The UK Is Holding The Peace Process As A Political Hostage In Its Brexit Negotiations

AN SIONNACH FIONN

There are few other British historical figures more controversial – and more reviled – in the popular culture of Ireland than Winston Churchill. Described by Éamon de Valera in a carefully worded eulogy upon his death in 1965 as a “dangerous enemy of the Irish people”, the career politician is best remembered in this country for his close association with the United Kingdom’s violent rejection of pro-autonomy majorities in four plebiscite-elections held on the island between 1918 and 1921. As the Secretary of State for War, the Secretary of State for Air and later as the Secretary of State for the Colonies his malevolent influence contributed significantly to the UK’s political and military responses to the 1916-23 Revolution. Including, most obviously, the partition of the country in December 1920, and the deployment of three infamous militia units in 1919-20: the Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve (the RICSR or Black and Tans), the…

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