1st Edition

Radical Basque Nationalist-Irish Republican Relations A History

By Niall Cullen Copyright 2024
    370 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume explains the genesis and development of the nexus between radical Basque nationalists and Irish republicans, how they have learnt from each other historically, and how they have utilised this relationship, at times, to their benefit.

    From medieval tales of shared origins to the violent conflicts largely wrought by ETA and the IRA, the Basque Country and Ireland have long been associated in popular imagination. Despite this, little is known of historical Basque-Irish relations and, in particular, the web of party-political, military and social movement connections between radical Basque nationalists and Irish republicans since the Irish Revolutionary Period (1916–23). Drawing on extensive archival research undertaken in Spain, Ireland and the UK, and more than 70 interviews conducted with politicians, former paramilitaries and grassroots activists, this is the first study to comprehensively document and analyse the emergence, evolution and implications of this mythified transnational relationship.

    Radical Basque Nationalist-Irish Republican Relations: A History will appeal to students and scholars of Irish republicanism, Basque nationalism, terrorism studies and social movements studies, as well as those interested in the contemporary history of Western Europe’s two most volatile regions.

    1. Introduction: ‘A Centenary of Basque-Irish Friendship’

    2. ‘The Good News of the Resurgence of the Old Nationalities’: From Medieval Myths to Modern Movements (c.830–1915)

    3. 'Let us Learn, Basques’: Fragments of a Radical Basque Nationalist-Irish Republican Nexus (1916–45)

    4. ‘New Men who Today Act with New Ideas’: Towards a New Cycle of Radical Basque Nationalist-Irish Republican Relations (1946–69)

    5. 'Are We Alone?’: From Revolutionaries on Tour to Last Revolutionaries Standing (1970–83)

    6. ‘One Struggle’: The Forging of a Radical Basque Nationalist-Irish Republican Shared Political Culture (1984–c.98)

    7. ‘Very Irish’: A Pathway to Peace in the Basque Country (c.1998–2011)

    8. ‘Gora Rebeldiak!’: Reflections on the History of Radical Basque Nationalist-Irish Republican Relations


    Niall Cullen is a researcher at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)—Department of Public Law, Historical-Legal Sciences and History of Political Thought. He holds a PhD in Contemporary History from UPV/EHU and has published several articles on Irish republican-Basque nationalist relations.

    "Cullen has delved into archives, newspapers and various other sources to tell the fascinating story of the relationship between these two political cultures over the last century. An essential work, well-documented and, at the same time, attractive to a wide audience."

    Santiago de Pablo, University of the Basque Country

    "A thoughtful, comparative history of a major subject. A fascinating and valuable book."

    Richard English, Queen’s University Belfast

    "This is an excellent and enlightening book and a real advance in our understanding of this topic. The text is enlivened by interviews with many of the participants, on both the Irish and the Basque side. It is warmly recommended to anyone with an interest in the Basque Country, Irish republicanism and the links between the two."

    John Dorney, The Irish Story

    "A fascinating account of the historical context of the rather complex relations between the two nationalist movements and their militant spearheads."

    Andreas HessStudies on National Movements 13(1), 214–222 (2024)

    "A timely piece of work, scrupulous in endorsing only facts and analyses for which the author can find first-hand evidence."

    Paddy Woodworth, The Irish Times