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Ireland, Africa and the end of empireSmall state identity in the Cold War 1955 - 75$
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Kevin O'Sullivan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086021

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086021.001.0001

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On the side of the angels

On the side of the angels

The birth of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement

(p.61) 3 On the side of the angels
Ireland, Africa and the end of empire

Kevin O’Sullivan

Manchester University Press

This chapter, along with chapters six and seven, explores the emergence and consolidation of co-ordinated international opposition to apartheid and minority rule in southern Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. It begins by describing an important shift in Irish rhetoric: from the anti-British, pro-Boer nationalism of the early twentieth century to the anti-colonial, pro-African discourse employed at the UN and beyond. In diplomatic terms that approach was an obvious extension of ‘fire brigade’ support for decolonisation. Yet the emergence of a strong anti-apartheid movement across northern Europe and North America in the 1960s changed the playing field completely. The second half of this chapter paints an image of that emerging coalition, viewing the creation of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1964 as part of an international campaign to match local reaction with transnational action.

Keywords:   Anti-apartheid movement, Ireland, Rhodesia, South Africa, South West Africa, Transnational activism

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