Continuity and change in the discourse of republican former prisoners

Peter Shirlow, Jonathan Tonge, James W. McAuley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Former Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners have played important roles in easing the transition from violence to peace. Fulfilment of such roles does not necessarily involve ideological change. Instead republican ideology may remain centred upon the reproduction of established discursive conflicts, promoted via non-militaristic means. For IRA former prisoners, the peace process has been articulated around the promotion of republican values and a discourse guided by the eventual achievement of republican goals. This purported fidelity to traditional republican ambition has assisted the Sinn Féin leadership in refuting accusations of ‘sell-out’, a feature that has historically dogged Irish republican movements. This chapter draws upon extensive interviews with former IRA prisoners to ascertain the extent to which ideological and political continuity has been more evident than fundamental changes in beliefs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical Discourse and Conflict Resolution
Subtitle of host publicationDebating Peace in Northern Ireland
EditorsKaty Hayward, Catherine O'Donnell
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781136906084
ISBN (Print)0203842499, 9780415566285
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2010

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution


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