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Transatlantic defianceThe militant Irish republican movement in America, 1923-45$
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Wilk Gavin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719091667

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719091667.001.0001

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Creating a new identity, 1931–5

Creating a new identity, 1931–5

(p.81) 5 Creating a new identity, 1931–5
Transatlantic defiance

Gavin Wilk

Manchester University Press

The Public Safety Act issued by the Irish Free State government in 1931 officially outlawed the Irish Republican Army. The measures, which included the imprisonment of suspected IRA members, greatly hindered any militant activism in Ireland. However in the US, this act precipitated a mobilisation of publicity not seen since the early 1920s. Leading the American efforts was the Clan na Gael and at the forefront were those IRA veterans in the organisation. Although the victory of Éamon de Valera and Fianna Fáil in the 1932 Irish general election brought hope to all militant republicans that the IRA would have a place in the new government, this initial optimism proved fleeting. As the IRA began to once again face certain restrictions in Ireland, the Clan began to devise a plan for an IRA bombing campaign in England. It was hoped that republican acts of sabotage would compel the British government to relinquish Northern Ireland and end the Irish partition. This chapter examines how events in Ireland shaped Clan policy and activism during the early 1930s. It provides the reasons behind the emerging Clan physical-force policy and describes how the Clan began to play a dominant role in its relationship with the IRA.

Keywords:   Fianna Fail, Clan na Gael, Public Safety Act, Irish partition, Irish Republican Army, Physical-force, devise, plan, England, Dominant

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