By Brian M. Walker (auth.)
This ground-breaking political background of the 2 Irish States presents particular new insights into the 'Troubles' and the peace method. It examines the impression of the fraught dynamics among the competing identities of the Nationalist-Catholic-Irish neighborhood at the one hand and the Unionist-Protestant-British neighborhood at the other.
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Extra info for A Political History of the Two Irelands: From Partition to Peace
In spite of their majority position, many unionists continued to see nationalists as a real threat. In January 1930 the annual report of the Ulster Unionist Council declared how ‘their political opponents were still striving hard to merge the whole of Ulster in the Irish Free State. Mr Joseph Devlin and other leading nationalists had frequently declared that that was their goal. 114 Such unionist concerns explain partly their lack of generosity to their nationalist opponents. A renewed IRA alarmed many unionists.
At the elections to the Northern Ireland parliament in 1945, labour candidates had won 113,413 votes and four seats. On 21 January 1949 Sir Basil Brooke, the northern prime minister, called a fresh general election. In his manifesto, he attacked Costello’s decision to declare a republic: ‘we have now on our southern border a foreign nation ... 207 An Irish Times reporter on 29 January 1949 warned that this southern move was probably ‘worth 60,000 votes to unionists’ and quoted an anonymous northern nationalist who stated: ‘Those fellows in Dublin are playing party politics, and that is not going to help us’.
191 It was agreed to establish a new anti-partition body to be known as the Mansion House Committee and to raise funds to help these candidates with a country-wide collection outside churches on the following Sunday. This intervention proved unsuccessful and the Mansion House Committee and Irish government then organised a propaganda campaign in Britain and America against partition, which lasted some years. This campaign also proved unsuccessful, although it served to raise both unrealistic expectations among northern nationalists and undue fears among northern unionists.