|Articles By Author|
|Articles By Magazine|
|Articles By Subject|
|Full Text Search|
|Aubane Historical Society|
|The Heresiarch Website|
|Athol Books Online Sales|
|Athol Books Home Page|
|Archive Of Articles From Church & State|
|Archive Of Editorials From Church & State|
|Archive Of Articles From Irish Political Review|
|Archive Of Editorials From Irish Political Review|
|Belfast Historical & Educational Society|
|Athol Books Secure Online Sales|
|Irish Writer Desmond Fennell|
|The Bevin Society|
|David Morrison's Website|
Subscribe Securely To
|From: Irish Political Review: Editorials|
|Date: November, 2018|
Civil Rights: A Retrospective!
The 50th anniversary of the start of the Northern 'Troubles' is upon us. Radio Ulster celebrated it on October 5th, which was ten months early if by the 'Troubles' is meant the War.
What happened on 5th October 1968 was that a demonstration, in support of what in retrospect seems to be a trivial reform demand, was attacked by the local police force. There was nothing unusual in those days about a demonstration being attacked by police. It was a normal British practice.
What happened ten months later, in mid-August 1969, was different in kind. The routine associated with the Apprentice Boys celebrations in Derry was disrupted when the police were barricaded out of the Bogside and were kept out over a number of days. The routine was that the Protestant Apprentice Boys commemorated their heroic deeds of 1688 by aggravating the Catholics in the Bogside, that the Catholics should be provoked and that police should shepherd them back into the Bogside and calm would be restored. That was just how things were.
But in 1960 the police were barricaded out of the Bogside, and the barricades were effectively defended against them, and the world was astonished by such a turn of events in what it took to be the foremost Liberal Democracy.
The forceful exclusion of the forces of the State from the Bogside was an act of insurrection. But it was not the purpose of those who organised it that it should be the first action in the war against the State. Its effective organisers were Catholics who had served in the British armed forces, some of them English. They had retired to Derry, were affronted by the blatantly anti-Catholic character of the Apprentice Boys routine, and applied their British military expertise to stopping it. When it was stopped, Free Derry asserted itself. And there was a de facto insurrection.
Organised Republicanism was in a blighted condition in that period. But it did not seem credible to Unionists that the insurrection in Derry could be anything other than the first instalment of an assault by the IRA on the Union settlement. Feelings began to run high in Belfast. Loyalists prepared for action. And the Chief of Staff of the pre-Split IRA in Dublin issued a press announcement that he had given marching orders to his Belfast Brigade.
The outcome of all of this was an assault on Catholic West Belfast by a mixture of Unionist/Loyalist forces.
The Unionist assault was not met by the Belfast Brigade of the IRA. There was no Belfast Brigade. There was no IRA, other than a small force used by the Chief of Staff for disciplining Republican resistance to his disarming of the IRA for the purpose of reconstructing Sinn Fein into a kind of Marxist/Constitutional body.
The IRA was a myth in 1969. But it had mythical existence. And the Ulster Unionist Party, which operated the devolved government at Stormont, was not the Government of a State. The Government of the state—the British Government—must be presumed to have known very well what the condition of the IRA was. Intelligence was its speciality. But it was not involved in the immediate governing of the Six County region of its state. And the Northern Ireland Government did not operate the governing apparatus of a State. It had no political connection with forty per cent of the Six County electorate. It had no Intelligence Service. And it had no patronage system for encouraging civil society tendencies favourable to itself.
In August 1968 the IRA had no existence as an Army, and its leadership was trying to dispel it as a myth. (It aimed to bring the movement over to direct action in support of leftist causes—a move of which London was well aware and deeply disapproved.) Then the Chief of Staff, all his schemes undermined by the turn of events in Derry, told Belfast Unionists that he had ordered his Belfast Brigade into action. And the Unionist masses cannot be faulted for not knowing that this was all a shadow-play.
The popular forces of the Stormont Government assaulted Catholic Belfast. Catholic Belfast extemporised a defence of itself without the IRA.
