Kevin O’Sullivan
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On the side of the angels
The birth of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement
in Ireland, Africa and the end of empire
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This chapter, along with chapters six and seven, explores the emergence and consolidation of co-ordinated international opposition to apartheid and minority rule in southern Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. It begins by describing an important shift in Irish rhetoric: from the anti-British, pro-Boer nationalism of the early twentieth century to the anti-colonial, pro-African discourse employed at the UN and beyond. In diplomatic terms that approach was an obvious extension of ‘fire brigade’ support for decolonisation. Yet the emergence of a strong anti-apartheid movement across northern Europe and North America in the 1960s changed the playing field completely. The second half of this chapter paints an image of that emerging coalition, viewing the creation of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1964 as part of an international campaign to match local reaction with transnational action.

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Ireland, Africa and the end of empire

Small state identity in the Cold War 1955–75


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