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


Couples in mixed relationships in Northern Ireland cannot but be affected by the family, church, government and community pressures they will experience. Essentially, however, theirs is a love story and as such is as refreshingly unique as any other love story.

The NIMMA publication "Mixed Emotions" provided couples with the opportunity to tell their story in their way. NIMMA was subsequently contacted by many who were interested in and appreciated the stories within. Many of these people had their own story to tell and much of that contact came from people who are the offspring of mixed marriages. Some people described themselves as the “exiled children” of such marriages, explained that their parents had been forced to leave Northern Ireland as result of their mixed relationships.

NIMMA has published "Both Sides Now" which for the first time gives people the chance to tell how they were affected as the children of parents who married ‘across the divide’. The publication opens up the debate about the sharing experience that is mixed marriage in the 21st Century and allows the children of eleven of those marriages, ranging in ages from 16 to 60, to tell their very personal stories.

There is a significant interest in the real stories of people in mixed marriages. The 1999 film “A Love Divided”, Based on a true story, it chronicles the aftermath of a mixed marriage in Co. Wexford, Ireland, in the 1950's. Protestant-raised Sheila refused to bow to pressure to send her children to a local Catholic school and fled with her children. In response, the priests launched a boycott of Fethard's Protestant shopkeepers and farmers. The national ramifications, and the human story, are covered in the Tim Fanning publication The Fethard-on-Sea boycott. NIMMA took part in discussion on the issues illustrated in the film when it was shown in the Belfast Film Festival. Read the report on Slugger O'Toole.




  • Children
  • Social History
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NIMMA 's new pubication "Both Sides Now" examines the experiences of children in mixed marriages and highlights the unique position that such children have had and continue to have in a divided society. Contact us if you would like a copy.

NIMMA supports people make the right choice for their children. We offer information onchoices for baptism and related issues and you can talk to couples who have experience of raising children within a mixed marriage.

At the launch of “Celebrating the Work– Evaluating the Impact” the then Lord Mayor of Belfast, Naomi Long, described the report as “a valuable piece of social history which, while documenting the past, lays down guidelines for the future”

The report shows how mixed marriage is as much about society and identity as it is about faith. In response, we recognise that deeper problems need deeper solutions
and that the potential opportunities can be all the more rewarding.

Read more about this fascinating research published by NIMMA.

NIMMA provides a general enquiry service on aspects of mixed marriage in Northern Ireland. You can contact us at our Office by phoning us on (028) 9023 5444, faxing us on (028) 9043 4544 and e-mailing us at:info@nimma.org.uk. The office is normaly open from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm Monday to Thursdays. An answering machine service operates at all other times. You can write to us at:

28 Bedford Street, 
N. Ireland, 

Twice Orphaned

"I’ve never met either of my parents and I don’t know my father’s name. She was a
Catholic from over the border, he was a Protestant from Belfast and they chose to give me up for adoption in Manchester rather than to face the respective wrath of their families." Newspaper columnist
and lobbyist Nick Garbutt tells his
story as the child of a mixed marriage in the September 2012 edition of NIMMA News

Lagan Lovers

Thomas Waters, the child of a mixed marriage in the 1940's remembers his father and mother in the September 2012 edition of NIMMA news.

Unspoken Love

Following publication of their stories in "Mixed Emotions", Roley and Jo McIntyre and Sharon and Stephen Gault developed their story into a drama through Theatre of Witness. The production Unspoken Love is performed by the couples themselves and explores issues of sectarianism, family legacy, trauma and love. The Cmore Films recording of the 2012 production by Thomas Spiers is available here.