorly served by politicans from the DUP,UUP & Alliance with the only progressive leadership being shown by the UDA,

  • fair_deal

    New TSN highlights the 25% worst wards over 100 wards as needed extra government attention.

    The 20 wards stuff was selected also to misrepresent. If you look at the 10 top wards you will find it almost evenly split between Protestant and catholic communities; Crumlin; Falls; Whiterock; St. Anne’s; Ballymacarett; Brandywell; Woodvale; New Lodge; The Mount; Shankill. On the educational indicator Prod communities come off slightly worse in the 10 worst wards.

    Also Noble does not include anything on the direction of a community ie on its way up or down.

    Also the Noble Index is not the sole mechanism used for public resources. For example educational needd you have the choice of two indicators for educational need. One is free school meals (aka poor means thick indicator). This indicator skews resources to catholic schools. An alternative is Key Stage 3 results (aka results will tell us were people are not achieving in education indicator). This would skew results to protestant schools.

    Have a guess which one the Department of Education relies on?

  • idunnomeself

    NISRA website has the nobel figures, at a sub-ward level. type in your postcode and see.

    The Taughmonagh example was crucial in leading to this change, so you can hardly continue to cite it. Also Christopher you might care to tell people what is the ONLY working class area in NI which has a working group to address its needs which meets monthly, is chaired at perm sec level, reports regularly to the minister and has representatives at a senior level from every Department?

    Oh, it’s Sandy Row isn’t it??

    How on earth can anyone seriously claim that this amount of attention is ‘being ignored’?

    I have to say that Protestant/ Unionist community workers have been beating this drum for a while. It has got lots of government attention, despite there being no attempt to actually back these assertions up. If little has happened its because further research has shown much of the noise to be little more than bluster. Certainly the DI story is daft, just because Catholic areas are poor too doesn’t mean Protestant ones aren’t. But there is no basis to the whinge that the Catholics are getting all the money.

    On Saturday I will play football on the best pitch in NI. On the Diamond in Rathcool. Today I will walk home past dozens of government and charity funded projects propping up the social economy of East Belfast. Walk up the shankill and count the projects. There’s almost as many as there are shops.

    I think that the rioters need to ask themselves who is lying to them about being oppressed, and why they are doing this.

    (if they really believe this, which a part of me doubts)

  • idunnomeself

    ‘educational need: One is free school meals (aka poor means thick indicator). This indicator skews resources to catholic schools. An alternative is Key Stage 3 results (aka results will tell us were people are not achieving in education indicator). This would skew results to protestant schools’

    Boards pay for free school meals, there is a cost relating to this. The DE skew resources to cover expenses relating to Social Need, they should therefore take more credance of the indicators which leads to a direct cost to the Boards they fund.

    Implying that their motivation is sectarian makes you sound paranoid.

    If you tell working class protestants things like this and they are not able to deal with the context you’re whipping up the rabble to march them up the hill and down. They’ll gain nothing. Their areas will lose more. Unionism will lose by disengaging its middle class even more.

    why would you want to do this?

  • fair_deal

    idunnomyself

    1. Please read the post before replying. My post was on the allocation of EXTRA resources to deal with EDUCATIONAL NEED not social need. The provision of Free school meals does meet a social need but the debate is applicability for measuring and targeting educational need.
    2. It was also to point out that which stats you choose has an impact on the results and thus were resources go. FACT FSM has its fans, KS3 does too but choosing one over the other has significantly different results were resources go. To point out a statistical reality is not sectarianism.
    3. FACT the Education Committee of the last Assembly proposed that the indicator for EDUCATIONAL need be weighted 50% on Free School Meals and 50% on Key Stage 3 results (instead of the present 85%/15% split). It was refused by Martin McGuinness MP, MLA.
    4. FACT The Department of Education’s own Equality Impact Assessment of the new funding formula for schools highlights it would have a detrimental impact on the controlled schools (is controlled the right one I always get the two mixed up whichever one is the type Protestants almost entirely attend).

