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The politics of ‘dissident’ Irish republicanism

This book provides an analysis of the politics, ideology and strategy of ‘dissident’ Irish republicans. Based on the largest survey of ‘dissidents’ to date, it offers unprecedented insight into who the ‘dissidents’ are and what they hope to achieve. The ninety interviewees for this book comprise members of ‘dissident’ groups, independents, elected representatives, current prisoners in Maghaberry prison, former senior members of the Provisional Movement and individuals who were active in the Republican Movement prior to the formation of the Provisionals in 1969. This book provides insight into the Provisional–‘dissident’ divide regarding tactics-versus-principles, a debate which strikes to the heart of republicanism. Uniquely, through interviews with key players, this book presents the mainstream Sinn Féin narrative, thus providing an insight into the contested narratives of these two worlds which encompass former comrades. This book locates ‘dissident’ republicanism historically, within the long trajectory of republican struggle, and demonstrates the cyclical nature of key debates within the republican leadership. Personal testimonies of key players demonstrate a nuanced spectrum of opinion on the current armed campaign regarding utility and morality; and republican views are presented on whether or not there should be any republican prisoners at present. Through unique interviews with a spokespersons for the Continuity and REAL IRAs, this book delves into the psyche of those involved in the armed campaign. Key themes explored throughout the book include the drawling of the fault lines, the varied strands of ‘dissidence’, ceasefires and decommissioning, the Good Friday Agreement, policing, ‘IRA policing’, legitimacy and mandates.

people in the army that they had changed, that they were no longer fighting for a thirty-two-county socialist republic. To me that’s completely morally wrong. So the use of violence by the Provisional Movement at some stage had become morally wrong because they had changed their objectives and just didn’t tell their base. 49 Donnelly has also questioned the use of Provisional violence on the basis of what has been achieved. Decommissioning: ‘The choke’ Final IRA decommissioning in 2005 came in the wake

in Unfinished business
Ideology and disunity

traditional republican principles and their loyalty to the Irish Republic declared in 1916. Breaking points The ideological and strategic position of radical republican groups must be viewed in the wider context of different ‘breaking points’ at which some of the founder members of these radical groups broke away from the Provisional Movement. The major breaking points were 1986 (over the ending of abstentionism), 1994 and 1997 (PIRA ceasefires), 1998 (Good Friday Agreement), 2005 (IRA decommissioning), 2007 (Sinn Féin

in Unfinished business

throughout the negotiating process the continuing ability of the other to ‘hurt’.39 (See Figure 11.4.) There was no victory of the British over the IRA,40 and the IRA could not see a near-term removal of British forces from Northern Ireland. However, each could provide continuing costs to the other side. Even after secret talks had led to enough trust for the direct negotiations, the British were reluctant to negotiate publicly with Sinn Féin without the IRA decommissioning first. The IRA refused to decommission before negotiations 208 THEORIES OF IR AND NORTHERN IRELAND

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Open Access (free)
Northern Irish fiction after the Troubles

Lost Lives includes entries for 195 Troubles-related deaths in the period after the IRA ceasefire announced on 31 August 1994.1 Moreover, the very real social and political gains that have followed on from the republican and loyalist ceasefires, the Agreement, and IRA decommissioning have to be set against the now regular disputes over Orange marches, continuing paramilitary activity – punishment beatings, feuds, blackmarketeering, gangsterism – and the repeated suspensions of Northern Ireland’s devolved Assembly. Responding to the latter events, the novelist Glenn

in Irish literature since 1990

state and identity. Although staunch opponents of devolution under Major, the Conservatives now accepted the ‘Yes’ votes in the Scottish and Welsh referendums, and backed the Good Friday Agreement though this support was eroded by the limited progress on IRA decommissioning. Predictions of a post-devolution ‘break up of Britain’ no longer figured prominently, but the leadership argued that the constitutional anomalies of devolution had destabilised the Union and made an English nationalist backlash more likely. On ‘race’, Hague described Nationhood and identity 185

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Tourism, cross-cultural space, and ethics in Irish poetry

the end of the poem, the call for them to ‘Stay’ is in part a tongue-in-cheek allusion to the departure of the gods in traditional faiths, but also an underlining of the tentative nature of the gains of the Peace Process. Morrissey has described the occasion of the poem as being ‘the dissolution of the new Northern Ireland Assembly over the stalled issue of IRA decommissioning. I was furious that this had been allowed to take place, and saw it as a threat to the stability of the peace process’ (Grima, 2003). The 206 Tourism, cross-cultural space, and ethics in

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland

acceptance of consent as more fundamental than final IRA decommissioning in 2005. The principle of consent is a central component of the Good Friday Agreement which was reached in 1998. The Sinn Féin narrative in the post-Agreement period has been dominated by references to the centrality of the Agreement to the political process coupled with calls for a border poll on unity. The radical republican constituency has rejected calls for a border poll on the basis that it would constitute a six-county vote (Northern Ireland) and has asserted the

in Unfinished business
Dissident republican strategies and campaigns

redundant in terms of providing the basis of conflict resolution due to the fact that their existence is a denial of democracy to the Irish people. The 32CSM asserts that the violation of Irish sovereignty has not been addressed. The organisation also criticises Sinn Féin for entering talks based upon the acceptance of the Mitchell Principles of non-violence, which were to lead to IRA decommissioning, without making discussions of British sovereignty an equal pre-condition for talks. The Mitchell Principles committed participants to democratic and exclusively peaceful

in Spoiling the peace?

with the author, Belfast, 21 December 2005. 11 Powell, Great Hatred, Little Room , p. 279. 12 McKearney has made reference to such meetings in The Provisional IRA , p. 181. 13 Ibid. , p. 181. 14 Along with Rev. Harold Good, Fr Alec Reid witnessed the process of IRA decommissioning in 2005. 15 Bean, New Politics of Sinn Féin , p. 122. Bean is quoting F. Millar, ‘Will a pragmatic Paisley finish his career by “doing the deal”?’, Irish Times (11

in Unfinished business