They might call themselves the ‘Real IRA’ or the ‘Continuity IRA’, but they’re really the Zombie IRA: small groups of resentful individuals who cynically don the historic garb of physical-force republicanism to disguise the fact that theirs is an inchoate, nihilistic form of violence rather than a serious political campaign.,
O'Neill first uses the zombie talk to slam actors for their nihilism. He then shifts to another Gothic register, noting the dead hand of the past:
The Kerr murder shows that Ireland is still a ‘prisoner of its past’, says one commentator, and that it might at any moment be plunged ‘back into [that] dark and bitter past’. [link in original]
Like time-travelling mental patients, apparently Irish people are continually being whispered to by ‘the voices of history’.
Zombie discourse seems to be developing rapidly in 2011, crossing a variety of fields.