The Place of the First World War in Contemporary Irish Republicanism in Northern Ireland

Grayson, Richard S.. 2010. The Place of the First World War in Contemporary Irish Republicanism in Northern Ireland. Irish Political Studies, 25(3), pp. 325-345. ISSN 0790-7184 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

The role of remembrance of the First World War in contemporary Irish republicanism in Northern Ireland, both Official and Provisional, is examined in this article, which places such remembrance in a wider nationalist context. After considering the nature of nationalist engagement in the British army in 1914–1918, and all-Ireland issues around remembrance, the article focuses on Sinn Féin’s involvement in Somme commemoration in 2002 and 2008. It then examines republicans’ ‘discovery’ of ancestors with a past in the British military, focusing on the Official Republican ex-prisoners group, An Eochair. The article concludes with
an examination of how far theories of memory can shed light on republican remembrance, and the extent to which changes in attitudes to remembrance are part of republicanism’s ‘historic compromise’ with unionism. It argues that despite a significant shift, republicans have engaged with remembrance on their own terms, and that the gap between them and unionists remains large, with the possibility of genuinely shared remembrance remote.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Research Office > REF2014


September 2010Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

19 Aug 2010 11:27

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 10:14

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)