Ireland

All deals off in Northern Ireland

The prospect of a new power-sharing government in Belfast, which seemed so close before Christmas, has receded. Now, with both the British and Dublin governments holding the IRA responsible for a recent spectacular bank robbery in Belfast, it looks like vanishing from sight for the foreseeable future.

The IRA's all-time low

Thomas Carolan continues his series about the history of Irish republicanism


In 1937/8 the De Valera government - the government of those who had fought and lost the Civil War - gave separatist Ireland a constitution that made it a republic in all but name, and negotiated withdrawal by the British navy from the three Irish bases which Britain held under the Treaty.

Irish republicans part 2: The gunmen in power

Thomas Carolan continues his series about the history of Irish republicanism

"Ireland occupies a position among the nations of the earth unique… in the possession of what is known as a physical force party - a party, that is to say, whose members are united upon no one point, and agreed upon no single principle, except the use of physical force as the sole means of settling the dispute between the people of this country and the governing power of Great Britain…

Referendum on citizenship - Ireland's racist shame

By John O'Mahony

Four fifths of those who voted in a referendum in the south of Ireland, held on the same day as the Euro-election, voted to deprive some babies born in Ireland - those of recent immigrants - of automatic Irish citizenship. The Fianna Fail government promoted the "no to citizenship" cause, which, "on the ground", was argued as grim and undisguised racism - "you don't want blacks here, do you?" The left and Sinn Fein campaigned against the government, but were defeated by the chauvinist groundswell.

The past, present and future of Irish republicanism

By Thomas Carolan

"Ireland occupies a position among the nations of the earth unique... in the possession of what is known as a physical force party - a party, that is to say, whose members are united upon no one point, and agreed upon no single principle, except the use of physical force as the sole means of settling the dispute between the people of this country and the governing power of Great Britain...
"The latter-day high-falutin hillside man exalts into a principle that which the revolutionists of other countries have looked upon as a weapon, and in his gatherings prohibits all discussion of those principles which formed the main strength of his prototypes elsewhere and made the successful use of that weapon possible.
"…Every revolutionary movement in Ireland has drawn the bulk of its adherents from the ranks of disappointed followers of defeated constitutional movements…
"Their conception of what constitutes freedom was in no sense changed or revolutionised: they still believed in the political form of freedom which had been their ideal in their constitutional days…"