Counterpoint: The Economy and Terrorism

Counterpoint: The Economy and Terrorism

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Dublin, Randalstown




Transmission 12/10/1989


23min 32sec




1 inch



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Presenter Brian Black explores the correlation between terrorism and the Northern Irish economy. 

Reporting from Randalstown after an IRA attack, Black informs us that we need to go beyond the obvious and ask ourselves the uncomfortable question, "Does out economy actually need this [terrorism] to keep going?" The Randalstown bomb attack is only one of 9,000 such incidents in the last 20 years, with ensuing financial compensations approaching half a billion pounds directly creating a multitide of jobs - be it for emergency repairmen, extra police officers, soldiers and hospital staff. 

Dr. Graham Gudgin from the Economic Research Centre agrees that The Troubles have changed the composition of the economy and the nature of it. Despite this, disgust over terrorism is found throughout individual communities, with many people out of work due to the devastation the conflict has wrought. Tom Gillen [I.C.T.U.] states that terrorism doesn't keep the economy going, even if some are directly employed because of it. This is particularly evident in the security forces with John Loveday [Professional Security Association] estimating that there are between 3,000 to 3,500 people working in security in Northern Ireland, with approximately 70% os such positions attributable to The Troubles. 

Interestingly, with security jobs predominantly going to Protestant males, the Protestant community would feel a negative economic impact of peace more quickly than the Catholic community. Despite this, Bob Rowthorn [Economist, Cambridge University] believes that, in the long term, both communities in Northern Ireland stand to benefit from peace.

Later in the programme, David Andrews [Fianna Fail] and Brendan Keenan [Irish Independent], give their opinion on the impact the Troubles has had on the Republic of Ireland's economy. 


An Ulster Television Production

Producer: Brian Black

Executive Producer: Michael Beattie 




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