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The IRA 1956-69Rethinking the Republic$
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Matt Treacy

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719084720

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719084720.001.0001

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The 1956–62 armed campaign and the reorganisation of the IRA

The 1956–62 armed campaign and the reorganisation of the IRA

(p.9) 1 The 1956–62 armed campaign and the reorganisation of the IRA
The IRA 1956-69

Matt Treacy

Manchester University Press

The Irish Republican Army's (IRA) ‘border campaign’ of 1956–1962 occupies a peculiar place in the history of Irish republicanism. For republicans during the period, it was important in terms of assessing both why the campaign had failed and more importantly what lessons could be drawn from it in order to make the IRA more effective militarily or indeed to move away from militarism and towards popular revolutionary struggle. The tensions which that brought about eventually led to the split in 1969 and 1970. Operation Harvest had begun on December 11, 1956, with thirteen attacks on targets within Northern Ireland. British military Intelligence, well briefed by Garda Special Branch Chief Superintendent Philip McMahon, had been confident that there was little likelihood of IRA actions in Britain. Sinn Féin won four seats and took 5.5 per cent of the votes in the 1957 general election. This chapter focuses on the IRA's 1956–62 armed campaign and the reorganisation of the IRA.

Keywords:   Irish Republican Army, border campaign, republicanism, Northern Ireland, Britain, Operation Harvest, Philip McMahon, election, Sinn Féin, reorganisation

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