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A New History of Ireland Volume VIIIreland 1921-84$
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J. R. Hill

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198217527

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198217527.001.0001

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The north erupts, and Ireland enters Europe, 1968–72

The north erupts, and Ireland enters Europe, 1968–72

(p.317) Chapter XIII The north erupts, and Ireland enters Europe, 1968–72
A New History of Ireland Volume VII

J. H. Whyte

Oxford University Press

In the Republic of Ireland, the best word to describe the years 1968–1972 is ‘chequered’. Under Jack Lynch, who succeeded to the leadership on Seán Lemass's retirement as taoiseach in 1966, the Fianna Fáil government survived throughout the period, but triumph and near-disaster succeeded each other with startling rapidity. The Catholic Church maintained its hold on the allegiance of the great majority in the Republic. In Northern Ireland, some gloomier epithet might seem appropriate. The province experienced its worst period of civil disorder since the 1790s. Not everything was uniformly bleak, though. There were forces making conciliation in the province, as well as forces making conflict, and they were not unevenly matched. Indeed, there were several occasions during these years in which it looked as if the forces of conciliation were going to prevail after all, and the most interesting problem for a historian to discuss is why, by a narrow margin, they came to be defeated.

Keywords:   Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, civil disorder, conciliation, conflict, Catholic Church, Fianna Fáil, Jack Lynch

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