The Irish Republican Movement Collection

Welcome to the Irish Republican Movement Collection at IUPUI. The collection offers resources for students, teachers, and scholars interested in Irish history, Irish politics, social movements, political activism, and “terrorism.”

The Irish Republican Movement dates from the 18th century and the development of republican political philosophy. Modern Irish Republicanism dates from 1916 and the “Easter” Rising, whose leaders included Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, and Tom Clarke. More recently, the Irish Republican Movement is probably best known through the activism of two organizations, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (founded December 1969) and “Provisional” Sinn Féin (founded 1970; henceforth, Sinn Féin). For information on Sinn Féin see: and

The Irish Republican Movement Collection at IUPUI offers unique resources for understanding post-1969 Irish Republicanism. From 1970 through the mid-1980s, the politics of Provisional Irish Republicanism was largely dominated by the Provisional IRA’s military campaign. In these years, Sinn Féin developed several political policies, but the party also refused to participate in constitutional politics in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Between the mid-1980s and 2005, however, Sinn Féin’s role in the movement was enhanced and the party accepted constitutional politics. In these years, the Provisional IRA undertook two unilateral ceasefires and then formally ended its paramilitary campaign, in 2005.

The Irish Republican Movement Collection provides unique resources for understanding the transformation of Provisional Irish Republicanism and for understanding those who opposed that transformation, including contemporary “dissident” Irish Republicans.

Irish Republican Timeline ( Click to enlarge)

The Collection’s resources:

Unfinished BusinessUnfinished Business: The Politics of “Dissident” Irish Republicans (2012), a 59-minute documentary. Unfinished Business provides insight on the motives and ideology of Irish Republicans who reject constitutional politics and continue to endorse the right of Irish people to engage in armed struggle. The unique resources of Unfinished Businessinclude:
  1. Excerpts from interviews with Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (IRA Chief of Staff, 1958-59, 1960-62; President of Sinn Féin, 1970-83, and Republican Sinn Féin, 1987-2009);
  2. Commentary from Tom Maguire (1892-1993; the last surviving member of the Second Dáil Éireann) and Michael Flannery (1902-1994; IRA veteran and founding-member of Irish Northern Aid); and,
  3. Portions of a Gerry Adams (President of Sinn Féin, 1983-current) press conference held outside of Sinn Féin offices on the Falls Road, Belfast, in July 1995. See also:
The BlanketThe Blanket: A Journal of Protest and Dissent, an on-line journal associated with Irish Republican activists who questioned Sinn Féin’s support of the Good Friday Agreement (1998) but did not support continued armed struggle. The Blanket‘s Editorial Board included prominent activists, like Brendan Hughes and Tommy Gorman, which contributed to the journal's influence. The Blanket's founding editor was Carrie Twomey. Another member of the editorial board was her husband, Anthony McIntyre. McIntyre served 18 years in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. After his release, he completed a PhD in politics from Queen’s University. McIntyre is the author of Good Friday: The Death of Irish Republicanism (2008). The Collection includes The Blanket’s entire archive (2001-2007). For an assessment of The Blanket see:
 FourthwriteFourthwrite: For a Democratic Socialist Republic, which offered commentary from a number of Irish Republican authors, including Patricia Campbell, Mags Glennon, Anthony McIntyre, Margaret McKearney, and John Nixon. Fourthwrite was edited by Tommy McKearney; In 1977, McKearney was the Provisional IRA O/C in Tyrone when he was arrested. McKearney joined the blanket protest in the H-Blocks and, in 1980, was one of seven prisoners who participated in a 52-day long hunger strike. Tommy McKearney is the author of the highly regarded book, The Provisional IRA: From Insurrection to Parliament (2011). The Collection currently contains Fourthwrite issues from August 2002 to Winter 2010/2011. For additional information Fourthwrite see:
Irish PeopleThe IRISH PEOPLE was a weekly newspaper which served as the "Voice of Irish Republicanism in America." Published by volunteers who supported an Irish Republican political analysis,the paper provided weekly reports and analysis of events in Ireland related to the struggle against British rule. It also served as a contemporary weekly record and organizer of Irish-American political activity in the United States during a crucial epoch. Those who wish to study historic events in Ireland and how such events were seen and influenced by Americas will find it an indispensable resource.
 Pensive QuillThe Pensive Quill, a news blog edited by Anthony McIntyre. Through The Pensive Quill, McIntyre offers commentary on various political events, especially but not exclusively as they relate to Irish Republicanism. The Pensive Quill also offers a forum for other authors, and includes responses and exchanges among readers.
Irish NewsSaoirse - Irish Freedom, monthly newspaper of the Irish political party Republican Sinn Féin (RSF); In 1986, RSF was formed in response to the Provisionals’ decision to allow elected Sinn Féin canddiates to take their seats in the Dublin parliament. It is reported that RSF is the political wing of the Continuity IRA, which the party denies. The Collection includes almost every issue of Saoirse published between November 1986 (issue 1 of Republican Bulletin) and the present. See also:
Sovereign NationThe Sovereign Nation, newspaper of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32 CSM); In 1997, persons active in Sinn Féin who questioned the movement’s direction with the Irish peace process established the 32 County Sovereignty Committee. They were subsequently expelled from Sinn Féin; the committee was subsequently re-named the 32 County Sovereignty Movement. Its supporters included Bernadette Sands, sister of 1981 hunger striker Bobby Sands. It is reported that the 32 CSM is the political wing of the Real IRA, which the organization denies.

Additional resources will be added to the Irish Republican Movement Digital Collection as they become available. Interested readers should also refer to the CAIN Web Service – Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland. See:

Updated Jan 28, 2016 by Webmaster