Ireland in the immediate post-war period offers, to the student of Cold War politics and intrigues, some unusual insights into the nature of political surveillance in general and to the surveillance of the press in particular, according to documents recently released by the US State department and made available in the US National Archives in Washington.1 Politically, the situation was becoming more volatile. Fianna Fáil, which had been in power continuously since 1942 and had won its most recent election in 1944, was coming under increasingly vocal criticism from two key groups of erstwhile supporters: urban workers, who had been chafing under wages stand-still orders for much of the war, and who were disappointed that the end of the conflict had not produced much in the way of material benefits; and republicans, many of whom had been interned during the war, and some of whom felt in any case that a sense of drive and purpose was missing from Fianna Fáil's approach to the national question.

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