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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’

(p.139) 5 Left-Wing Republicans Align with Moscow
'An Alien Ideology'

John Mulqueen


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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