A Secret History of the IRA by Ed Moloney; Armed Struggle: The Story of the IRA by Richard English - review by Patrick West

Patrick West

Trouble and Strife

A Secret History of the IRA

By

Allen Lane The Penguin Press 600pp £20 order from our bookshop

Armed Struggle: The Story of the IRA

By

Macmillan 472pp £20 order from our bookshop
 

To THE MINDS of Irish Republican purists, theirs is a cause condemned to fissure through appeasement: the Irish struggle will always be compromised by erstwhile freedom fighters who end up choosing the path of constitutionalism - from Michael Cohns to Eamon de Valera, Cathal Goulding and now Gerry Adams. While each considered his predecessor an apostate, the man who had 'sold out', all in turn were seduced and sedated by the British into mainstream politics.

As Ed Moloney's A Secret History of the IRA explains, Gerry Adams's detractors in the Republican movement do have a valid point in this respect. When the Provisionals split from the Officials in 1969, they did so because Goulding's Official movement was being drawn into pacifism and constitutionalism. The Provos

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