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.
"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 . . ."