Northern Ireland

Shaun McDaid, Catherine McGlynn

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


The aim of this chapter is to reassess the approach of the Heath premiership to policy in relation to Northern Ireland. The chapter identifies how the Heath premiership was undermined by a number of poor, and perhaps avoidable, decisions notably in the area of security policy and the decision to support the use of internment, and the handling of the aftermath of the killing of unarmed civilians by the Army on Bloody Sunday is discussed in depth. The chapter argues that the outworking of these decisions, and the refusal of the Heath premiership to confront the military mind-set that produced them, had serious implications for how the conflict developed during the early 1970s. The chapter does, however, stress the evolution in the Heath government’s approach to the conflict which recognised that the ‘Irish dimension’ was crucial as well as enshrined a role for Dublin in attempting to forge a political settlement [152].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolicies and Politics under Prime Minister Edward Heath
EditorsAndrew Roe-Crines, Timothy Heppell
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783030536732
ISBN (Print)9783030536725, 3030536726
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2020

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Political Leadership
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


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