The Army of the State was put in by the Government of the State to restore order. The forces of the local Government were excluded from large areas of Belfast. The Government of the State had no political forces to accompany its military forces into West Belfast and Free Derry. This was the result of the decision of the Tory, Labour and Liberal Parties in 1921 that they would not operate politically in the Six County region of their state.
The absurdity of the situation seemed to strike the Labour Home Secretary, Jim Callaghan, on a visit to Derry early in 1970. He indicated an intention of doing something about it. But the British apparatus of State soon got him to understand that there was a reason of State for the bizarre structure of the British state in its Six Counties, and he dropped the matter.
Whitehall deployed its Army in August 1969 in order to prevent a war between its devolved Six County government and the forty per cent Catholic population with which it had come into physical conflict.
The two sides to the conflict were separated by the British Army. One side was the devolved Northern Ireland Government, which was the immediate form of the British state. Its police force, the RUC, was excluded de facto from the main Nationalist areas. 'Peace Walls' were set up between Unionist and Nationalist areas. The major Nationalist areas effectively lay outside the coercive power of the State for eight or nine months, while continuing to be provided with the social services of the state. It was under these conditions that the defensive insurrections of August 1969 became base areas from which a War was launched in the Summer of 1970.
The Army of the state was deployed in August to stand between the forces of the devolved Government and the Catholic populace. The devolved Government was an institution of the Protestant community. It had never been anything else and, under the terms set for it by Whitehall, it could have been nothing else. It had no representative political connection with the Catholic community, but it had a considerable degree of intimidatory moral authority, due to decisive action it had taken in the past. That moral authority was dispelled when the Army of the state was deployed against the devolved system in August.
If Whitehall's military intervention against its subordinate Belfast Government in August, and its hostile Inquiry into the conduct of that Government which had led to violent conflict, had been accompanied by political action to establish a functional political connection between the Six Counties and the governing system of the state, it is extremely improbable that a war between the Catholic community and the State could ever have come about.
What irritated the Catholic community was the subordinate Government. It was avidly interested in the politics of the state, Socialist and Conservative, but that politics had no existence in the Six Counties. And in the vestigial political life of Northern Ireland there was nothing but the conflict of community.
The Unionist Party comprehensively misrepresented the Union in that conflict. It was a Unionism that lay outside the Union and caricatured it. Devolved Unionist politics was no politics. Political life within the Union state consisted of the party-political conflict of the Tory and Labour Parties. This did not happen in Northern Ireland. The Tory and Labour parties decided not to operate in Northern Ireland. Political life in Northern Ireland was therefore excluded from the political life of the state.
The Labour Party pretended to be a United Ireland Party, while the Tory Party pretended to have the policy of treating Northern Ireland as an integral part of the Union state. But it was essentially the Tory Party that in the early 1920s decided to exclude Northern Ireland from the political life of the Union state, and the Labour Party when in Office never did anything to advance the cause of the unification of Ireland. And it was a Labour Government that in 1948, when Fine Gael launched an Anti-Partition campaign, reinforced the Ulster Unionist position against it.
And so it happened that, when the British Army was deployed within the British state to suppress a conflict in a subordinate region of the state, it destroyed such moral authority as the subordinate government exerted over the Catholic or Nationalist two-fifths of the population, without having any political authority of its own to take its place.
Governments of the state had the political and moral means of action in every other region of the state, but they had none in Northern Ireland—except the passing sentiment of the moment. It subverted its own Northern Ireland system, and effectively established a condition of anarchy—of statelessness—in the major Nationalist areas.
A new Republican Army was forged in those areas, in the first instance under the protection of the British Army. When, after eight months, Whitehall decided to stamp on this development, it put the Falls area of Belfast under curfew in order to search it for arms. The result was to accelerate the development of the new Republican Army (the Provisionals), and to revive the old Republican Army (the Officials or Stickies) which had been busy dissolving itself in August.
