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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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After the ceasefire

After the ceasefire

(p.118) 6 After the ceasefire
No Solution

S.C. Aveyard

Manchester University Press

In this chapter the Labour government’s focus turned to long-term plans for constitutional and security policy. The period up to March 1976 marked a phase in which the great uncertainties that had dominated since the collapse of Sunningdale were replaced with clearer plans for the future. Some Labour ministers sought to discuss radical changes to Northern Ireland’s relationship with Great Britain. Rees was dismissive and, after the Convention concluded, these debates ended with the affirmation of indefinite direct rule. Sectarian violence led Wilson to announce the deployment of the Special Air Service (SAS) to County Armagh but longer-term plans were also made more publicly clear. Rees’s commitment to what became known as criminalisation was announced with the ending of detention without trial, a declaration that special category status for prisoners would be phased out and an emphasis on operating through the court system.

Keywords:   Constitutional policy, SAS, Criminalisation, Detention without trial, Special category status

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