By Máiréad Nic Craith (auth.)
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Additional info for Culture and Identity Politics in Northern Ireland
It reacted to inequalities in Ulster society with a violent nationalism, and membership of the Provisional Irish Republican Army increased dramatically at this time. Following on the hunger strike of 1981, SF also began to concentrate on notions of ethnicity and was particularly concerned with the reconstruction and preservation of emblems of Irish culture. In the resurgence of Irish culture, republicans were realigning themselves culturally with the rest of the nation (cf. Chapter 4). SF also embarked on a political strategy and Gerry Adams (the leader) began to ‘map’ the historical route of republicanism (Arthur 2001).
In contrast, Ulster loyalists (more represented by the DUP) are primarily committed to the Crown rather than to the Union. They are steadfast in their allegiance to the British monarchy but their loyalty to the concept of the UK is conditional. ‘Ulster’s loyalty is primarily to her Queen, and not to ministers or governments that fail in their duty to give loyal subjects the blessing of the Queen’s Peace. It is no disloyalty to the Queen to refuse to accord to them a transferred loyalty they have not deserved’ (Ulster Vanguard Publication 1972, p.
In August 1970 the Social, Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) was established which heralded a new era for Northern nationalism, although there were subsequently many problems with the process of governance. When John Hume became leader of the SDLP in 1979 he reconceptualized Northern Ireland as a region within Europe with strong US connections. This measure immediately reduced the significance of the British Government in the politics of Northern Ireland and rejected the classic model of nationalism, which dictated that nation and state should coincide.
Culture and Identity Politics in Northern Ireland by Máiréad Nic Craith (auth.)