The conflict that came to a head in Derry and West Belfast in August 1969 occurred in the medium of an agitation of a very confused Civil Rights movement, which was attempting to operate 'Constitutionally' in the pressure it was exerting on the substantially unconstitutional subordinate Government. It was a conflict within the Northern Ireland facade of the British state. Demands were made on the facade, as if it was the state, on which it could not deliver because it was not the state.
The facade was blown away for all practical purposes by the deployment of the Army of the state in August. The conflict that was launched a year later was a war between an Army claiming to represent the Nationalist community (and making good its claim) and the State, with the Northern Ireland facade relegated to the sidelines.
The effective cause of the War lay in the conditions that made it possible. Those conditions were the abdication by the Tory and Labour Parties of the responsibility to provide normal government and normal politics, as far as possible, for the Six County region of the state; the farming out of Six County government to a local communal institution while continuing to provide the major state services from Whitehall; and the subversion of that subordinate system in August 169, with the consequence of anarchy (statelessness) in the major Nationalist areas.
Internment was sometimes given as a cause of the War, but it was an incident in the War. The War had taken root in 1971 and Internment was one of the measures with which the State tried to cope with it.
When it was introduced—and some of the people associated with the magazine were randomly picked up in it—a leaflet was written explaining it as a measure adopted by the Government in the actual war with which it had got involved: and to that extent defending it. The war was not supported as it was not apparent how it could be sustained. But it was clear in Belfast that there was a war in progress. And, since it existed, there must be sufficient reason for it.
Internment was a war measure adopted in wartime. Constitutionalists opposed "Internment without trial". Naturally it was "without trial". With trial it would have been imprisonment for criminal action after conviction. The implied demand was for criminalisation. When this was introduced, the Provisionals raised an effective agitation for political status—for prisoner-of-war status, or internment. Every action of the Government was countered, and with every turn the authority of the Provisionals was strengthened.
Eoghan Harris makes some effort (Sunday Independent, October 14) to recall how it happened that a very modest demand for Constitutional reform led so quickly to a major war. But memory is problematic for the ever-changing chameleon, who does not know from moment to moment what appearance he is giving off.
He praises John Hume for not demonstrating on October 5th, lest Eamon McCann should demonstrate too vigorously and upset NICRA plans for "peaceful marches to reform the state of Northern Ireland without challenging its constitutional position".
This suggests that the constitutional position was so fragile that demands for its reform must be made so moderately that they escape notice if they are to be achieved peacefully. And that is pretty well how it was. So clearly it would be better not to march at all, because marching is noticeable.
But Harris praises McCann for dismissing an attempt by Declan Kearney (of Sinn Fein) to "claim a role in the civil rights for the Provisional IRA". The Provisionals, of course, did not exist in the Civil Rights era, and therefore could have played no part in the failure of NICRA to deliver on its confused and ambiguous agenda.
Harris comments that—
"radicals like McCann… and Michael Farrell of Peoples Democracy… believed the state was sectarian and wanted to bring it crashing down".
If by "the state" Harris means the subordinate government at Stormont, which did not exercise a shred of sovereign authority, then it was beyond all question sectarian. The Ulster Unionist Party, with the Orange Order at its core, was an all-class, all-politics assembly of the Protestant community.
That community had once taken part in the political parties of the state but, when required to operate a subordinate Six County system outside the political system of the state, it functioned as an all-class, all-politics alliance. It embraced the workers, middle class, and aristocracy of the Protestant community, and those who would otherwise have been Tories, Liberals and Socialists became simple Protestant Unionists for the sole purpose of keeping themselves as far as possible within the British state. It was sectarian. So was the Catholic community. Nothing else was practically possible under the arrangements made by the British State for the running of its Six Counties.
McCann and Farrell pressed the 'state'—the subordinate system—too hard and brought it "crashing down"! And yet everything that was administratively necessary to a modern state continued without interruption!!
