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Left Archive: Northern Ireland Report, No. 15, November 1993 January 25, 2021

Posted by leftarchivist in Uncategorized.
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Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This edition of Northern Ireland Report, numbered 15 and published in November 1993 joins others in the Archive. Under the headline ‘British and Irish Cowardice’ it argues that:

In Northern Ireland, this fall was nothing less than extraodinary with both the possibilities of peace and the horrors of war being clearly evident. As such, the North was rediscovered by the world’s media, who emphasize the most recent acts of ”savagery” and ”carnage” over the development of a serious peace initiative. Lost in these reports was the fact that peace and justice in Northern lreland can be considered only within a context the acknowledges and reinforces Britain’s border.

It suggests that the Hume/Adam initiative ‘remains a mystery as they refuse to divulge any details’. It notes the increase in loyalist attacks against nationalists and ‘a stupid and irresponsible action’ by the IRA which resulted in the Shankill Road bombing ‘killing 9 innocent people and wounding many more in premature explosion’.

And:

Finally, and most important, as people were still being buried in the North, John Major announced that the Tory government supported a six point peace plan offered by Irish Republic Prime Minister Albert Reynolds and Foreign Affairs Minister Dick Spring. This peace plan, which hints at the possibility of unity, stresses majority consent, offers to a111end the South’s constitutional claim on the North and demands the cessation of all violence before negotiation tion. In short, after rejecting Hun1e/ Adams, the British and Irish goverriments offered nothing new to the tired and embittered people of the North.

It concludes:

This flat out rejection of Hume/Adams (whatever its merits, and it had to have some given the political risks involved for both Hume and Adams) by the London and Dublin governments sent Northern nationalists a clear message: peace and justice in the North is only possible within British framework. Who are the extremists in the Irish war? History will no a doubt show that they wear business suits as often as they wear masks.

Other pieces examine ‘The Siege at Tigers Bay’, The Constitutional Debate and the Opsahl Commission as well as an interview with political prisoner Pol Brennan.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Comments»

1. Mat - January 25, 2021

What was the background / political position of the editorial group? It’s very difficult to work it out? Seems like the Alliance Party but maybe a bit more leftish?

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WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2021

They were an eclectic bunch but maybe not that eclectic…though I know what you mean re the tone being a bit tricky to pin down.

“Northern Ireland Report was published by an ad hoc group of individuals in the United States who, while close to Sinn Féin, were critical of it, and particularly so during the developing Peace Process. Their position would have been strongly left of centre. One aspect of their goal was to produce a publication which was different from the more conservative leaning publications issued in the US which were sympathetic to Irish republicanism.

The magazine ran for 25 issues, finally ending publication in May 1996.”

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2. John O'Connor - January 25, 2021

Hi all — I was part of the group that put out this newsletter. The content was an attempt to move beyond the apolitical Noraid cheerleading in the early 1990s. We decided to do it after attending a peace conference put on by Padraig O’Malley at the Kennedy Library in Boston. DUP, OUP, and the SDLP were there, with no republicans. Politically, we were all young and naive, and I can’t see beyond the typos. It was too focused on the provos, but I think we did a number of interesting interviews (McCann, O Bradaigh, McGuinness, the UVF/UDA, Hume, Paisley and a bunch of others). We learned a lot and people from all over the political spectrum were always helpful. No Alliance leanings though…

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Mat - January 25, 2021

Thanks for the response. Interesting project for young Irish Americans at that time.

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