Out of the Ashes is the definitive history of the Provisional Irish Republican movement, from its formation at the outset of the modern ‘Troubles’ up to and after their official disarmament in 2005. Robert White, a prolific observer of the IRA and Sinn Féin’s activities, has amassed an incomparable body of interview material from leading members of the organisation over a thirty-year period through which he explores the evolution of the revolutionary movement. In this defining study, the interviewees’ perspectives provide extraordinary insights, not only into the inner workings of the paramilitary group, but also the complex motivations that provoked their violent actions, their eventual reform, and the mind-set of ‘dissidents’ who refuse to lay down their arms.
Those interviewed stem from every stage of the Provisionals’ history, from founding figures such as Seán Mac Stiofáin, Ruari Ó Brádaigh and Joe Cahill to the new generation who replaced them: Danny Morrison, Martin McGuinness, Marian Price, and Brendan Hughes amongst others. Their oral perspectives provide completely unique insights into key moments within the movement’s history, highlighting the real motives behind the violence that would cause worldwide consternation. Out of the Ashes is a pioneering history that breaks new ground in defining how the Provisional Republican groups operated and survived from within their own ranks, and how they continued to act under international pressures to disband.
Table of Contents
Part I: An Oral History of Provisional Irish Republicans
Keeping the Faith (1923-1962)
Civil Rights and Politics (1962-1969)
The Split, I (August 1969-January 1970)
War (January 1970-December 1971)
1972: The Year of Victory
The Provisionals Adapt (1973-19740
A Deadly Truce (1975)
The Long War Strategy (1976-1978)
Hunger Strikes (1980-1981)
The Armalite and the Ballot Box (1982-1983)
Adams Takes Command (1983-1985)
The Split, II (1986)
The Plan Fails (1987-1990)
Another Ceasefire (August 1994-July 1997)
The Split, III — and the Good Friday Agreement (1997-1998)
Winning the Peace (1998-2005)
Part II: Revolution Over the Life Course, and Life Over the Course of the Revolution
Who Stays, and When they Leave Where do They Go?
Who won the war? Reflections on Activism and Armed Struggle
Part III: The War is Over: The Irish Republican Movement Continues: Activism Since 2005
Sinn Féin: The War is Over, the Struggle Continues (2005-2014)
The War Continues: Anti-GFA Irish Republicans (2005-2014)
Part IV: Conclusions
A Sociological Summary
Appendix I: Methods
Appendix II: Roll of Honour ~ Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin Activists Killed, 1969-1998
About the Author
Robert W. White is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. He is the author of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary (2006), Provisional Irish Republicans: An Oral and Interpretive History (1993), and co-editor of Self, Identity, and Social Movements (2000).