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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

‘Civil rights, unrest, death’ (1960s)

‘Civil rights, unrest, death’ (1960s)

(p.33) 2 ‘Civil rights, unrest, death’ (1960s)
Tartan Gangs and Paramilitaries

Gareth Mulvenna

Liverpool University Press

Chapter Two introduces the interviewees, all of whom were born in the early to mid-1950s. In this regard the 1960s, a dramatic period of time both globally and in Northern Ireland, are pivotal in providing a sense of what life was like for those working-class Protestant boys and teenagers who would a short time later engage in violent activities with Tartan gangs and loyalist paramilitaries. The chapter situates the autobiographical recollections of this period in domestic life, the Orange Order, education, the emergence of the UVF, the mythologising of Gusty Spence and the civil rights campaign. Ultimately, it seeks to demonstrate that the context of growing up as a working-class Protestant in Belfast amidst such uncertainty and growing violence shaped young men’s perceptions of the Catholic, nationalist and republican community as well as their own way of life as members of the wider British working class.

Keywords:   Orange Order, Ulster Volunteer Force, Gusty Spence, Civil rights, Education

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