Ceasefires and decommissioning
in Unfinished business
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Competing narratives regarding ‘justification’ for the Provisional IRA campaign strike to the heart of the Provisional–‘dissident’ divide. Radical republicans have largely rejected structural conditions as a motivating factor for the emergence of the campaign in 1969. This chapter details unprecedented interviews with former members of the Provisional Movement who reject the mainstream narrative and assert that their primary motivation was the pursuit of self-determination. Radical republicans reject any conflation of a civil rights agenda with ideological commitment to self-determination. This chapter illustrates how views on the motivation of the PIRA are directly related to the justification (or lack of) for a current armed campaign. Radical republicans have rejected the manner in which the ceasefires came about and have propagated a belief that the Provisional leadership were deliberately winding down the campaign. The radical republican world contains a wide spectrum of views on armed struggle, including individuals who remained with the Provisionals until the recent period (post-1998), whose views on armed struggle may be closer to the Provisional analysis. Finally, this chapter analyses why IRA decommissioning was ‘the choke’ for republicans, who have argued that decommissioning attempted to negate the historic right to armed struggle; and presents analysis from a CIRA spokesperson.

Unfinished business

The politics of ‘dissident’ Irish republicanism


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