The article analyses the political communication strategy adopted by Sinn Fe´in in order to legitimize the Provisional Irish Republican Army’s (PIRA) terrorist campaign during their transition from violence into mainstream politics. Their endeavours to portray a triumphant republican movement in spite of the huge gap between strategic aims and achievements are examined. The political and social rehabilitation of violent Republicanism, and how their leaders have evolved from pariahs to celebrities, is also assessed. The role of the media and political elites, as well as the political discourse of the PIRA and Sinn Fe´in, is analysed in order to examine how the republican movement has tried to rewrite its past in an attempt to gain political and social legitimacy. Consequently, the myths reproduced by republicans to disguise their failures as historical compromises, reproducing a more benign interpretation of history which distorts the causes and consequences of terrorism, are critically assessed. The article will focus on the struggle for the legitimacy of the terrorist campaign and the propaganda system which, in the words of Garret FitzGerald (Irish Prime Minister between 1981 and 1987), has managed to turn the republican movement into the ‘‘peace party’’ despite murdering thousands of human beings.
- Journal : Terrorism & Political Violence
- Author : Rogelio Alonso
- Date : 2016
- Volume : 28 (3)
- Pages : 520-540
- Link : http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2016.1155934