McCann and Farrell had little to do with the decisive events that changed everything: the barricading out of the RUC in Derry and the invasion of the Falls and Ardoyne in Belfast.
Harris contrasts McCann and Farrell with Cathal Goulding (Officials Chief of Staff):
"McCann rightly recalled that the republicans who promoted a peaceful path to civil rights were those led by Cathal Goulding who loathed those who became the Provisionals: 'It's simply a matter of historical record that people like Eoghan Harris and the then chief of staff of the IRA, Cathal Goulding, were advocating the three-stage theory of the Irish revolution—the first stage of which was winning democracy in the North', he said.
"Cathal Goulding was a major presence at the meeting of Wolfe Tone Societies in August 1966 at the farm of Kevin Agnew in Maghera… At the meeting I [Harris] read a document setting out the strategy for the civil rights campaign that would not challenge the constitutional position of Northern Ireland so as to secure progressive unionist support. Goulding warned that this peaceful strategy would fall apart 'at the first sound of a bomb or a bullet'…"
This impossibly complicated "three stage theory of the Irish revolution" was blown away by events before ever a shot was fired. The barricading out of the RUC from the Bogside changed everything. And it was done peacefully in the sense that the physical force involved did not include guns.
Cathal Goulding had nothing to do with the Derry event, nor had any other theorist of the Irish revolution. But Goulding introduced the gun a few days later. It was only a rhetorical gun—but how was the enemy to know that the Chief of Staff's Belfast Brigade had no actual existence! The enemy responded to the imaginary threat issued by Goulding, and it was left to others to cope with the situation.
When the battle was over and the Peace Lines were drawn, the IRA was reactivated in support of a complete fantasy of revolution. Guns poured into West Belfast—and were used in an attempt to prevent the formation of a new Republican Army out of the experience of the August events.
A revolutionary situation was brought about within the Northern Ireland facade of the British state by the August events. The new Army that was formed during the Autumn/Winter/Spring of 1969-70 consisted increasingly of people who had not seen things in a Republican perspective before those events. But there was a leadership ready and waiting in the form of people who had been expelled from Goulding's Army for militarism. This new Army, which came to be known as the Provisionals early in 1970, had the object of fighting the State for the ending of Partition. And, unlike Goulding's IRA, it knew what the State was. The State had taken over from its subordinate instrument at Stormont when the British Army was deployed in August.
Goulding's IRA went into rivalry with the Provisionals, after failing to snuff them out at birth. It declared war on Britain within a medium of fantasy ideology and committed a few politically irrelevant atrocities before retiring to become an anti-Republican voice in the Free State Establishment.
Most of Harris's half-centenary article is devoted to mulling over the futile Civil Rights bodies that never got a grip on the Northern Ireland situation because they never faced up to what its 'Constitution' was. The state was always the British state. Northern Ireland was never anything but an undemocratically governed region of the British state but they insisted on seeing it as a kind of Irish state, an institution of the Irish nation: The Ulster Unionist section of the Irish nation had been led into antagonism with the rest of the Irish nation by an unfortunate survival of 17th century Protestant bigotry combined with feudalism—or, alternatively, it was antagonised by the Catholic bigotry that had overcome the majority of the nation. The former view predominated in 1970. It gave way to the latter view in the course of the next generation. The new remedy then was that the Nationalist Ireland that achieved statehood should melt itself down and remake itself on anti-Catholic lines so that the Ulster Unionists would merge with it!
Harris says that Desmond Greaves (who ran the Connolly Association front organisation of the British Communist Party), and Tony Coughlan—
"educated the British Labour Party on the case for civil rights. The result of their patient lobbying was seen when Gerry Fitt… was welcomed to the House of commons by a large cohort of Labour MPs who wanted Stormont reformed, not abolished".
Gerry Fitt was elected as "Republican Labour", and in practice was Republican rather than Labour. His case for reform hinged on the threat that, if there was not reform, the IRA would take over. And his speeches were couched in a form that raised cheers at the prospect of the IRA taking over.
