In this fascinating sequel to the ground-breaking publication of Broad Church in 2019, A Broad Church 2 reveals the true history of the Provisional Republican movement in the south of Ireland in the cataclysmic decade of the 1980s. This period saw a sea-change in the movement, with the political wing increasingly coming to fore of the republican struggle. This led to a rethink on the movement’s policy of abstentionism both within the military and political movements, culminating in the historic overturning of the policy in the Republic.
This growing politicisation supplemented the armed struggle, which saw the most significant arms importations in the IRA’s history take place in the South during the mid-1980s. With the acquisition of an array of new weaponry, the IRA took on larger and more prestigious British targets. The decade also saw a return to attacking commercial targets in Britain in a concerted and systematic strategy for the first time since the mid-1970s.