An Phoblacht Republican News, Iml. 16, Uimh. 32
Organisation: Sinn Féin
Publication: An Phoblacht Republican News
Issue:Volume 16, Number 32
Déardaoin, 11 Lúnasa / Thursday, 11 August 1994
Contributors: Info
Gerry Adams, Liam Ó Coileáin, Neil Forde, Art MacEoin, Danny Morrison
Type:Publication Issue
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

5th June 2023

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

An important issue of An Phoblacht/Republican news dating from 1994 which has a special supplement on 1969 to 1994. As the front page article notes:

AS PEOPLE in Ireland and worldwide prepare to mark the 25th anniversary of the redeployment of British troops on the streets of the Six Counties, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has made a call to nationalist Ireland to use all its powerful potential to bring about political and constitu­tional change. Speaking in Belfast on Wednes­day evening, 10 August, Adams said that “for the first time since the heady days of the Civil Rights Movement, there has emerged tan­gible evidence of increasing self­confidence and awareness within nationalist Ireland”. He said the task now was to harness this confi­dence and hope for the future, in a way which can assist the resolu­tion of the conflict.

It concludes:

Expressing optimism that a viable strategy to address and resolve the core issues at the heart of the conflict can be achieved, Adams said he was optimistic that, after 25 years, the Irish people can move beyond division and conflict and towards and just and lasting peace.

The Editorial argues:

A QUARTER of a century ago, Ireland was a rapidly-changing coun­try. Social and economic forces were consigning the old Ireland to the past and few would have denied that for better or worse, nothing would ever be the same again. The 1970s offered the prospect of further rapid change, the onset of EEC membership, growing industrialisation, the fast growth of the cities and the rise of a new suburban working-class generation. It seemed at one stage that the old pattern of unemployment, emigra­tion, rural decline, urban decay and even ‘Civil War politics’ would be broken. This was the promise in the Ireland of the 1960s, now an almost mythical decade.

And it continues:

The civil rights struggle in 1968 and 1969 was essentially about the nationalist people rising up off their knees after 50 years of oppression. The reaction of the state to the ·civil rights demands was to unleash the violence of the ‘B’ Specials and loyalist mobs against peaceful protestors. The first deaths were caused not by rioters or the IRA but by the RUC. The IRA hardly existed as a military organisation in 1969. The resump­tion of armed struggle originated as a defensive response to the com­bined attacks of the RUC, loyalist mobs and the British army.


Stormont was toppled in 1972 and the British imposed direct rule from London. Over two decades of unremitting warfare have passed since, with massive destruction and suffering. The conflict has devastated the Six­ County area and scarred the island as a whole, turning the dream of the late 1960s into a nightmare for many of our people. The situation cries out for a negotiated settlement which will bring peace. The potential for progress in such a direction has never been as strong as in the past year. out for a negotiated settlement which will bring peace. The 25th anniversary of the redeployment of British troops on Irish streets provides an opportunity for those who want to see a final break with the failed policies of the past. The end of the 1960s provided hope for the Irish people, North and South, and events provided an opportunity for the British to break with the past. It was an opportunity they failed to grasp at the time …

New opportunities now exist, but pressure must be applied for them to be tak­en up.

Of particular interest is a chronology of August 1969, which of course preceded the split in Sinn Féin and the IRA, and an account of the burning of Bombay Street.

More from An Phoblacht Republican News

An Phoblacht Republican News in the archive


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