That was in the years when he might have exerted influence on the course of events. After 1969, when events were set on a different course, Fitt became a kind of weird Nationalist Unionist in the House of Lords.
If the Labour Party—as one of the governing parties of the state—had been in earnest about reforming the Northern Ireland system, it would have dropped its rhetorical Anti-Partitionist policy and extended its organisation and electoral activity to the Northern Ireland region of the State. It did not do so. And when James Callaghan, Home Secretary, saw it as the thing that needed to to done, it prevented him.
Political parties seem to need a dimension of radical rhetoric to which they can given heartfelt expression without requiring any action. Ulster Unionism served that purpose for the British Labour Party. It relished denouncing them as Ulster 'Tories'. The fact that the reason there were no Labour MPs from Northern Ireland was because Labour did not contest elections there was never mentioned—and the fact, though obvious in published election returns, seems to have been genuinely not seen. It could even be said that it was actively not seen.
In the Radio Ulster programme on October 5th, it was asked by the Protestant workers voted en masse for a party that never did anything for them. That was the rhetoric of Anti-Partitionism back in 1969. What caused the Protestant working class, the main body of the industrial working class in Ireland, to vote for the Tory/Unionist Party, which never did anything for them?—instead of voting for the Nationalist Party!!
The answer was obvious enough—because the Unionist Party ensured that in the matter of social welfare the Six Counties, though excluded from the democratic parties of the British state, were included within the welfare state.
That issue came to a head in the 1920s. The Unionist Party gave Whitehall an ultimatum—either maintain social welfare in the North on a par with Britain at the expense of the British Exchequer, or Unionism would no longer operate the Northern Ireland system for it, and would revert to Carson's programme of having proper British Government of the Six Counties. Whitehall needed the Northern Ireland system for the manipulation it was practising on Southern Ireland, so it agreed to maintain an integrated social welfare system.
If the economic motivation of either side is to be questioned it is that of Catholic workers voting Nationalist—to leave the welfare state!!
But Catholics who voted Nationalist and Anti-Partitionist ran no risk of winning. They could not vote for the Unionist Party, with the Orange Order at its core, even though it had gained them the British welfare state, so they voted for the Nationalist Party in the certain knowledge that it would not win.
The Civil Rights slogan, Tories Out, North and South! was comprehensively false in its implications. Fianna Fail was not in any sense a Tory party. It was in those days very much the reform party of the Republic. And the Ulster Unionist Party was most certainly not a piece of the Tory party. It was an alliance of all the classes and political creeds of Protestant Ulster and its only object was to keep the Six Counties as much part of the British state as possible.
At Westminster the Ulster Unionists voted with the Tories because the Tories role-played the part of Unionists while the Labour Party role-played United Irelanders. But the reality was made very clear in 1948. Jack Beattie, a Protestant, was elected to Westminster by West Belfast during the War on a policy of taking the Labour Whip. He was refused the Labour Whip, but went into the lobbies with Labour on the welfare state legislation while the Unionist MPs voted against it with the Tories.
Beattie was also a Stormont MP and he looked forward to doing battle there with the Unionist Party. But the Unionist Party at Stormont re-enacted on the nod all the legislation it had opposed at Westminster.
Northern Ireland was governed undemocratically by being disconnected from the party-political system that governed the state, but it was included in the legislative outcome of the party conflict in the democracy of the state.
How did Cathal Goulding plan to democratise this Byzantine Northern Ireland system as the first stage in his three-stage Irish revolution? Perhaps by telling the Protestant workers that the Unionist Party never did anything for them!
And what could "democratisation" mean as applied to a subordinate system in a state? A democracy is a kind of state but Northern Ireland was no more than a dependent region of a state It was undemocratically governed by being excluded from the system of government of the state. The Official Republicans were fanatically opposed to its democratisation in that regard, and threats were freely uttered against those who advocated it.
