Gerry Fitt, A Political Chameleon

Gerry Fitt, A Political Chameleon


By (author) Michael Murphy, Foreword by Tim Pat Coogan


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  • Publisher: The Mercier Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 212mm x 34mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Cork
  • ISBN 10: 1856355314
  • ISBN 13: 9781856355315
  • Edition statement: New.

Product description

Fitt was a member of the minority nationalist community in Northern Ireland, which was governed by the Unionist majority, and his early years are by no means untypical of his class, generation and community. However, an interest in politics ensured that Fitt's life would be somewhat more distinctive. This first account of Gerry Fitt's life also investigates the formation of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) of which Fitt was a founder member and first leader. It analyses the role played by Fitt and the SDLP in the attempts to find a solution to the political breakdown that took place in the mid-1970s; Fitt's increasing isolation within the SDLP and his subsequent disenchantment in the late 1970s; traces the events which led to the loss of Fitt's Westminster seat (after seventeen years) to Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and Fitt's subsequent appointment to the House of Lords. Fitt seemed to enjoy being a maverick and was not predisposed to party discipline. He needed to be leader or to be able to do his own thing and to further his ambitions free from constraint.

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Author information

Michael Murphy lives in Downpatrick. He has a BA Hist/Eng from Strawberry Hill, an MSSc Queen's Belfast and a PhD from Loyola University Chicago.