James Downey: History teaches us value of leadership
Published 04/12/2010 | 05:00
EVERY two years the Royal Irish Academy, in association with the National Archives, publishes another instalment in the series 'Documents on Irish Foreign Policy'. The story begins in 1919, and the latest volume, No 7, covers the period from January 16, 1941, to August 14, 1945, in other words most of World War Two.
The link between the dates may not be immediately apparent, but it is close -- and relevant to the present in more ways than one.
Even before independence, our leaders took the first steps towards devising our own foreign policy. Before the second world war broke out in 1939, they decided on a policy based on maintaining neutrality throughout the unavoidable conflict.