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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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The outbreak of war, 1939–40

The outbreak of war, 1939–40

(p.31) 2 The outbreak of war, 1939–40
The politics of constitutional nationalism in Northern Ireland, 1932-1970

Christopher Norton

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the ways in which the War and the re-emergence of IRA violence impacted on the strategic calculations of constitutional nationalists. With a faltering political strategy in the North an array of constitutional nationalist political groups increasingly came to prioritise the Dublin government’s role in resolving the partition question. This chapter shows how increased frustrations with Dublin’s perceived failure in this matter led some Nationalist representatives to contemplate reunification in a Nazi-occupied Ireland. The chapter also assesses the involvement of nationalist representatives, and the Catholic Church, in a campaign to support the families of IRA internees and prisoners. It argues that while the purpose of the campaign was entirely humanitarian its effect was to arouse Unionist suspicions and to align the nationalist representatives with some of de Valera’s most bitter critics in the South.

Keywords:   Internment, IRA, Nazi, prisoners, War

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