chapter  3
The Republican Movement
Rationalising, leadership, and resolving the ‘disappeared’
WithLauren Dempster
Pages 40

This chapter discusses the majority of the ‘disappeared’ were, according to Irish Republican Army (IRA) statements, ‘guilty’ of either informing, stealing IRA weapons, or some other internal disciplinary violation. It explores several aspects of the ‘Movement’s’ response to the ‘disappeared’ issue. The chapter explains the timing of, and motivation for, Republican engagement in the search process. The need to find remains is of course vital to the families of victims, but simultaneously, recovery of the bodies also became important to prove the bona fides of the IRA and Republican Movement more broadly. Locating the ‘disappeared’ demonstrated the leaving behind of violent conflict, and served as a symbol of Republican commitment to the peace process. The chapter argues that the embarrassment surrounding ‘disappearances’ has continued into the post-conflict period, resulting in a dissonance between Republican rhetoric on the issue, and the reality of their engagement in the search process.