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The politics of constitutional nationalism in Northern Ireland, 1932-1970Between grievance and reconciliation$
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Christopher Norton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719059032

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719059032.001.0001

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Deteriorating relations with Dublin, 1950–55

Deteriorating relations with Dublin, 1950–55

(p.96) 5 Deteriorating relations with Dublin, 1950–55
The politics of constitutional nationalism in Northern Ireland, 1932-1970

Christopher Norton

Manchester University Press

This chapter details the deepening strain in relations between the Dublin government and IALP. Growing frustration felt by the Irish governments Department of External Affairs over the conduct and campaigns of the IALP are dealt with at some length. Dublin’s exasperation with nationalist factionalism in the North is shown to have been mirrored by the northern nationalist’s deep distrust of Dublin. The chapter also reveals the disparity between the IALPs demand that its parliamentary representatives be given the right to take seats in the Dáil and the Irish governments concerns to keep the IALP at a distance. The chapter discusses the failed attempts to resolve northern nationalist divisions through the formation of a Unity Conference and the debilitating consequences resulting from continued tensions between the abstentionist and anti-abstentionist currents within constitutional nationalism. The faltering parliamentary strategy of the IAPL is shown to have led some senior figures to contemplate a campaign of obstruction and civil disobedience. More ominously, the chapter argues, a demoralised IAPL was now challenged by Sinn Féin’s decision to compete for the Catholic vote at the next Westminster general election.

Keywords:   civil disobedience, Dáil, Department of External Affairs, factionalism, IRA, Sinn Féin, Unity Conference

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