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Finding an Enemy

Conor Gearty: Sixty Years of Anti-Terrorist Legislation

15 April 1999
Legislation against Terrorism: A Consultation Paper. CM 4178. 
by Home Office​ and Northern Ireland Office.
70 pp., £9.95, December 1998, 0 10 141782 9
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... as the Bill was going through the Lords, the Government threw in an extra power of arrest and detention for up to seven days without charge. The clock was ticking towards the holiday break, and the Home Secretary Sir Samuel Hoare, referring to recent acts of violence, claimed to have ‘been told that if we had had these powers two days ago it is very likely that we might have forestalled one or ...
5 August 1982
... Towards the end of the debate on the NorthernIreland Constitution Bill in the House of Commons Enoch Powell produced a document which purported to prove the existence of clandestine agreements between the NorthernIrelandOffice and the Irish ...

Bogwogs

Paul Foot

19 April 1990
War without Honour 
by Fred Holroyd and Nick Bainbridge.
Medium, 184 pp., £6.95, November 1989, 1 872398 00 6
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... So excited was Captain Fred Holroyd by his new posting to the city of Armagh in NorthernIreland as a fully-trained officer in military intelligence that he took great care to maintain his ‘cover’. He grew a rough beard before travelling across the Irish Sea, and dressed up in suitably ...

Tired Titan

A.B. Cooke

8 November 1979
The Factory of Grievances: Devolved Government in Northern Ireland, 1921-1939 
by Patrick Buckland.
Gill and Macmillan, 365 pp., £13
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... retaining control of six Irish counties while giving up the rest of the country. Nevertheless, strange and misleading interpretations were placed on their behaviour in 1921-22, when withdrawal from Ireland at last became a practicable policy in Britain. Lloyd George’s Cabinet was accused of deliberately creating a puppet regime in Belfast, charged with the duty of seeking to influence events ...

Diary

Ronan Bennett: The IRA Ceasefire

22 September 1994
... forces are on the same side, withstanding Loyalist aggression. Such an alliance could not last, however, and the ceasefire will not be prolonged. ‘None of this bodes any good at all for peace in NorthernIreland. Except, of course, in the Orwellian sense: Peace Means War.’ There’s a great deal of talk about inflexibility in Irish politics; this is inflexibility personified. I had watched Dr O ...

Notes on a Notebook

Andrew O’Hagan

30 September 1999
... a flash that nothing will come of further questions or second trips. Between the lines of your unyielding story another narrative may awaken and begin to stand up. And that will be the story you take home: the unending story of the story itself. You’d do well to snap your pencil and walk away at that point. Exhaustion can be a wise counsellor. But sometimes the second story not only stands up but ...

When Ireland​ Became Divided

Garret FitzGerald: The Free State’s Fight for Recognition

21 January 1999
Documents on Irish Foreign Policy. Vol. I: 1919-22 
edited by Ronan Fanning.
Royal Irish Academy and Department of Foreign Affairs, 548 pp., £30, October 1998, 1 874045 63 1
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... At the outbreak of World War One, the British Government decided to postpone Home Rule for Ireland, which had just been enacted. Despite this, many Nationalists as well as Unionists enlisted in the British Army. Some radical Nationalists came to believe that action was needed to revive national ...
5 April 1990
Ulster Politics: The Formative Years, 1868-86 
by B.M. Walker.
Ulster Historical Foundation/Institute of Irish Studies, 327 pp., £15, February 1990, 0 901905 40 2
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Ireland​ 1912-1985: Politics and Society 
by J.J. Lee.
Cambridge, 754 pp., £55, January 1990, 0 521 26648 3
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... Stephen Dedalus in the first chapter of Joyce’s Ulysses: ‘it seems history is to blame.’ But he doesn’t say which history. The history that accounts for the sporadic but endless killings in NorthernIreland begins no later than 24 December 1601, when Lord Mountjoy’s forces defeated Hugh O’Neill’s at the battle of Kinsale. After the ‘flight of the earls’ to the Continent in 1607 the way ...

An Escalation of Reasonableness

Conor Gearty: Northern Ireland

6 September 2001
To Raise up a New Northern IrelandArticles and Speeches 1998-2000 
by David Trimble.
Belfast Press, 166 pp., £5.99, July 2001, 0 9539287 1 3
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... McCreesh, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee and Michael Devine – starved themselves to death in the months that followed. During that summer of 1981, the NorthernIreland crisis came closer than ever before or since to carnage. Levels of mob as well as of subversive violence were high. In Dublin two thousand people attacked the British Embassy. An IRA bomb ...
24 October 1991
... study of the effectiveness of anti-discrimination legislation in the field of employment has proved a puzzle.* Conceived by the Policy Studies Institute in 1987, it was surprisingly funded by the HomeOffice: ‘surprisingly’ because HomeOffice support would lead one to conclude that the Government was seriously considering the need to amend the Race Relations Act 1976 – which would have ...
9 March 1995
... new about the way in which this government now runs the country. In fact it has been an inefficient, authoritarian, hypocritical and morally bankrupt administration almost since the day it took office in 1979. Its ministers have been resigning (or not resigning) in disgrace ever since its inception. The nepotism shown towards its ‘family’ of opportunistic supporters has been evident from the ...

Diary

Paul Foot: Two Views of John Stalker

3 March 1988
... In the autumn of 1982 three policemen in NorthernIreland were killed by a landmine planted by the IRA. At once, the Royal Ulster Constabulary plotted their revenge. Acting on information provided by one of their informers in the IRA – who has been paid ...

Diary

John Horgan: The Current Mood in Dublin

19 December 1985
... Some of the exchanges heard inside and outside Parliament last week brought to mind the language used by the NorthernIreland Unionists and their friends at Westminster at the time of the Home Rule controversy in 1912-1914. A compilation of the more inflammatory remarks of Sir Edward Carson and his allies, published in Dublin in 1918, achieved the unique distinction of being banned by the ...
22 January 1981
IrelandLand of Troubles 
by Paul Johnson.
Eyre Methuen, 224 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 413 47650 2
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Acts of Union 
by Anthony Bailey.
Faber, 221 pp., £4.95, September 1980, 0 571 11648 5
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Neighbours 
by Conor Cruise O’Brien.
Faber, 96 pp., £2.95, November 1980, 0 571 11645 0
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IrelandA History 
by Robert Kee.
Weidenfeld, 256 pp., £9.95, December 1980, 0 297 77855 2
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... An Englishman addressing himself to Irish history and contemporary politics ought always to bear in mind John Stuart Mill’s provocative remark, that it was not Ireland but England that was the exception: ‘Ireland is in the mainstream of human existence and human feeling and experience; it is England that is one of the lateral channels.’ Of the authors under ...
21 March 1996
... the Republican movement need to make a better effort to understand the way Republicans think and work (know your enemy: it is a basic principle). Nor is there any use in pretending that the North of Ireland is the same as Yorkshire or the Midlands or East Anglia; it is not even Wales or Scotland. It is no good demanding that everyone behave as though the gun and the bomb had played no part in recent ...

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