    “If you tell working class protestants things like this and they are not able to deal with the context you’re whipping up the rabble to march them up the hill and down.”

    1. How condescending a comment. The Protestant working class are too stupid to understand things like this
    2. So I am not supposed to tell them if Government takes a decision that has a detrimental effect on resources for their children’s schools?
    3. So Unionism is not allowed to advocate changes to a flawed and unequal policy?

    If I follow your advice this is what you would have me tell a Prod community that needs extra resources to deal with educational disadvantage.
    Community: Our children are failing at schools
    Me: Sorry mate you’re talking nonsense the Free School Meals indicator says there isn’t a problem.
    Community: But the Key Stage 3 results show our kids are failing and so does the drop-out rate from education and the Noble educational indicators do as well.
    ME: You can’t say that. We’re unionists we are not allowed to raise inequalities. You’ll just have to lump it because if I ask for a change I’ll be whipping you up into a sectarian frenzy.

    Bollix to be perfectly blunt.

  • bigwhitedove

    FD, I would imagine the point that pisses most rational people off is the fact that these inequalities as you call them ( that bad Martin McGuiness) were only raised to explain away an orgy of violence, shankill 2005= Toxteth 81, I have no doubt that the Unionist community has poor housing, educational standards etc but to try to blame it on a man who was minister for education for under two years is Bollix. Mc Guiness tried to bring in an education system that would support and nurture working class communities, both nationalist and unionist but guess which politicans opposed and continue to oppose it,IF MC GUINNESS IF FOR IT THEN I’M AGIN IT = BALLS
    The absolute piss of all this is that Unionist leaders are blaming everyone for this when they are to blame for showing poor leadership, for the first time in my life I heard an elected politician saying the community he represented(working Class East Belfast) FELT DISENFRANCHISED, well why the fuck dont they vote for politicians who will actually do something then, If this were West Belfast Gerry Adams wouldnt get a vote

  • fair_deal

    bigwhitedove

    “most rational people off is the fact that these inequalities as you call them ( that bad Martin McGuiness) were only raised to explain away an orgy of violence, shankill 2005= Toxteth 81”

    These issues have been raised before over the past number of years.
    1. Problems with social capital in Prod areas was raised over a decade ago. This was raised before the Peace programme began but singularly ignored.
    2. The start of Protestant alienation was document by UU research over a decade ago.
    3. The problems of Prod communities were raised by Unionist political parties especially the PUP and UDP early in the peace process.
    4. A think tank of community workers from the Protestant community made submissions at senior levels of government two years ago outlining the problems with a package of proposals – this package was rejected.
    5. The DUP built its electoral victory on alienation of Unionists from the political process. (Staid boring UUP to the core South Antrim elected WILLIE McCREA for pity’s sake if that doesn’t ring alarm bells I don’t know what does)

    The warnings and problems outlined are nothing knew. Simply the warnings went unheeded and the problems ignored.

    “to try to blame it on a man who was minister for education for under two years”

    1. You are claiming something I did not claim. I did not blame Martin mcGuinness for the problem of educational need. I highlighted a decision HE made not to address an inequality in the system for allocating educational need funding when HE was asked to do so.

    “Mc Guiness tried to bring in an education system that would support and nurture working class communities, both nationalist and unionist but guess which politicans opposed and continue to oppose it,IF MC GUINNESS IF FOR IT THEN I’M AGIN IT = BALLS”

    1. The two largest Unionist parties consistently opposed the reform of the selection test system before McGuinness even had a sniff of ministerial office so that was not the source of the opposition.
    2. The new proposals are selection by postcode i.e. who can afford to buy near the good schools they aren’t going to help the poor or low paid access good education anymore than the present system.

    “FELT DISENFRANCHISED”

    The disenfranchisement stems from those they vote for being ignored by government.

