Brian Hanley
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Offences against the state, 1970–72
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The southern state's tried and tested response to subversion had always been emergency law. Internment, military courts and restrictions on the press had all been implemented during the Civil War, the Emergency and the IRA's 1956-62 campaign. But the situation after 1969 was unfamiliar. The emotional upsurge that accompanied the outbreak of conflict in the North made security measures against republicans problematic. During 1969 and again in 1972, plans to introduce repressive laws were stymied by public solidarity with nationalists. But there was also a contradiction in southern nationalism that was to prove crucial. Jack Lynch's administration had introduced the Forcible Entry Bill, the Prisons Bill, the Special Criminal Court and the Offences Against the State Amendment Bill. They had also tightened control of radio and television and sacked the Raidió Teleifís Éireann (RTE) Authority for objecting to government broadcasting policy.

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