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Tartan Gangs and ParamilitariesThe Loyalist Backlash$
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Gareth Mulvenna

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781383261

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781383261.001.0001

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date: 18 January 2019

Drills, Fights and Defence

Drills, Fights and Defence

(p.14) 1 Drills, Fights and Defence
Tartan Gangs and Paramilitaries

Gareth Mulvenna

Liverpool University Press

Chapter One examines the forebears of the Tartan gangs in Belfast throughout the Twentieth-Century, demonstrating that youth sectarian conflict had a strong lineage in the city. The chapter also examines the role of the Boys’ Brigade as a restraining influence on young men during this period, and the strong focus which was placed on a culture of militarism in Protestant working-class communities through involvement with church-led organisations and political enterprises such as the Young Citizen Volunteers during the period of the Irish Home Rule Crises. The chapter also demonstrates how memory and ‘ethno-memory’ are crucial facets in understanding the manner in which the Protestant working-class would respond in defending their communities at the beginning of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’.

Keywords:   Gangs, Popular culture, Home Rule, Young Citizen Volunteers, Boys’ Brigade, Protestant churches

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