Some of the local arrangements of the devolved Government were described as undemocratic. The main one was the gerrymander of Derry Corporation so that the Unionist minority gained a majority. This was done because Derry, encouraged by the Free State, refused to function under the Stormont system in the initial period. In the circumstances the choice lay between transferring Derry City—or part of it—to the Free State or rigging the system.
The gerrymander was undone in 1970 and a Commission was installed, leading to a restoration of proportionally representative government.
The very popular slogan, One Man, One Vote, referred to the practice of businessmen having a Business Vote in Local Government as well as a personal vote. It applied to Catholics as well as Protestants, and was an arrangement that had been abolished in Britain a decade or two earlier. It was scarcely noticed when it was abolished in the North in 1970. If Stormont had abolished it when first raised, that would have changed nothing of substance, and would have given no satisfaction to the feeling that lay behind the slogan.
Another popular Civil Rights slogan was British Rights For British Citizens. What lay behind this slogan, and gave it wide appeal, was the feeling that the atmosphere of Northern Ireland politics was abnormal in British terms and that it should be normalised. But the cause of the abnormality did not lie in the Ulster Unionist Party, which governed as best it could in the system that was thrust upon it. The cause lay with the governing parties of the state which boycotted the Northern Ireland region of the state without ever explaining why.
The slogan was double-edged and was therefore not pressed hard. Most of those who used it did not want the North to become a normal part of the British state, and it was therefore problematic for them to specify the British Rights that were withheld.
(In those times Britain knew little about abstract systems of rights, detached from politics, such as existed in Europe. Its de facto rights were the products of political activity, and were upheld by politics rather than by Courts. It had to learn about abstract rights when it gained entrance to the EEC (for the purpose of curbing it), and had to incorporate them in the British legal system under European monitoring. A will to restore the primacy of politics is evident in the Brexit movement.)
Much ingenuity went into the devising of ways of creeping up on Unionism that it wouldn't notice—or oughtn't notice—and getting around it. They all came to nothing because the conditioned reflex of Unionism to see that behind all slogans and demonstrations was a nationalist will to subvert it.
We proposed the only way in which Unionist suspicions might have been lulled, which was to recognise that the Ulster Protestant community, founded in the early 17th century as a distinct colony, had undergone a coherent development of its own, different from that of the other peoples on the island, both native and Anglo-colonial, and that it did not in fact form part of a common national body with the people which had compelled Britain to concede the formation of an Irish state.
This seemed to us to be an undeniable fact of the situation, but it was denied vehemently by Harris and Goulding, as well as by Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Irish Labour and the SDLP. And, when the leader of Official Sinn Fein, Tomás MacGiolla, undertook to demonstrate that Unionist Ulster and Nationalist Ireland had a common national culture, the common elements he listed were elements of British culture.
There were some realists in the Civil Rights movement who saw that the difficulty was that Unionist Ulster did not share any element of national sentiment with Nationalist Ireland, but they stayed silent because they knew that acknowledgement of the "two nations" reality would bring denunciation.
The Unionists were part of a common nationality with the Nationalists but they suffered from the delusion that they weren't—that was the view of the matter that lay behind all the careful formulations of the phase of peaceful scheming in 1968-9. And it was obvious to Unionists that that was the case.
We put it to those who asserted the existence of a common national sentiment that they should discover it and draw it out and thus solve the problem. But we could not see that that was even attempted.
The Unionists were told that they had made a fundamental existential mistake about themselves—that they were not what they thought they were, and that they were what they were certain they were not. Dialogue was not possible on those terms. And since peaceful development required dialogue the alternative came into play.
Harris, after going round the houses, asks in conclusion:
"Could civil rights have been conceded without bloodshed? Probably not: neither side wanted peace enough. The Peoples Democracy got it wrong. The society, not the state was sectarian."
To the very end he must resort to evasion about "the state". Stormont was not the State. The State was Whitehall/Westminster. The State excluded the Six Counties from its political life, and set up a devolved system that could have no political life of its own because all the substantial things that a State does continued to be done by Whitehall. The only real political business for the devolved system was to keep itself within the state by bringing out the Protestant majority at every election.
