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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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Left-Wing Republicans Align with Moscow

Left-Wing Republicans Align with Moscow

Official movement begins relationship with Soviet embassy, denounces republican rivals as ‘ultra-leftist’ and ‘fascist’

Chapter:
(p.139) 5 Left-Wing Republicans Align with Moscow
Source:
'An Alien Ideology'
Author(s):

John Mulqueen

Publisher:
Discontinued
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789620641.003.0006

In 1974 the Russian embassy opened in Dublin and the Irish foreign minister visited the Soviet Union in 1976. The American ambassador to Ireland used a Cold War prism when he expressed concerns that the Soviets in Dublin might pose an espionage threat to NATO. This chapter focuses on the increasingly pro-Soviet Official republican movement and its relationship with the Russian embassy in Dublin. Northern Ireland’s Troubles in the mid-1970s constituted the most pressing security issue for those concerned with Irish affairs, and inter-republican violence, involving the Official IRA, contributed to the crisis. The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) perceived the left-wing republican movement as being linked with Moscow-backed ‘terrorist organisations’ worldwide. The northern secretary, Merlyn Rees, described the increasingly peripheral Official movement as posing the most serious subversive threat because it had a ‘coherent philosophy’, unlike the Provisional IRA.

Keywords:   Soviet embassy, inter-republican feuding, NIO, Merlyn Rees, ‘terrorist organisations’, Provisional IRA

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