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Template for peaceNorthern Ireland, 1972-75$
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Shaun McDaid

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086960

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086960.001.0001

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The UWC strike and its aftermath

The UWC strike and its aftermath

(p.126) 5 The UWC strike and its aftermath
Template for peace

Shaun McDaid

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the events surrounding the UWC strike in May 1974. Scholars remain divided about whether-or-not the strike could have been defeated by the British government. This chapter argues that the British government could not have successfully broken the strike. The UWC controlled electricity generating stations, and the available evidence suggests the Army lacked the ability to generate enough power for essential services. Plans to bring British engineers to Northern Ireland to distribute power were considered, but the Executive collapsed before this could be attempted. The chapter examines Harold Wilson's infamous ‘Doomsday’ proposals - secret documents which considered giving Northern Ireland dominion status, and British disengagement from the region. However, the document was never more than a contingency plan, and its significance should not be overstated.

Keywords:   Ulster Workers' Council, Harold Wilson, British withdrawal, Doomsday document

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