Despite some historical divergence, political parties in the Republic of Ireland shared some key objectives in response to the Troubles. Most consistently, each of the main parties (Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael) sought to undermine support for the IRA in Northern Ireland and de-legitimise arguments by Sinn Féin and the IRA. Over the course of the peace process, such common priorities developed into a wider shared discourse on the principles for agreement in Northern Ireland. The parties in the Republic soon established a vocal consensus incorporating support for the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Féin involvement in politics in Northern Ireland, reconciliation, and a pluralist republicanism. The emergence of this common discourse has been essential to the legitimacy and durability of the peace process.

Author Bio(s)

Catherine O’Donnell was an IRCHSS post-doctoral fellow at the Humanities Institute of Ireland, UCD, 2005-2007. Her book, Fianna Fáil, Irish Republicanism and the Northern Ireland Troubles, 1968-2005 was published by Irish Academic Press in 2007. She was previously a research fellow at the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen‟s University, Belfast where she worked on a joint north-south project examining the 1966 commemoration of the 1916 Rising. She has published articles in Irish Political Studies and Contemporary British History. Email: catherine.odonnell@ucd.ie.


Good Friday Agreement, peace process, political discourse, Republic of Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.