British perspective on Ireland's troubled past is brought to book
Ronan Fanning's examination of the Anglo-Irish question is judged a tour de force, writes Liam Collins
'History," said Adrian Hardiman, "is more than the lives of the victors, it is also about the self-delusions of the defeated."
He was launching Ronan Fanning's new book, Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution, 1910-1922, at a gathering in Newman House in St Stephen's Green, Dublin, last Thursday evening.
Mr Justice Hardiman, a judge of the Supreme Court, recalled getting a "bracing introduction" to history from Prof Fanning in UCD 44 years ago which, he said, involved "breaking our lip service habit of glowering at England".
Prof Fanning, he said, "has devoted his entire life to Anglo-Irish friendship, and we can now hope that we will arrange our mutual affairs better in the future than we did in the past".
Fatal Path, which is published by Faber and Faber, studies the Anglo-Irish question and the War of Independence from a British perspective and is, according to Judge Hardiman, an "intellectual and imaginative tour de force" and "scholarship at the highest level".
Guests at the launch included former President of UCD Dr Art Cosgrove, former Chief Justice Ronan Keane, Michael McDowell, author Charles Lysaght, Mike Burns, Anne Harris, editor of the Sunday Independent, Bridget Hourican, Maurice Manning, Martin Mansergh, businessman, developer and impresario Harry Crosbie, former ambassador Noel Dorr, author Michael Lillis, journalist James Downey, Press Ombudsman John Horgan, Paul O'Higgins SC, Niall Belton of Faber and Faber and many former pupils of Prof Fanning at UCD.