"The society" was intensely "sectarian" at the moment when it was excluded from the political life of the state. Catholics and Protestants were at war with each other as part of the Anglo-Irish War. The Unionist leader, Edward Carson, said they did not want to have to govern Catholics in a subordinate system, but wanted both to be governed within the British system—which had proved itself to be very effective at overcoming sectarian conflicts. But Whitehall—the State—insisted on putting the Six Counties out of its political life and relinquishing it to the apolitical conflict of local communities. Communal attrition is what has been going on ever since in the 'peaceful' sphere.
The least that must be said for the war effort of the Provisionals is that it was directed at the State, and that the attempt by the Labour Government in 1974-5 to reduce it to a Catholic/Protestant war was warded off.
Dublin Governments all through the War operated under a Constitution which asserted Irish state sovereignty over the Six Counties and held that Northern government under British sovereignty was illegitimate. At the same time they all condemned the IRA for making war on a regime which they were Constitutionally obliged to consider illegitimate. And they never criticised that regime for being grossly undemocratic by its own terms of reference—from which it is reasonable to conclude that they preferred undemocratic government in the North, which kept it unsettled, to democratic government within the British state which might have caused it to settle down.
And they never acknowledged that what went on in the North from 1970 to 1998 was a War. They insisted on treating it as an unaccountable mass outbreak of criminality.
The exception, of course, is Charles Haughey, who said Northern Ireland was not "a viable entity", who indulged in no internal Northern initiative but treated the issue as a matter for the States to sort out, and who helped the Adams leadership of the Provos to make a settlement advantageous to the Nationalist community.
The process of communal attrition continues. It is all that is possible in the Northern Ireland system. The complaint that the Good Friday Agreement has not worked properly, because it has not overcome the communal antagonism, is groundless. It was carefully designed to give structured expression to that antagonism, setting aside the spurious democracy that preceded it.
With regard to the sudden concern of the Dublin Government that the restoration of a customs border by Brexit would revive the War, we can see no ground for it. The removal of the customs border by the joint entry of Britain and Ireland into the EEC had nothing to do with the ending of the War, which continued for a further quarter of a century.
The cause of the War—the conditions under which it was launched and which kept it going—was the spurious democracy in which the Nationalist minority was confined. The conditions on which the War was ended was the recognition that the Six Counties were inhabited by two peoples with conflicting national sentiments, over which a common government operating by majority rule could not be established. The process of attrition between the two communities was formally provided for by the GFA, and therein lies its effectiveness.
Civil Rights: A Retrospective! Editorial
Sinn Féin Presidential Poppycock And Armistice Attacks. Manus O'Riordan
Budget Reflects Ideological Paralysis. Dave Alvey
Readers' Letters: Eddie Spence. Bill McCamley
Minor footnote: Pat Muldowney
Unionist Social Engineering In Northern Ireland. Wilson John Haire
Was The First World War Ireland's War? Donal Kennedy
Es Ahora. Julianne Herlihy: Clair Wills And The Story She Tells (Part 5)
A Blockbuster! Angela Clifford (Review of Eamon Dyas' Blockade The Germans!)
World War Armistice. Eamon Dyas The Allies Refuse To Stop The Killing!
The Russian Revolution. Brendan Clifford (100th Anniversary. Part 11)
October Brexit Summary. Dave Alvey
1916 Volunteer Leslie Price Saluted In Disclosures Tribunal Report. Manus O'Riordan
Biteback: Shelter And 'The First Duty Of 'The Government Of The Republic'. Manus O’Riordan
ESB Best Option To Deliver Rural Broadband Plan. Dr Dónal Palcic, Prof Eoin Reeves (Report)
Does It Stack Up? Michael Stack (Psychogeographic Experience; Urban Planning; Cambridge History of Ireland)
Labour Comment: Sorry for your 'TROUBLES'?