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'An Alien Ideology'Cold War Perceptions of the Irish Republican Left$
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John Mulqueen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620641

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620641.001.0001

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A ‘Near-Communist’ Movement

A ‘Near-Communist’ Movement

IRA splits into Official and Provisional wings, British see ‘Soviet meddling’ in Ireland

(p.75) 3 A ‘Near-Communist’ Movement
'An Alien Ideology'

John Mulqueen


The third chapter examines perceptions of the Irish revolutionary left following the outbreak of what became known as the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Unrest in Northern Ireland raised the question of Irish revolutionaries again seeking Kremlin assistance, as KGB ‘special actions’ through proxy organisations had been a tool of Soviet foreign policy. London, at times, had a Cold War understanding in relation to developments in Ireland. And so did the US embassy in Dublin, because White House fears in relation to any threat posed by communism were fuelled by widespread opposition in the West to America’s war in Vietnam. This chapter looks at the geo-political dimension to the northern crisis as it was raised at the United Nations (UN) and the Soviets began to take a greater interest in developments in Ireland. Sectarian violence in Northern Ireland led to a split in the republican movement and the emergence of the leftist Official IRA.

Keywords:   Kremlin, KGB, proxy organisations, Washington, geo-political, UN, Official IRA, Vietnam war

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