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The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict$
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Stephen Hopkins

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319426

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319426.001.0001

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Departing the Republican Movement

Departing the Republican Movement

Memoir-Writing and the Politics of Dissent

(p.41) Chapter 3 Departing the Republican Movement
The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict

Stephen Hopkins

Liverpool University Press

Some Provisional Republicans increasingly challenged both the contemporary trajectory of the movement, as defined by its tight-knit leadership group, and also the historical narrative of the conflict promoted by Adams. This chapter investigates the memoir-writing of dissenting Provisionals, many of whom decided to leave the movement, and either join competing ‘dissident’ groups, or act as independent Republicans. Such memoirs may be motivated primarily by an essentialist critique of the Provisionals, accused of abandoning Republican principles, or by an explicit ideological rejection of the mainstream movement. But they may also entail a disavowal of Republicanism, or a decision to act as an informer/agent against the movement. This chapter considers key figures such as Eamon Collins, Sean O’Callaghan and Richard O’Rawe.

Keywords:   Dissidents/dissenters, Motivations for dissent, Ideological rejection, Informers/agents, Eamon Collins, Sean O’Callaghan, Richard O’Rawe

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