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This document released by Official Sinn Féin offers an overview of the position of the Republican Movement in the very early 1970s. Although not dated it appears to have been published sometime after the introduction of Direct Rule from London.
It is organised in four parts – Part I examines the period 1911-1923, Part 2 1923-1968, Part 3 The Civil Rights Movement 1968 and Part 4 Towards a Solution. There is also an index with descriptions of organisations and historical events.
Some intriguing aspects of the work indicate thinking during this period. For example reference is made to a British ‘federal deal’ to Ireland as a possible outcome of the situation. There’s the following assertion:
Many of the followers of the Civil Rights Movement would consider democracy within the Six Counties where loyalists held two thirds of the votes in any contest as an impossibility. A pamphlet written by Robert Heatley and issued by the Belfast Regional Council of the CRM shortly after the fall of Stormont argues forcefully and validly that only the sub-consciously sectarian could rule out the possibility of a democracy system in the existing conditions of the Six Counties. Yet this is precisely the option adopted by John Hume of the SDLP and the probability is that, because of fifty years experience of Orange rule, a majority of the minority would believe John Hume rather than Civil Rights on the issue.
The split in the Republican Movement into Official and Provisional camps is only dealt with obliquely, though the conclusion argues that:
Those who argue with bomb and bullet for a united Ireland in the present conditions of the North risk a sectarian civil war which will postpone that day indefinitely. They also misunderstand completely the political position of the ruling FF party in the South. FF have become the local managers of British imperialism in the 26 Counties and their political prosperity depends as much on the link with Britain as does that of the Unionist party.
And it concludes:
FF’s main problem is that its pre-Imperialist leadership has a largely republican following. To date, however, it has been able to disguise that fact very effectively and its enemies and rivals in the Republican Movement have failed to create the mass political consciousness of their position. While this consciousness is being fostered in the 26 Counties the most realistic and revolutionary role for Republicans is to gain conditions of democracy in the North which will help eradicate the greatest enemy there – not the British Army, but sectarianism and the division of the working class.