Who are the ‘dissidents’?
Motivations and aspirations: the drawing of the fault lines
in Unfinished business
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This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of who the ‘dissidents’ are and what motivates them. The chapter details personal testimonies of a wide spectrum of radical republican activists, including members of organisations, independents and individuals who were active in the Republican Movement prior to the formation of the Provisionals in 1969. This chapter details interviewees’ locations, occupations and family backgrounds, including the significance of family tradition on political activism. The fault lines of modern ‘dissident’ republicanism can be traced to the 1970s; therefore this chapter reveals testimonies of individuals who were active in the Provisional Movement during that period and provides an insight into the formation of RSF through unprecedented interviews with individuals who followed Ruairí Ó’Brádaigh out of the 1986 Ard Fheis to reassemble as RSF. Further, the chapter examines the ‘holy grail’ of republicanism – the Hunger Strikes – and examines Richard O’Rawe’s arguments which have permeated throughout the radical republican narrative. While ideological breaking points have been significant, this chapter details the significance of resentment and perceptions of betrayal towards the Sinn Féin leadership. Through personal testimonies, this chapter provides an unprecedented insight into the motivations of individuals who stayed with the Provisionals through major ideological shifts to then depart more recently.

Unfinished business

The politics of ‘dissident’ Irish republicanism

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