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How Hazel Lavery played a key role for Ireland behind the scenes of Anglo-Irish Treaty talks

Mary Kenny


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Hazel Lavery on the old Irish pound note

Hazel Lavery on the old Irish pound note

Hazel Lavery on the old Irish pound note

The formal politics of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 has been brilliantly explored by contemporary historians. Sometimes, however, there are movers and shakers behind the scenes in any negotiation who also play an important role. And one of these, surely, was Hazel Lavery.

Older readers and numismatic hobbyists will recall her face on Irish pound notes between 1928 and 1977 in which she is portrayed – by her husband, the Belfast-born painter John Lavery – as Kathleen Ní Houlihan, the visual metaphor of Ireland.


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