How the Troubles Came to Northern Ireland 2000
In How the Troubles Came to Northern Ireland Peter Rose argues that if Harold Wilson's government in the late sixties had pursued a different policy the province might have been spared The Troubles. Wilson had promised the Catholics that they would be granted their civil rights. However, new evidence suggests that Westminster was deliberately gagged to prevent MPs demanding that the Stormont administration end discrimin-ation in the province. Had the government acted on intelligence of growing Catholic unrest, it could have prevented the rise of the Provisional IRA without provoking an unmanageable Protestant backlash. The book draws upon recently released official documents and interviews with many key politicians and civil servants of the period to examine the failure of British policy to prevent the ensuing violence in Northern Ireland. Thirty years on, after more than 4000 deaths and billions of pounds spent combating terrorism, an enduring peace in the province is still far from certain.
Peter Rose's book presents important reassessments of the politicians most involved in the failed attempt to avoid the violence: Roy Jenkins and James Callaghan, the successive Home Secretaries who were the ministers responsible for Ulster, Terence O'Neill the so-called reformist Northern Ireland premier and, above all, the Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.