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The I.R.A. and its EnemiesViolence and Community in Cork, 1916-1923$
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Peter Hart

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208068

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208068.001.0001

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Youth and Rebellion

Youth and Rebellion

(p.165) 8 Youth and Rebellion
The I.R.A. and its Enemies

Peter Hart

Oxford University Press

This chapter illustrates how the revolution turned the social world upside down, where the ‘boys’ were in charge. I.R.A. members were highly conscious of their youth. Being part of the younger generation was central to their identity and with youth came nobility. For them, it was the young people who embraced their cause and the ‘older crowd’ who opposed them. The perceived sense of restlessness among the young was generally attributed to the stoppage of emigration after 1914, and the frustration they felt. The radicalization and rise to power of previously unknown young men represented the real revolution, with the lines being drawn between generations rather than classes, communities, or parties. I.R.A. units were a natural extension of this youth subculture and its body of unspoken assumptions and bonds.

Keywords:   youth, revolution, young men, emigration, rebellion

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