Bombs, Bullets and the Border examines Irish Government Security Policy and the role played by the Gardaí and Irish Army along the Northern Irish border during some of the worst years of the Troubles. Mulroe knits together an impressive range of sources to delve into the murky world occupied by paramilitaries and those policing the border. The ways in which security forces under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments secretly cooperated with the British Army and the RUC, exacerbating tensions with republican groups in the border counties, are meticulously examined. Mulroe also reveals the devastating consequences of this approach, which left a loyalist threat unheeded and the 26 counties open to attack.
The findings of the Smithwick Tribunal and the upheaval of Brexit have kept the issue of Irish border security within the public eye, but without a complete awareness of its consequences. Bombs, Bullets and the Border is vital reading in understanding what a secure border entails, and how it affects the lives of those living within its hinterland.
Table of Contents
Introduction – ‘The mystique of the unified nation-state’
- ‘Almost like talking dirty’: Interpretations of Irish Security Policy, 1969–1978
- More Cliché than Conspiracy: Security Policy from August 1969 until the Arms Trial
- ‘There is a lot to be said for trying to hold refugees in the North’: Security Policy December 1970–December 1972
- ‘There are times you may have to be rough with citizens’: Coalition Clampdown on Republicans 1973–1975
- ‘They will hammer the IRA in their own way for their own reasons’: Border Security 1976–1978
Conclusion – ‘The state might not be able to hold the line’
About the Author
Patrick Mulroe is a teacher in Monaghan with a PhD in Politics; living and working in the border area, he has an extensive knowledge of all aspects of border life.