The re-interment of Paddy McGrath in 1948 – notes from Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

In December 2017, the National Graves Association launched a campaign to reinter the remains of the National Invincibles, currently buried in Kilmainham Gaol and give them a dignified burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. Since the formation of the Irish Freestate, re-interments of Irish republicans were nothing unusual.
While the re-interment of Roger Casement is widely known, there were more occasions of Irish nationalists being re-interned throughout the 20th century. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 19:16 @ History, Ireland, Irish Republicanism | Add a comment


Workshop report: Stories of Lives, Lives of Stories

Walter Benjamin reminds us that “history is made up of fragments and absences. What is left out is as significant as what is included”. According to Grant McCracken, life stories are accounts given by an individual about his/her life; they become life stories when they are validated by other sources.[1] Hence, other than in personal documents, the object is the individual whose history we reconstruct. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 07:50 @ History | Add a comment


Book review: Irish Republican media activism

How to inform supporters and the public about its political ideology is a regular point of discussion for all political organisations; even more so for radical organisations who cannot rely on the mainstream media for spreading their message. This is particularly true for Irish Republican organisations that developed a critical analysis of the peace process.
While an increasing number of organisations opposed to the current settlement have emerged in the past 20 years, in recent years, none of them was able to provide a lasting platform for political debate. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 14:18 @ History, Irish Republicanism | Add a comment


Oral History In Post-Conflict Societies: Experiences From Researching The Northern Ireland Troubles

The past five or so years were rather difficult for those conducting interviews in Ireland. Nonetheless, interviews remain an essential source for those of us researching political violence and the Northern Irish Troubles. Since the debacle of the Belfast Oral History Project at Boston College (BC), narrators greet oral historians in the best case with increasing suspicion, in the worst case with open hostility. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 10:59 @ History, Interviews, Irish Republicanism, Northern Ireland | Add a comment


Oral history and the Troubles: The importance of trust and the role of the interviewer

As several of the blog posts of Writing the Troubles illustrate, oral history is a particularly controversial subject in Northern Ireland. The past years have been a difficult time for researchers looking to use interviews with former paramilitaries and those advocating political violence, particularly since the “Boston College (BC) Oral History Project” debacle. Nonetheless, oral history not only provides a useful avenue into understanding political violence but talking to (former) activists often remains the only source available to researchers.
Since the controversy over the BC project, potential interview partners are increasingly suspicious. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 15:10 @ History, Interviews | Add a comment


State Papers, Sinn Féin & Federalism

The last days of December traditionally bring the release of state papers after the 30-year embargo. Accordingly, the last couple of days saw the release of hundreds of previously secret government files dating from 1988 in Dublin and Belfast. Among the more interesting stories circulating in the Irish media is a meeting between Provisional Republicans and representatives of the Loyalist UVF. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 12:48 @ History, Ireland, Irish Republicanism, Northern Ireland | Add a comment


Why ex-IRA bomber is wrong to take a uniform approach to PoW status

abeltel.jpgFormer Provisional Shane Paul O’Doherty argued in this newspaper last week that republican inmates didn’t qualify as prisoners of war. Here, historian Dieter Reinisch says O’Doherty’s view is at odds with British Government policy throughout the 20th century.
In an article published in this newspaper on January 5, Shane Paul O’Doherty argued that “captured (IRA) combatants could never qualify as prisoners of war” because they “did not conduct military operations according to the laws and customs of war”.
He then goes on and uses an appeal by republicans to the European Court of Human Rights as evidence that the “entire republican movement - political and militant - was effectively recognising the jurisdiction of the international humanitarian laws and associated Geneva Conventions”. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 19:28 @ History, Northern Ireland, Prisons | 1 comment

Dreaming of an “Irish Tet Offensive”: Irish Republican prisoners & the origins of the Peace Process

aira-meeui.jpgJanuary 30 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the launch of the “Tet offensive” in 1968 by North Vietnam forces and the National Liberation Front against the South Vietnam Army and the US military presence.
The offensive not only facilitated the changing public opinion in the USA on the Vietnam War and heralded revolutionary unrest throughout the world in 1968, twenty years later, the idea of a Tet-like offensive resurfaced in Ireland.
This piece will argue, however, that rather than a credible scenario, it was a wide-spread myth among the Irish Republican prisoners’ population that facilitated the departure of the IRA from Armalite to the ballot box.
In the 1980s, the Provisional IRA planned for a ‘Tet offensive’ that would radically escalate the conflict in Northern Ireland to force a British withdrawal. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 19:16 @ History, Irish Republicanism | Add a comment

A German view on James Connolly

aconnolly.jpgIn the past three or so years, hundreds of books on almost all aspects of the 1916 rising have been published. It is hard to keep track of the wide range of topics and qualities. I doubt that anyone can read all those books. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 19:09 @ History, Irish Republicanism | Add a comment

So how many Cumainn na mBan are actually out there?

I recently stumbled over following sentence on a widely read Irish blog: “Cumann na mBan (CnamB) has been subject to several splits down through the years.” This comment was made in response to claims that Cumann na mBan “never split.” This is an assumption I also regularly repeat in my own writings on the organisation. The sentence that Cumann na mBan had “several splits down through the years” suggests that various organisations have emerged from the Cumann na mBan tradition. This raises the question: How many Cumainn na mBan are actually out there?
Cumann na mBan is an Irish Republican women’s organisation founded in April 1914 in response to the all-male Irish Volunteers. [Mehr lesen…]

dieterreinisch - 18:50 @ History, Ireland, Irish Republicanism | Add a comment