Fianna Fáil, Irish Republicanism and the Northern Ireland Troubles, 1968-2005

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Irish Academic Press, 2007 - History - 242 pages
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Fianna Fáil, the Republican Party, has been defined by its emphasis on partition and its ideological commitment to reunification. Through its use of anti-partitionist rhetoric, it has been the most vociferous political party in the Republic of Ireland on Northern Ireland. Its emotive and divisive response to the outbreak of the Troubles in Northern Ireland was seen most clearly in the Arms Crisis of 1970 which threatened to destroy the party and the stability of the state in the Republic. However, the party has also been at the centre of the Northern Ireland peace process, and the attempts at reconciliation between Unionists and Nationalists and North and South. Yet there has been no substantive study of Fianna Fáil's language, ideology, and policy on Northern Ireland since the outbreak of the Troubles. How could 'The Republican Party' be such a central player in the political changes in Northern Ireland? Has Fianna Fáil changed its traditional republicanism and anti-partitionism? This fascinating and important new book provides an examination of Fianna Fáil's record on Northern Ireland since 1968. It outlines the party's response to the Troubles and its guiding principles in the search for the solution. Catherine O'Donnell argues that the relationship between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin is central to understanding Fianna Fáil's role in the peace process, which began with the Fianna Fáil-Sinn Féin talks in 1988. She investigates the implications of the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement for Fianna Fáil's ideology and policy on Northern Ireland and highlights the continued centrality of the relationship between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin to the peace process and politics in the Republic of Ireland. As Sinn Féin make further electoral gains in the Republic of Ireland, this book will be essential reading for anyone wishing to understand how Republicanism is a contested electoral resource within southern politics.

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About the author (2007)

Catherine is Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Humanities Institute of Ireland, University College, Dublin.

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