By Brian M. Walker (auth.)
This ground-breaking political heritage of the 2 Irish States offers particular new insights into the 'Troubles' and the peace procedure. It examines the influence of the fraught dynamics among the competing identities of the Nationalist-Catholic-Irish group at the one hand and the Unionist-Protestant-British group at the other.
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Additional info for A Political History of the Two Irelands: From Partition to Peace
In the Northern Ireland House of Commons in 1932, independent unionist Thomas Henderson expressed resentment at what he saw as efforts to exploit the Union Jack as a symbol by the unionist party: ‘You never go to any ceremony where there is one of the right hon. gentlemen opposite where you do not see the Union Jack spread on the table, and before they finish their speeches they refer to the glorious flag, the Union Jack … You have always taken advantage of it, and you are responsible for making political capital out of it’.
Whereas the southern government 20 The Two Irelands sought to weaken links between the new state and Britain, the northern government endeavoured to strengthen its connections. After 1921, however, the relationship between unionists and the British government remained problematic. Although the Government of Ireland Act had established Northern Ireland, it left Westminster with complete discretion for future arrangements and the unionist government remained concerned about this relationship. In addition, over the following decades, the unionist government saw itself facing important opposition not only from nationalists, within and outside Northern Ireland, but also from various independent unionist and labour groups.
On 22 June 1936 the Irish Independent declared that ‘Bodenstown was an armed camp’, as some 1000 troops and 500 gardai arrived to stop any republican parade. In subsequent years, and after the war, the event would be marked by a brief official ceremony and also by a small number of republicans. At Bodenstown, in June 1924, the premier, William Cosgrave, spoke of Tone as the apostle of ‘democratic freedom’ who devoted himself Majority identities, 1921–60 19 to ‘the cause of Irish freedom’. He then quoted Tone’s famous phrase, ‘we are to unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past divisions, and to substitute the common name of Irishmen for that of the denominational Protestant, Catholic or Dissenter’.