Paddy Hoey
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Sinn Féin and the life and death of the republican newspaper
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Sinn Féin’s far reaching commitment to activist materials since the late 1960s included a devotion to the newspapers An Phoblacht/ Republican News. It was almost quixotically committed to producing AP/ RN and the paper became a far-reaching organ of political identity. During the Hunger Strikes of 1980/ 81 it was the authentic voice of those on the protests. Later, during the reforms of Peace Process era it articulated the changes in policy. However, Sinn Féin activists were keen to develop a mainstream vehicle for the newly dominant and optimistic strand of republicanism, one that might compete against the media outlets that had been overtly critical and hostile towards the party dating back to the beginning of the Troubles. The Belfast Media Group whose primary paper, the Andersonstown News, became associated with articulating Sinn Féin’s position throughout the 1990s and 2000s launched the republican daily newspaper Daily Ireland in 2005 in competition with the Irish News, the paper that has traditionally captured sales among the nationalist population of Northern Ireland. It was an experiment in assessing how far the shifts in the cultural and political tectonic plates of nationalism played into the media consumption habits of the people.

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Shinners, Dissos and Dissenters

Irish republican media activism since the Good Friday Agreement


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