Interview with Dr.Marisa McGlinchey, winner of the 2020 Brian Farrell PSAI “Best Book” Prize for 2020.


Dr. Marisa McGlinchey, and secretary of Unfinished Business: ‘Politics’ of ‘opponents’ Irish Republicanism. Manchester: MUP. (2019) ISBN 978 0 7190 9698 3. She lives in the Center for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. His interest in research lies in Irish politics that focuses heavily on “disunity” with Republicans and the Irish nation, and his most recent work published by Manchester University Press and The Swiss Political Science Review. Since the publication of Unfinished Business has provided technical commentary on various broadcast and publishing sites such as BBC, UTV, RTE, Al Jazeera and Spotlight.

F. Hello Marisa, thank you for winning the Brian Farrell Book Award, I believe it was good news for you and your family amidst all the challenges of COVID-19?

Thanks Brendan. I am so happy! It was very good news to find and it has been great to celebrate something good between tragedy and darkness. Thank you so much to the judges!

Q. Marisa, tell us about the origin of the book – why did you write it, what was the history of the study of this book?

I did my PhD at Queen’s University Belfast in the run-up to the SDLP election this Friday and I’m trying to turn it into a Manchester University Press book. I’m excited to revisit this and do a lot of interviews about it. But I always wanted my first book to be on the subject of ‘opponents’ Irish republicanism. I grew up in West Belfast, a suburb of politics, and as I got older, I became more and more acquainted with the Republicans who opposed Sinn Féin or the Provisional Movement and my intellectual interest grew in what I saw growing around me. these old comrades who were very divided. I wanted to do an in-depth study of the social / cultural republicanism; An in-depth study of the so-called ‘inconsistent’ is what motivates them. For me it was important to go out and talk to Republicans in Ireland to dig into the psyche of ‘opponents’ republicanism and understand and I began to travel around Ireland and meet people and recognize who was interviewed and grew from there.

F. I wonder if you can tell us about how you wrote this book, the design of this study, because it seems to me the strongest point of its design was to focus on interviews – you have the opportunity to reach different Republican views and you. You did 90 interviews – how did you do this?

Yes, I think the great strength of this work is the communication that has been found everywhere. This research lasted several years as republicanism called ‘dissident’ republicanism by various groups made up of various organizations and independents and it took some time to achieve this accurately. I did 90 interviews and actually had to stand at 90 for the book to be written. More potential candidates were kept coming. After the Boston College project there was a lot of speculation that a project like this could not happen but I found republics willing to speak up and put their ideas first. I also followed the advice necessary to not allow any respondent to disclose any prohibited information about themselves or anyone else. I started every interview asking those who were interviewed not to disclose anything of this nature and I think it helped to establish trust. It was very important for me to gather those words and give their thoughts in their own wordsthroughout the book that makes this work live. I attended various Republican and private events and attended various Easter festivals and events throughout Ireland. Instead the book cover is a photo I took at the Republican Sinn Féin memorial outside the GPO in Dublin in 2016.

While traveling and attending various events, I met many people who were interrogated and snow fell. There is a tendency to talk about ‘opponents’ republicanism as just a Northern phenomenon which is certainly wrong and so it was important to find a good place to spread the candidates as well as gender, age and people at different levels within organizations from leadership to. grass roots. I interviewed people from different ages and the last one was a 19-year-old member of Na Fianna in Dublin and the oldest was 93-year-old Billy McKee in Belfast who was imprisoned every ten years between the 1930s and 1970s. Others interviewed by Phil O ‘Donoghue at the Brookeborough and Seán South exhibitions in 1957. I also interviewed a large group of self-proclaimed independent and martial artists, who were naturally difficult and difficult to organize. I asked military spokespersons what they expect to achieve, and where they get the approval. Furthermore, I asked (based on system changes in the north) do they feel that every existing campaign is a good one? Their ideas on such matters are expressed in their own words.

I also asked other Republican inmates at Maghaberry Prison about their views and motivations, which were also an integral part of the work. Their families kindly stopped visiting me to visit me in prison for questioning. I wanted to go beyond what is impossible in order to understand ‘dissident’ republicanism and I believe that the best way to gain understanding is to understand and communicate with the people involved. The interrogation revealed a location with mixed feelings and personal evidence. The project has created an important oral history of a particular point in time and some of the interviewees had never spoken to anyone, others who had died. The book gives those words as it echoes the history of republicanism; and placing so-called ‘dissident’ republicanism within the long line.

Q. In the final note: “In the meantime, a radical change in republicanism can be attributed to the increasing number of democratic processes in the institutions, which are not conducive to the establishment and sustainable development of dictatorships. “ Do you think ‘radical republicanism should remain politically neutral, or do you see the future?’

Radical (or cultural) republicanism has seen a dramatic shift in groups and individuals who have been in sectarian divisions, sometimes leading to suspicion in a world that is relatively safe to protect from security forces. Over the years there have been requests for the foundation to come together so that some power can flow from there. But it is unlikely that it will happen because organizations have different identities and clear waters between them, often based on differences that organizations have discovered. In addition, there are important foundations for independent republics such as Tommy McKearney, Gerard Hodgins, Richard O ‘Rawe, Anthony McIntyre and others so when people talk about so-called’ rebels’ the Republicans tend to look more and more. groups or especially military forces. But there is a much broader basis there to include a number of ideas within, from those who claim to support the current wars to those who speak too much and who criticize. It is possible to continue in this way instead of just coming together, continuing to work together on prisoner issues. Even allies in Republican cultural goals remain separate.

The Radical Republics reject all the North and South states that were divided, and how they are connected and thus naturally will remain on the margins. Instead, traditional republicanism repeatedly warns of any actions that might draw them into the system and in their minds put them on a ‘slippery slope to a legitimate country’.

Q. Finally, you are talking about how Brexit created an opportunity to encourage people to support each other politically and politically, but has COVID19 ever been the same?

I do not see any impact of Covid19 on radical republicanism. Any political or economic upheaval is constantly being monitored to make it possible but so far I have not seen anything about Covid19 in the way of republicanism. Technically Brexit does not change anything in the culture of republicanism. But what it has done is reintroduce the Irish border issue in a way that has not been done in recent years. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. to those who may need it that Ireland is still divided. One Republican is said to have described Brexit as a major republican opportunity since 1916. Brexit attracted international interest at the border, targeted Republican groups, and attracted journalists and writers from around the world. When asked about the results of the Brexit member of another group in Derry said to the media group ‘well that’s why you are here asking me questions and listening to our opinions’.

Republicans always take advantage of every opportunity and Brexit was one such opportunity. Republicans have learned that some in the North may be questioning whether they would be better off in a united Ireland within the EU than in the UK abroad. Republicans are also keenly interested in what is happening in Scotland and the possibility of a second independent referendum in the future. For others, Brexit echoed the old adage- ‘England’s crisis is an opportunity for Ireland’.

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