‘No-one likes us; we don't care’: ‘Dissident’ Irish Republicans and Mandates



The episodic dissident republican activity evident in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement has been accompanied by regular assertions from the police, politicians and commentators that dissidents have no backing. This article examines the historic importance of mandates and support for previous and contemporary republican armed campaigns. It explores whether violent republicans have ever enjoyed widespread support in Ireland and assesses the extent to which a lack of backing has precluded violent campaigns. The piece analyses the evidence regarding the lack of sympathy for current dissident violence, assessing the degree to which armed republicanism has reached a new level of isolation.