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Choosing the Green? Paperback – 1 Jul 2004
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What does it mean it to be second or third generation Irish in Britain today? Phil Chevron claims the Pogues could only have happened from outside Ireland. Johnny Rotten's Irish background came out in virulently anti-English songs but he did not support Irish republicanism. Shane Magowan on the other hand gave second generation Irish a voice - 'he was the first person to stand up and not be embarrassed about it'. Who 'chooses the green' and why? Brian Dooley traces the history of prominent and unsung second/third generation individuals in the founding of the modern Irish state, including the story of the Kimmage garrison. The GPO was full of Scottish and English accents on Easter Monday 1916. Dooley takes us through the War of Independence and the Civil War. He discusses the extraordinary career of John Stephenson - Sean MacStiofain - who joined the IRA before even setting foot in Ireland and who became the first Chief of Staff of the Provisional IRA in 1970. The impact of IRA actions in Britain on victims, on the justice system and on second and third generation activists is considered in detail.The author's assessment of how the armed conflict helped shape modern second/third generation Irish identity in Britain includes the role of Irish people in the British Army - 'misfit soldiers'.Finally, Dooley shows the importance of second generation Irish in the peace process. This is a remarkable book helping to explain how Tony Cascarino and Andy Townsend have come to replace MacStiofain as the new Cockney Irish heroes.
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