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Northern IrelandThe Reluctant Peace$
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Feargal Cochrane

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300178708

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300178708.001.0001

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The Rationality of War, 1972–74

The Rationality of War, 1972–74

(p.67) Chapter Three The Rationality of War, 1972–74
Northern Ireland

Feargal Cochrane

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on events that happened in Northern Ireland during the period of 1972–1974. By the middle of 1972, Northern Ireland had settled into its new, ugly reality. The Catholic and Protestant communities had been fractured physically, with barbed-wire fences and walls being erected in interface areas to keep them from attacking each other. There was violent mayhem on the streets on a regular basis, as the paramilitary groups on both sides had crystallized, and had gained recruits and resources from their frightened and angry communities. Northern Ireland was engulfed in violence in the early 1970s. Both republican and loyalist paramilitaries had evolved organically and haphazardly in response to violent sectarian events that surrounded their communities. The Ulster Defence Association was called that for a reason; while the Provisional IRA also emerged initially with a remit to defend nationalist areas from sectarian attacks by Protestants.

Keywords:   Northern Ireland, Protestant communities, paramilitary groups, violence, Ulster Defence Association

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