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The Northern Ireland ConflictConsociational Engagements$
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John McGarry and Brendan O'Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199266573.001.0001

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The Labour Government and Northern Ireland, 1974–9

The Labour Government and Northern Ireland, 1974–9

(p.194) 6 The Labour Government and Northern Ireland, 1974–9
The Northern Ireland Conflict

John McGarry (Contributor Webpage)

Brendan O'Leary (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter is highly critical of the Wilson cabinet's failure to defend Northern Ireland's first consociational experiment, the Sunningdale Agreement, although it concedes that this agreement may have had an inevitable encounter with a coroner. It analyses the government's reaction to the 1974 strike by the Ulster Workers Council, which led to the demise of Sunningdale. The chapter also illustrates the limits of the Callaghan government's policies in Northern Ireland, including its flawed experiments in ‘Ulsterization’, ‘normalization’, and ‘criminalization’.

Keywords:   Labour, Ulsterization, normalization, criminalization, Merlyn Rees, Roy Mason, James Callaghan, Harold Wilson, Hunger strikes

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