Dissident Irish Republicanism Project
A Theoretical and Empirical Assessment of the Membership, Strategies and Tactics of Dissident Irish Republican Organisations is an ESRC funded project led by Professor Jon Tonge (Principal Investigator, University of Liverpool) with the Christ Church History Team's Professor Thomas Hennessey as one of three Co-Investigators alongside Professor James W McAuley (University of Huddersfield) and Dr Kevin Bean (University of Liverpool).
Violent 'dissident' Irish republicanism has been evident since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, yet it has received only a modest amount of academic analysis. Since 1998, dissident Irish republicans have killed over fifty people and committed the worst atrocity in Northern Ireland at Omagh within months of the Agreement.
From 2009 to 2011, dissidents were responsible for 413 shootings and bombings and killed two British Army soldiers and two Police Service of Northern Ireland officers.
The aim of the project is to assess the development of dissident republicanism within theoretical contexts; to examine what unites and disunites dissident groups structurally, organisationally and ideologically; to explore the reasons why individuals offer support for dissident republican organisations and why they may offer preferment to a particular group; to analyse the tactics of mobilisation, such as contentious parades or policing issues, used by dissident republican groups to bolster community standing or sympathy; and to dissect and distinguish the short, medium and long-term aims of dissident republicans.
Professor Thomas Hennessy published his latest book Hunger Strike: Margaret Thatcher’s Battle With the IRA (1980-1981) in 2014. It was widely reviewed in the national press including here in the New Statesman.