Institutional Scholarship

Creating the ideal Republican : Northern Ireland prison writings as propaganda

TriCollege Digital Repository

Title: Creating the ideal Republican : Northern Ireland prison writings as propaganda
Author: Crawford, Mary K.
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of History
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 175973 bytes157521 bytes
Issue Date: 2002
Abstract: In 1976 a political cartoon entitled "Portrait of a Terrorist" appeared in a magazine in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Instead of depicting one of the menacing black-hooded figures typically associated with the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the cartoon showed "a bemused, unthreatening teenager, average in every way." Indeed, when the Provisional Irish Republican Army began its initial period of recruitment, this image was accurate; the typical Republican paramilitary was a teenage male from the Catholic ghettoes, whose lack of clear political belief was outweighed by his eagerness to participate in some political movement. Therefore, it was the role of Republican propaganda to mold this young man into the Republican image. This thesis examines the ways that the Republican movement used propaganda to create an image of the ideal Republican, which served as a template for the organization's members to follow. It analyzes the propaganda value of the prison writings of three high-profile Republican figures: Bobby Sands, Gerry Adams, and Danny Morrison. These men used carefully chosen tactics to develop a picture of what it meant to be a Republican. This image changed to reflect the shifting strategy of the movement, from a focus on an entirely armed strategy, to a combined policy of armed and political strategies, to primarily politics, to peace.
Subject: Irish Republican Army -- History
Subject: Political prisoners -- Northern Ireland -- Correspondence
Subject: Recruiting and enlistment
Terms of Use:
Permanent URL:

Files in this item

Files Description Size Format
2002CrawfordM.pdf Thesis 171.8Kb PDF
2002CrawfordM_release.pdf ** Archive Staff Only ** 4.007Mb PDF


Crawford, Mary K.. "Creating the ideal Republican : Northern Ireland prison writings as propaganda". 2002. Available electronically from

This item appears in the following Collection(s) Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as


Advanced Search


My Account