"Supporting couples who are united in love across traditional Christian divisions and promoting acceptance of these relationships within Northern Ireland society"

Both Sides Now

When Mixed Emotions was published, it unleashed a wave of interest in the experience of people in mixed marriages. Not only was there media coverage of the couples featured in the publication, but many others felt the time was right for them to tell their story. .

Many people contacted NIMMA to tell their own personal story, some of which have featured in our newsletter. Most commonlty expressed was the wish for children who have been raised in mxied marriages to have the opportun ity to share their experiences. NIMMA responeded by providing this opportunity which has resulted in "Both Sides Now". This unique publication has given 11 local people the chance to tell how they were affected as the children of parents who married ‘across the divide’.

The publication was authored by Paul McLaughlin and funded by the Big Lottery Fund with support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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Following the widespread interest in Mixed Emotions and the considerable media coverage of those couples and others with their own tale to tell, NIMMA have published a further work exploring then experiences of children of mixed marriages.

It features the stories of children from mixed marriages and gives their story in their own words.

To obtain a copy of "Both Sides Now", please contact us.

The publication is being widely distributed to young people through schools and through youth networks. NIMMA is also working to develop the publication as an education tool for children.


The publication of "Mixed Emotions" led to great interest in the press for the stories of those in mixed marraiges and how they had dealt with the adversity they had experienced. Everyone's story is different and "Mixed Emotions" provides a sprectum oif experiences and covers a period of over seventy years.

You can read Stephen and Sharon's story, as published in the Guardian, Love across the Divide. Ruth's story from "Mixed Emotions" is covered in an article entitled "My family and community would have nothing to do with me... because I married a Catholic" in the Belfast Telegraph here.

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Meet the "Book People"

The people in our publication featured in our newsletter. Meet the book people.

Belfast Launch

The publication was launched in Belfast on 30 March by Professor Pete Shirlow, Deputy Director of the Institute for Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queens University, Belfast. Professor Shirlow notes in his forward "These individual stories, real life experiences in the words of the people themselves, speak of hope and courage, compromise and determination. They tell of good times and bad, of love and prejudice, of diference and division, but they also speak of family as a force for good, often against all the odds."logo

Media and Press Coverage

Read about the publication in the Belfast Telegraph article "Mix 'n' match - Crossing the cultural divide for love" which starts " Since 10 brave souls told their stories of love, across the religious divide, for Mixed Emotions, a ground-breaking 2012 publication by the Northern Ireland Mixed Marriage Association (NIMMA), a follow-up on the children of such unions has been eagerly awaited."

The Irish News story "Kids of Mixed marriage Shared their Stories of Growing Up in the North"stresses how the "emotive stories explain what it is like growing up as a child of parents who married across the religous divide".

The Newsletter feature "Marriage: when religion comes into the mix" also covers the new NIMMA publication, noting the description of the book as “the ultimate cross-community project.”