The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party

Daniel Finn writes:

The Lost Revolution sets out to tell the little-known story of Official republicanism for the first time. Brian Hanley and Scott Millar start with the appointment of Cathal Goulding as IRA chief of staff in 1962. A childhood friend of Brendan Behan, Goulding was about to turn 40 and had spent much of his adult life in Irish and British jails. He was to pick up the pieces after the failure of the Border Campaign, the most ambitious republican challenge to British rule in Northern Ireland since the 1920s. The idea had been to send guerrilla units into Northern Ireland from the Republic to attack military targets. Launched in 1956, it briefly roused romantic nationalism south of the border, but northern nationalists were largely unmoved and the attacks were easily contained by the Unionist state. The campaign had long since fizzled out by the time it was officially declared over in 1962. Goulding had to decide what the IRA’s next step would be.

(LRB 7 October 2010)