Republican Revival: August 1969–August 1970
The events of August 1969 which brought Republicans to prominence in Defence Committees in Derry and Belfast convinced many of these Republicans that the IRA should be re-armed and re-activated. In Belfast, where Catholic areas had been attacked by loyalist crowds, there was a perceived need for defence against future attacks. In Derry, where there had been a mass communal rebellion against the state, August was seen as opening a window of opportunity. Now that there was mass hostility to the state, there seemed to be an historic opportunity to topple the state and re-unite Ireland, relatively quickly. For both of these reasons, many Republicans now began to look for arms and the money to buy arms. They also became concerned to train people in their use and to recruit from the large section of the Catholic community which had been radicalised by the events. Many of these Republicans were dissatisfied with the response of the Dublin leadership to the crisis, particularly with its failure to provide weapons or to seize the opportunity to act as ‘defenders’ of the Catholic areas. They began to look for arms independently of the national leadership.
KeywordsIndependent Organisation Irish Government Nationalist Party Republican Movement British Army
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