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No SolutionThe Labour Government and the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1974-79$
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S.C. Aveyard

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096402

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096402.001.0001

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Fraying at the edges: the Provisional IRA ceasefire

Fraying at the edges: the Provisional IRA ceasefire

Chapter:
(p.84) 5 Fraying at the edges: the Provisional IRA ceasefire
Source:
No Solution
Author(s):

S.C. Aveyard

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719096402.003.0006

This chapter considers Labour policy in Northern Ireland during the Provisional IRA ceasefire. In the dialogue facilitated by Brendan Duddy the British representatives made a number of statements to the effect that the government was willing to withdraw from Northern Ireland. The analysis presented here is that these remarks were made in order to drag the ceasefire out and that it did not amount to the bilateral arrangement they had hoped for. Rees is shown here to be firm on what was expected of the ceasefire. Publicly, he was placed in the difficult position of being unable to make clear, definitive statements without endangering the ceasefire. Privately, he insisted there could be no negotiation with republicans and that the benefit of the ceasefire was that it enabled the Labour government to remove detention without trial and pursue a new policy of criminalisation. In the autumn it became apparent to the Provisionals that they were being strung along and the ceasefire collapsed.

Keywords:   Provisional IRA, Ceasefire, Withdrawal, Negotiation, Criminalisation

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