‘… no textbook solutions to the problems in Northern Ireland’:Airey Neave and the Conservative Party’s Northern Ireland, 1975-1979.

Kelly, Stephen (2018) ‘… no textbook solutions to the problems in Northern Ireland’:Airey Neave and the Conservative Party’s Northern Ireland, 1975-1979. Irish Studies in International Affairs, 29 (2018). tbc-tbc. ISSN 0332-1460 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

Abstract This article examines Airey Neave’s contribution to the Conservative Party’s Northern Ireland policy from 1975 to 1979; a hitherto neglected subject related to the Conservative Party, the Northern Ireland Troubles and more generally contemporary British history. Firstly, it challenges the widely held misconception that Neave was simply a militarist when it can to Northern Ireland; that as shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland his sole objective was to defeat Republican terrorists. On the contrary, while he sought ‘complete victory’ over Republican paramilitaries, Neave remained committed to finding a workable solution amongst the political parties in Northern Ireland in the hope of ending direct rule. Secondly, it re-evaluates Neave’s attitude to devolution in Northern Ireland. Specifically, whether he championed the restoration of devolved government, based on a power-sharing executive, or if he favoured a return to majority-rule in Northern Ireland? Lastly, it refutes that argument that Neave was a committed integrationist; that he supported integrating Northern Ireland fully within the United Kingdom. Rather, it is argued that he can be most adequately described as a champion of so-called ‘compromise integration’, which advocated reform of local government in Northern Ireland, with the establishment of one or more Regional Councils. Four Key words: Airey Neave Margaret Thatcher The Conservative Party Northern Ireland

Item Type: Article
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History and Politics
Depositing User: Stephen Kelly
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 14:49
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 14:49
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2618

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