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The HoodsCrime and Punishment in Belfast$
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Heather Hamill

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691180687

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691180687.001.0001

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West Belfast

West Belfast

(p.17) One West Belfast
The Hoods

Heather Hamill

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that, from the early days of the political conflict in the 1970s the conditions were such that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) adopted some of the functions of the state, namely the provision of policing and punishment of ordinary crime. The hostility of the statutory criminal justice system, particularly the police, toward the working-class Catholic community dramatically increased the costs of using state services. The high levels of disaffection and aggression among working-class Catholics toward the police meant that the state could no longer fulfill its function and police the community in any “normal” way. A demand for policing therefore existed. Simultaneously, this demand was met and fostered by the IRA, which had the motivation, the manpower, and the monopoly on the use of violence necessary to carry out this role.

Keywords:   Irish Republican Army, IRA, policing, punishment, ordinary crime, statutory criminal justice system, working-class Catholics, extralegal governance

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