Chapter

The year 1966 and the revival of the IRA ‘threat’

Matt Treacy

in The IRA 1956-69

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780719084720
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700068 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719084720.003.0005
The year 1966 and the revival of the IRA ‘threat’

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The Dáil passed the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on January 7, 1966 by 66 votes to 19. The Labour Party opposed the measure and Fine Gael abstained. The Wolfe Tone Society congratulated the Labour Party which it said had ‘returned to the position of its founder, James Connolly’, but An Phoblacht regarded the lobby as part of the process of conditioning republicans to accept participation in constitutional politics. Mac Giolla said that the Dáil opposition could not respond to Seán Lemass's taunt that they had no alternative because the only alternative to closer integration with Britain was ‘to break the connection completely’. The Irish Democrat was fulsome in its praise of republican opposition to the FTA, although it gave pride of place to the Irish Workers Party, and depicted Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Army as ‘fighting on many fronts’. The commemoration of the Easter Rising of 1916 provided the republican movement with an opportunity to stake its claim to be the true inheritor of the mantle of the revolutionaries.

Keywords: Dáil; Anglo-Irish Free Trade Agreement; Labour Party; Wolfe Tone Society; politics; Irish Workers Party; Sinn Féin; Irish Republican Army; Easter Rising of 1916; republican movement

Chapter.  15488 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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