Who Was Responsible for the Troubles?: A critical analysis of the IRA’s leading role in the conflict

Liam Kennedy lists a number of possible culprits for the ‘long war’ in the North, including the Irish state and the main churches, but the IRA tops the list

Soldiers in Northern Ireland in 1971 as graffiti encourages local Catholics to join the IRA, September 1971. Picture: Mirrorpix/Getty


Who Was Responsible for the Troubles?: The Northern Ireland Conflict

By Liam Kennedy

McGill – Queen’s University Press, €26.95

How many people under 50 are aware that before the Troubles, most of the Catholic community’s substantive demands had been conceded due to the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA)? This is a historical fact that runs counter to the more common narrative that “the war” was necessary because of the oppression of “the nationalist ...