Éamon de Valera was a prominent statesman and political leader in 20th-century Ireland, serving several terms as head of government and head of state.
My “favourite Irish pub” in Brussels, way back when, was run by a Moroccan Jew and his Danish girlfriend. I say favourite because it was – by a country mile – the most spurious, un-Irish hostelry I have ever encountered.
History haunts our understanding of the war in Ukraine. As Financial Times columnist Simon Kuper put it: “There’s one thing that Ukrainians, ordinary Russians, Vladimir Putin and westerners all have in our heads during this conflict: the Second World War”.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced us to consider where we stand when it comes to global affairs — and today’s Sunday Independent/Ireland Think poll today reveals very clearly the significant divisions in Irish society when it comes to foreign policy.
As historian, author and UCD professor Diarmaid Ferriter waits to see if his latest work, Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War, wins him yet another Irish book award later this month, his previous ‘literary feud’ with writer Tim Pat Coogan is still making waves all these years later.
One hundred years ago tomorrow, the Treaty negotiations began in London. That Treaty was the most polarising event in Irish history. So why does it often feel like public discourse has never been as polarised as now?
Thousands of Irish emigrants thronged Euston railway station in London. They came to support negotiators arriving by train from Holyhead. Bands played The Soldier’s Song and marched behind cars carrying Treaty delegates through cheering Irish crowds.
He was long ago affectionately dubbed the “grandfather of RTÉ radio” and, throughout a 51-year broadcasting career, his distinctive lilting north Cork voice was a calling card instantly recognised by generations of listeners.
It was, wrote one reporter, “the most memorable gathering that has been held in Dublin in our recent history”. The post-Truce Dáil met for the first time on August 16, 1921, in Dublin’s Mansion House. In a “pitiless downpour”, members of the public queued to be admitted and many had to be turned away. Inside a crowded Round Room, the new TDs stood up. They recited together an oath to “support and defend the Irish Republic”.
The big picture view of the Irish State’s relationship with the Catholic Church bears out the writer James Joyce’s belief that the new Irish State would swap British rule for Rome rule.
The first week of July 1921. At long last a truce looks likely. Weary from the War of Independence and the Black and Tans, people are hopeful. Sinn Féin is meeting southern unionists. Two men arrive for key peace talks at Dublin’s Mansion House.
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