Friday 9 December 2016

Excerpt from Fergal Keane's introduction to 'The Story Of Ireland'

Published 19/02/2011 | 05:00

"Nothing reduces me to despair more than a vision of Irish history that reduces the debate about the past to a simple paradigm of the Irish versus the English, who was right and who was wrong, as if history could be reduced to a crude morality play.

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"As this book will show, it is not only misleading and reductive but profoundly self-limiting.

"The real story of Ireland and the Irish is so much bigger . . . at every turn I took while making the television series I was aware of international connections . . . the period of our isolation from the mainstream of world affairs was comparatively short and it was almost overwhelmingly a psychological rather than a physical drawing inwards, beginning for both northern and southern states after 1922 and continuing in the south until the arrival of Lemass in 1959 . . ."

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