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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

The KGB and Ireland

The KGB and Ireland

British fear Soviet embassy in Dublin, Official IRA declares ceasefire, Ireland joins EEC

(p.107) 4 The KGB and Ireland
'An Alien Ideology'

John Mulqueen


A potential espionage threat to Britain from Dublin-based Soviet agents arose as the establishment of Irish-Soviet relations became a probability. This chapter examines perceptions of the communist-influenced Official republican movement as the Troubles escalated in 1971-2, with officials expressing fears for the stability of the Dublin government – the ‘Irish Cuba’. British and American officials used a Cold War prism here. The Russians could be expected to exploit the northern crisis, the American ambassador warned, using the Official movement as their ‘natural vehicle’. Following Bloody Sunday, when British paratroopers killed thirteen unarmed civilians, the British prime minister, Ted Heath, warned Dublin that the Soviets would cause as much trouble as they could, using the Official IRA as a proxy. The Irish revolutionary left too used a Cold War lens when opposing Ireland’s membership of the European Economic Community (EEC): it would lock Ireland into a NATO-dominated bloc.

Keywords:   espionage, American ambassador, Official republican movement, Bloody Sunday, stability, Ted Heath, revolutionary left, EEC, Joe McCann

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