The unfinished revolution of ‘dissident’ Irish republicans: divergent views in a fragmented base

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    In April 2019, a so-called ‘dissident’ republican New IRA gun-man killed journalist Lyra McKee, whilst firing at police during a riot in Derry in the North of Ireland. The New and Continuity IRAs remain wedded to an armed campaign for Irish sovereignty, drawing legitimacy from partition and the ongoing British ‘presence’ in Northern Ireland – and rejecting the significance of altered conditions within the state. Conversely, independent ‘dissident’ republicans, formerly in the Provisional IRA, criticise the ongoing campaign by the groups as futile. This article examines key areas of debate within the ‘dissident’/radical republican base, on armed actions at present – drawing on unpublished qualitative interviews with independents, the RSF Movement, and Saoradh,– the organisation believed to be the political wing of the New IRA. This article assesses the nature of the campaign waged by the Continuity and New IRAs and examines whether it represents a continuation of the Provisional IRA campaign, or a new departure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)714-746
    Number of pages33
    JournalSmall Wars and Insurgencies
    Issue number4-5
    Early online date3 Aug 2021
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Aug 2021


    • 32-County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM)
    • Continuity IRA (CIRA)
    • Lyra Mckee
    • New IRA
    • Provisional IRA (PIRA)
    • Real IRA (RIRA)
    • Republican Sinn Féin (RSF)
    • Saoradh
    • dissident republicanism
    • Óglaigh na hÉireann

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Political Science and International Relations


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