    “The absolute piss of all this is that Unionist leaders are blaming everyone for this “

    1. I never said it was everyone else’s fault.
    2. To say Unionist parties are 100% to blame is as absurd as Unionist parties saying everyone else is to blame. If these issues are to be tackled Unionism and its communities need to change as well as government and nationalist approaches and attitudes.

  • Antrim Springfarm

    The Protestant districts in Belfast are clearly more disadvantaged. Look at every interface area and you will see the Protestant side is always a wasteland

    Why is that?

    How come there has been a mass exodus of Prods out of Belfast recently? And the on the flip side you would be hard pushed to get a home in any other the Catholic neighbourhoods.

    The extent of this was epitomised by Eoin O’Broin of Sinn Fein saying that Catholics should take over the houses vacated by the hundreds of persecuted Protestants in torrens.

    In simple terms this points to the fact that the Protestant areas suffer more.

  • peteb

    The Protestant districts in Belfast are clearly more disadvantaged. Look at every interface area and you will see the Protestant side is always a wasteland

    Yeah right.. that’s why the statistics support that claim so obviously.

    [/sarcasm]

  • Nestor Makhno

    I think the argument has descended into the usual ‘us and them’ stance and it’s not exactly constructive. For all its inadequacies, the current Noble Index is probably the only way of quantitatively measuring something which by its nature is almost impossible to measure objectively. Noble does show that for at least the past ten to twenty years the most deprived wards have remained the most deprived wards.

    Shankill, Falls, Whiterock, Crumlin, New Lodge, Ardoyne – are Noble’s top six in Belfast and, to be frank, asked to guess what the top six were without even doing an analysis, this is what most people would have come up with.

    The poverty is spread across both nationalist and unionist communities and is nolonger a factor in deciding who is poor and who isn’t. The real factors are not a secret either – poor families raise children who are more likely to be poorly educated; to be in poor health; who are more likely to get involved in crime; and who will depend heavily on state benefits to get through life. And who will, in turn, raise kids with exactly the same prospects.

    A serious government has to break into this cycle of generational deprivation – rigorous, well funded intervention across a range of activities – education, health, job skills training, crime prevention, neighbourhood development and so on over many years. And to be fair – NI government departments have spent a lot of time and energy on some of this. Social policy here for the past thirty years has been much more interventionist than anywhere else in the UK. We were always protected from the worst ravages of Thatcherite economics.

    Belfast’s economy now produces more jobs than there are people to fill them. There is loads of money floating about – thanks to Europe, the Chancellor and a reasonably buoyant global economy. Now is a good time to get these things fixed – before the rising oil price turns things bottom up again.

    So, why’s it not working? A complete absence of intelligent or constructive political leadership from the ground upwards? A city almost completed segregated by religion and class? Paramilitaries destroying any realistic chance of local programmes actually working? A school system than siphons off the best from the age of 11 and makes sure they have little contact (or sympathy) with the 40% who have ‘failed’? Take your pick. But don’t go blaming it all on a conspiracy theory – the facts are completely out in the open.

  • idunnomeself

    Fair_deal

    I know lots of teachers in deprived loyalist areas. They say their schools have so much money they don’t know what to do with it thanks to TNSN. The few I know in non-NTSN areas say they have no money to do or buy anything.

    But they ALL say that the problems are more to do with the attitude of the kids and their parents. Money won’t solve it. And an examination of NTSN shows this is true. Extra money has poured into these areas- to little effect.

    And I know a lot of loyalist parents, and they do bemoan their education problems, but they don’t say things like ‘the NTSN weighting used in the DE ARNE leads to funding differentials’. No, they tend to say things like ‘schools full of blow ins from North Belfast, don’t know how to behave’. I don’t think I’m being patronising. But I know they’d respond to your elaborate point by jumping straight to assumptions for the motivation of the decision, assumptions miles removed from the discussions by social scientists, educationalists and civil servants that took place.

