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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 security problem

The security problem

(p.40) 2 The security problem
Template for peace

Shaun McDaid

Manchester University Press

This chapter analyses British security policy in Northern Ireland between 1972 and 1974. It illustrates the changing nature of the threat which republican paramilitaries posed to the security forces. Following ‘Operation Motorman’, which re-re-established a security force presence in some urban areas of Belfast and Derry, Provisional IRA attacks declined in urban centres, but there was a sharp rise in cross-border attacks on rural security installations. Cross-border security co-operation was thus vital to improving the chances of success for any political settlement. The chapter demonstrates that the replacement of the outgoing Fianna Fáil government by a Fine Gael/Labour coalition in the Republic of Ireland in 1973 resulted in a significant improvement in cross-border security and intelligence co-operation. In Northern Ireland, the unionist leader, Brian Faulkner, overestimated the importance of security reforms to the nationalist SDLP. The latter's central focus was on achieving a strong Council of Ireland.

Keywords:   Cross-border co-operation, Provisional IRA, Fine Gael/Labour government, Ulster Defence Association, Ulster Volunteer Force, British Army, Operation Motorman

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