The Movement Divides: The 1960s

Andrew Sanders

in Inside the IRA

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641123
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652907 | DOI:
The Movement Divides: The 1960s

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Beginning in the decade in the midst of the ultimately futile Border Campaign, the Irish republican movement found itself irrevocably divided before the 1960s ended. The pragmatic and the principled of republicanism diverged as a new direction was imposed on the movement by the leadership. Externally, the 1960s was marked by the rise of the protest movement, and the establishment of a Northern Irish civil rights movement mirrored international developments. Also important, and certainly more sinister, was the rise of loyalist violence as a series of key anniversaries over the early years of the decade heightened inter-communal tension. Politically, the republican movement found itself on the outside looking in, as it was unable to capitalise on political successes enjoyed in the previous decade. A series of strategic misjudgements proved very costly as the movement was led further away from armed struggle just as the need to defend the northern nationalist communities arose.

Keywords: Border Campaign; IRA split; republicanism; protest movement; Northern Ireland; civil rights movement; loyalist violence

Chapter.  11193 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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