    On another point maybe if in the near future working class loyalists wonder aloud why anyone who can leaves their area and move out does, why no ‘decent famalies’ want to move in and why the Unionists middle classes despise them- and thus why their schools have falling rolls, few govonors and their districts have so many derelict spaces/ short term residents, disused shops and threatened public services.

    Tell them to their faces it’s because of their disgusting behaviour last weekend.

    If they want to renovate and redevelop their districts rioting is a really good way to piss off the people they need to help them

  • fair_deal

    “They say their schools have so much money they don’t know what to do with it thanks to TNSN.”

    1. I have ran three consultations with headmasters of primary schools in inner city urban areas in the last two years. I must tell them the next time I see them that they have been telling me lies and that they are awash with money. As school numbers are a core part of allocating resources anything they pick up from educational need criteria (which for Prod schools is limited by the choice of criteria) they lose because of depopulation – one step forward two steps back.
    2. The new funding formula provides a partial explanation for the problems of resources for non-TSN schools too.

    “Extra money has poured into these areas- to little effect.”

    NICVA’s research would claim that TSN has not resulted in any significant shift in resources, that is one of their primary criticism’s of it.

    “I don’t think I’m being patronising”

    Think what you wish but when you say people are incapable of understanding the difference between two simple approaches you are.

    “why no ‘decent famalies’ want to move in”

    So the new housing developments in Tennant Street, Lyndhurst, Ballysillan for families were complete commercial disasters? None of these people could be described as decent?

    “why their schools have falling rolls, few govonors and their districts have so many derelict spaces/ short term residents, disused shops and threatened public services.”

    “because of their disgusting behaviour last weekend”

    1. All these problems that predated the riots but they are now the result of the riots?
    2. A significant section of the Prod middle classes walked away decades ago, long before the degree of paramilitary control developed. The latest riots are simply the latest justification for opting out not its cause.
    3. Oh yes those wonderful non-sectarian Protestant middle classes who just happen to live in some of the most Protestant parts of Northern Ireland. Hmmmm.
    4. The middle class Abbeydale area of North belfast saw a number of sectarian attacks. Average house price over £200k. It couldn’t possibly have been the nice Prod middle class people who fingered the new catholic residents. They want nothing to do with terrible paramilitaries do they?

  • Reader

    fair_deal:

    2. A significant section of the Prod middle classes walked away decades ago, long before the degree of paramilitary control developed. The latest riots are simply the latest justification for opting out not its cause.

    3. Oh yes those wonderful non-sectarian Protestant middle classes who just happen to live in some of the most Protestant parts of Northern Ireland. Hmmmm.

    I live in Bangor. The population of Bangor has doubled since the start of the troubles, and the rest of the commuter belt has also swollen. So who are these settlers? They were the people with resources, and jobs, who wanted nothing to do with the troubles, and got out of Belfast. And mostly Protestant, because Catholic population movements were towards Belfast, not away. So, in Whiterock, or Shankill, or Donegal Pass, you are dealing with the families who didn’t get away. Is it surprising that there’s a problem of leadership, ambition, commitment to education?
    I think regeneration can, and should, come from within the communities, but I don’t think it will help just to blame the middle-class. That’s just swapping one lot of themmuns for another.

  • fair_deal

    Reader

    I don’t “blame” just the middle classes I blame everyone to different degrees including the working class communities themselves.

    The middle classes left to get away from the troubles, a perfectly rational decision but they took with them skills, leadership and role models. This has left significant damage to social capital in the areas they left and those problems of social capital are hampering the regeneration they need.

    Also to say “We’ll only help if you sort out your problems first” simply perpetuates the cycle.

  • susan

    Initiatives to tackle job skills and education amongst ‘deprived communities’have been around for years.

    These schemes have poor achievement rates for students passing through their doors because students drop out after a few months. They don’t have the motivation to stick the course and drop out after a few months. They don’t want to get Key skills , a qualification in childcare or joinery.

