McCann on the IRA: summary

Eammon McCann seems to have been around since the troubles first kicked off for real back in 1968.

He has finally produced what is probably the best review so far what is probably the most celebrated books on Northern Ireland of recent times, The Secret History of the IRA. IN fact this is more than a review, it is an essay by an acute observer who is intimate with the many intricate and subtle theologies of the Irish Republican movement.

He begins by putting the character of Adams centre stage. But then he considers the historical break with the 1916 tradition, suggesting that the Northern organisation had been founded in Nationalist defence, rather than classic Republicanism.

But his most contenious claim, he leaves till last – the movement now sits more right than left in character and its policies.

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