Critical Engagement

Irish republicanism, memory politics and policing

Kevin Hearty

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ISBN: 9781786940476

Publication: September 19, 2017

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This book represents the first interdisciplinary study of how memory has driven and challenged the political transition of Irish republicanism from armed conflict to constitutional politics through endorsing policing and the rule of law in the North of Ireland. Locating itself within memory studies, critical criminology and transitional justice, this book uses original interviews with political activists, community workers and former combatants from across the spectrum of modern Irish republicanism to draw out how the past frames internal tensions within the Irish republican constituency as those traditionally opposed to state policing structures opt to buy into them as part of a wider transitional process in post-conflict Northern Ireland. The book critiques the challenges of making peace with the enemy against a backdrop of communal narratives and memories of historic injustice, counterinsurgency policing and human rights abuse that do not simply disappear when war turns to peace. Through a rich empirical basis the book offers an insight into these challenges from the perspective of those who were, and remain, in the thick of the Irish republican debate on policing. In doing so it provides an acute insight into the role that individual and collective memory plays in reshaping ideological outlooks, understanding processes of political transition, contextualising ‘moving on’ processes with former enemies and conditioning views of post-conflict police reform.

Kevin Hearty is a Lecturer of History, Queens University Belfast.

Acknowledgements vii
List of Figures and Tables x
List of Abbreviations xi

Introduction 1

1 Understanding a Fraught Historical Relationship 25
2 Irish Republican Memory as Counter-Memory 55
3 Ideology and Policing 87
4 The Patriot Dead 121
5 Transition, ‘Never Again’ and ‘Moving On’ 149
6 The PSNI and ‘Community Policing’ 183
7 The PSNI and ‘Political Policing’ 217

Conclusion 249

References 263
Index 303

"An intellectually stimulating book based on substantial and original research."
Professor Henry Patterson, University of Ulster

"Stimulating and thoughtful, this is an original and timely contribution to the literature on the politics of memory and the conflict in Northern Ireland."
Dr Stephen Hopkins, University of Leicester


Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

328 Pages

ISBN: 9781786940476

Publication: September 19, 2017

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