    They are forced to do these schemes by their parents ( if the parents care) or because they won’t get any money from the ‘bru’ otherwise. A lot of girls get pregnant & drop out.

    There may be plenty of jobs but they are there for people who have the initiative to go outside their own little neighbourhood. Many people look for jobs within East Belfast – they won’t go across town or anywhere that involves 2 bus rides. The same is true of training or education.

  • idunnomeself

    fair_deal

    ‘The middle classes left to get away from the troubles, a perfectly rational decision but they took with them skills, leadership and role models’

    The point is that they didn’t just leave geographically, they left emotionally and intellectually as well. I hear time and time again that this didn’t happen in Catholic areas, where people stayed involved.

    They’re needed. But why should they bother?

    teh rest of your points totally distort my argument in order to allow you to argue against it, so I’ll just leave it at that, save to say I live in a loyalist area, talk to my neighbours and know a lot of people who do development work aroundabout.

    And if you have never heard the ‘decent families’ line before you’re living in cloud cuckoo land

  • idunnomeself
  • fair_deal

    idunnomeself

    This money goes into BOTH communities in North Belfast (There are also arguments about the money has been distributed between the communities. The expectation was that it would be divided equally between the two communities instead the Unit divided the total amount by the number of CEP’s that exist and as more exist in nationalist areas they received a greater share of the monies).

    Also unsurprisingly, considering the problems of social capital in Prod communities, the Community Empowerment Partnership model got of to a slow/very slow start, is struggling to prove effective and thus deliver in PUL communities.

    Also this was to be additional funds but since this measure was introduced North Belfast was excluded from other government initiatives such as measure 2.11a of the Peace II monies and the Local Community Fund. So what was given with one hand was taken away with another.

  • idunnomeself

    fair_deal

    Money was still made available to address the social needs of the area, It doesn’t matter how much the Catholics got.

    ‘Or are you envious becasue I am generous?’ (Matthew 20 1-16)

    I cited that to show that Government has given lots of attention to these areas and money too. If it hasn’t worked it isn’t through their lack of trying, and I don’t think that throwing more money in the hope that some sticks would be wise.

    Anyway reading between the lines it looks like the Nationalist partnerships have struggled too, indeed many state that they are challenged with low social capital.

    (Actually in my area the Protestant churches provide a lot of social capital infrastructure that is not replicated in neighbouring Nationalist areas. I have noticed that in some studies of social capital this is completely ignored. So I raised it with someone who worked in the area, a Catholic who had spent years of his life wondering how to encourage community development in Loyalist areas. When I told him the sorts of things churches routinely organised he looked completely amazed, he just didn’t know about it, and hadn’t gone looking as in his tradition the church just doesn’t do things like that)

  • fair_deal

    idunnomeself

    The distribution of resources has an implication on whether sufficient resources are being invested.

    Resources are part of the answer but they are not a magic wand. The red tape, policy priorities and one-size fits all approach Government attachs to the money means it doesn’t always tackle the problem. Also if your social capital is not great shape priotities and needs are morely likely to be poorly identified.

    In West Belfast the Catholic Church was very active in community development in the 1970’s and 80’s (although a number of their projects came under legitimate and illegitmate criticism from republican groups). Elsewhere parochial halls also have extensive programmes of activities.

    On the social capital issue and churches, in many of these areas churches are trying to maintain an outdated physical network (halls, churches, activities) that is probably unsustainable considering the depopulation and particular loss of a disproportinate amount of the socially mobile. Also in terms of churches there has been a shift away from the big two protestant churches to the smaller independent evangelical/charismatic churches.

    In terms of skills capital the churches in the suburbs are probably the greatest holders of it
    but the church network does not provide a means for the congregations in the areas of need to access that.

    Paramilitaries are also a corrupt form of social capital, a very bad investment of it, and these communities have invested too heavily in this form of negative social capital.