Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/40726
Title: The "informer" and the political and organisational culture of the Irish republican movement: old and new interpretations
Authors: Hopkins, Stephen
First Published: 1-Dec-2016
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for British Association for Irish Studies
Citation: Irish Studies Review, 2017, 25 (1), pp. 1-23 (23)
Abstract: This article will analyse recent interpretations of the “informer” as a subject of political and historical significance for a balanced understanding of the trajectory of the Provisional Republican movement. It will do so in part through a discussion of some recent fiction and memoir-writing devoted to the figure of the informer. Specifically, this will involve an exploration of the recent fictional re-imagination of the real-life case of Denis Donaldson, by the French journalist Sorj Chalandon (Mon traître, 2007 and Retour à Killybegs, 2011) (These novels have been translated into English as My Traitor (2011) and Return to Killybegs (2013)). All subsequent references are to the English versions. In the first section, the article analyses the historical evolution of the phenomenon and recent revelations regarding the apparently widespread existence of informers in the movement during the Troubles. This section engages with the academic debate concerning the effects of these revelations upon the morale and internal political culture of the republican movement; it is argued here that the “Republican family” has been significantly affected by these disclosures in the “post-conflict” era, and that they have become an important element in the contestation between leadership supporters and “dissenters” within contemporary republicanism. The second section utilises old and new literary representations of “the informer”, particularly based around Liam O’Flaherty’s The Informer and Chalandon’s work, to discuss continuities and changes in the image and perception of this phenomenon. It is argued that the interweaving of fiction with real-life and factual historical detail is a particularly appropriate means of interpreting the role and effects of the informer.
DOI Link: 10.1080/09670882.2016.1264097
ISSN: 0967-0882
eISSN: 1469-9303
Links: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09670882.2016.1264097
http://hdl.handle.net/2381/40726
Embargo on file until: 1-Apr-2019
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016, Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for British Association for Irish Studies. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

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