Latest Issue

Ireland and the left

Peace of a kind may be coming to Northern Ireland. But, says Geoffrey Wheatcroft, it is no thanks to the soft-headed indulgence of the republican movement by the old British left

As Gerry Adams was on his way to visit Downing Street for the first time last December, he stopped to sign copies of his latest book at “a socialist bookshop in Bloomsbury Street.” Reading these words, I thought of Joe Hendron, physician and former SDLP member for Belfast West, and of John Banville, novelist, critic and literary editor of the Irish Times.

In the spring of 1996, a year before the general election in which he lost his seat to Adams, Hendron denounced Sinn Fein as “a sectarian and fascist organisation.” And earlier, in September 1994, when asked his reaction…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect