Chapter

Blood Sacrifice and Destiny: Republican Metaphysics and the IRA's Armed Struggle

Timothy Shanahan

in The Provisional Irish Republican Army and the Morality of Terrorism

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748635290
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652884 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635290.003.0002
Blood Sacrifice and Destiny: Republican Metaphysics and the IRA's Armed Struggle

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This chapter examines the aspects of the traditional republican world view. The Provisional IRA's armed struggle was embedded in, and drew moral confidence from, an ideology according to which that struggle was absolutely necessary; blood sacrifice and martyrdom were ennobling, spiritually efficacious acts; and ultimate victory was assured. Despite the historical centrality of a belief in the efficacy of blood sacrifice and martyrdom, such acts were neither as obviously efficacious nor nearly as common as traditional republican ideology would suggest. Throughout the evolution of the republican movement, however, one thing has remained constant: an unwavering belief in the inalienable right of the Irish people to an independent, united Ireland, free from British control.

Keywords: Provisional IRA; armed struggle; blood sacrifice; martyrdom; independent Ireland; British control; republican movement

Chapter.  10418 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: UK Politics

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