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Title: Fermanagh Unionism 1945-1973
Author: McCay, Kevin
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2013
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The thesis addresses three issues which have not been sufficiently addressed in previous research. Within northern Nationalism there is a palpable impatience with the present peace process. Twenty years after the IRA ceasefire and fifteen years since the Good Friday Agreement many of the key issues which divide society here have not been addressed, as expected. There is a sense of drift, prevarication and a reluctance to address the big contentious issues. "Fudge" has become an overused term of the political lexicon of Northern Ireland. Unionism has been primarily blamed for equivocation: the monolith, the rock in the stream. Historically, Unionism has been cast as the villain. Border Unionism has been at the forefront of the resistance to change. Fermanagh Unionists always believed that the prevailing view of virtually all other parties [from Gladstone to Wilson] was that a resolution of the Irish problem was based on the Nationalist interpretation. Naturally, they believed this to be a flawed interpretation and saw their role as frustrating the aims of Irish Nationalism. The thesis has three aims. The first is to study regional Unionism in Fermanagh which has not been sufficiently addressed in other research. The second is to test the theory that Unionism is a monolith. This issue has been comprehensively researched but the thesis refines the research by its focus on one region. The thesis asked whether these people were Unionists from Fermanagh or whether they belong to a distinct category called "Fermanagh Unionists". The third aim attempts to establish the political outlook of Fermanagh Unionism. This entails examining the origins of Fermanagh Unionism which created a distinct negative political posture and a political organisation which had a major influence on politics in the 1960s. The thesis will attempt to establish whether their political mentality was valid and whether their subsequent influence on events was negative, benign or constructive. The thesis covers the period from 1945 to 1973. The end of World War Two was the beginning of a period of social, economic and political change. It is within these changes and this time frame that Fermanagh Unionism reacted as it did. The thesis examines the clash between traditional Unionism with modernity. The thesis cites the nuances of the cosy parochial political world of Fermanagh and the clash with the technocratic political realities of a much more complicated political world created by more composite interdependent economic reliance and changing relationships. Finally, the thesis questions whether the political analysis of Fermanagh Unionism was valid.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available