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John Hume and the Revision of Irish Nationalism$
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P. J. McLoughlin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079566

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079566.001.0001

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(p.213) Conclusions
John Hume and the Revision of Irish Nationalism

P. J. McLoughlin

Manchester University Press

John Hume was not the sole originator of the ideas that redefined Irish nationalism; he was both a propagator and broker of revisionist nationalism. The New Ireland Forum created an essential ideological consensus among constitutional nationalists, a consensus that Hume played a major part in shaping. The Ulster Workers' Council strike may have acted as a wake-up call to the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). Rather than talks between the SDLP and unionists, the Anglo-Irish Agreement first produced an intra-nationalist dialogue. Hume's agreed Ireland was an attempt to convey his conviction that Irish unity was only feasible, and indeed only meaningful, if it had the allegiance of both traditions in Ireland. The SDLP's increasing predetermination towards Irish unity only made it less likely that the party would win any significant Protestant support. Austin Currie suggests that Hume's greatest asset was his political vision.

Keywords:   John Hume, Irish nationalism, revisionist nationalism, New Ireland Forum, Ulster Workers' Council, SDLP, Anglo-Irish Agreement, Irish unity, Austin Currie

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