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The Evolution of The Troubles, 1970-72


Thomas Hennessey

The most comprehensive account of the conflict to date. Challenges many assumptions that have dominated accounts of the early years of the Troubles.Based on archival sources on recently released material from the National Archives in London and Dublin and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, it also draws on the wealth of material collected by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. 

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This book explores the evolution of the Northern Ireland Troubles from an ethno-national conflict into an insurgency against the British state in Northern Ireland in the crucial years of 1970 to 1972.  The book combines the decisions of ‘high politics’ with the experiences of those on the ground, for whom these decisions made the greatest impact.  It tells the story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events covering the evolving Provisional IRA insurgency and the British Army’s counter-insurgency.  Key areas covered include: the Falls Road Curfew; Anglo-Irish relations; North-South relations on the island of Ireland; the fall of the Chichester-Clark Government; the premiership of Brian Faulkner; internment; Bloody Sunday; and the suspension of Stormont.

Table of Contents

  1. End of the Honeymoon
  2. The Phoney War Ends – the IRA Campaign Intensifies: August 1970-March 1971
  3. The Road to Internment: March-August 1971
  4. Internment without Trial
  5. The Real War: Intelligence, Interrogation and Propaganda
  6. British Disillusionment and Reassessment: August 1971-January 1972
  7. The War on the Ground: August 1971-January 1972
  8. The Road to Bloody Sunday: Derry, July 1971-January 1972
  9. Operation FORECAST – Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972
  10. Judgement Day – The End of Stormont

About the Author

Professor Thomas Hennesseyis the author of Spooks: the Unofficial History of MI5 co-authored with Claire Thomas; Northern Ireland: the Origins of the Northern Ireland Troubles; The Northern Ireland Peace Process: Ending the Trouble?; Dividing Ireland: World War One and Partition and A History of Northern Ireland, 1920-1996.