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- PublicationDublin opinions : Dublin newspapers and the crisis of the fifties(University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2009)Dublin journalism was well served by three national newspapers and a coterie of weeklies and irregular publications during the period 1948-1962. In this paper, the different 'takes' on the perceived crisis in the Irish economy and polity of the mid-fifties are analysed. It is concluded that the Irish Independent and the Irish Times adhered to almost identical positions of agrarian fundamentalism until very late on during this crucial decade in Ireland's political and economic development. It is also argued that the case for non-farm employment as Ireland's true future was most consistently and energetically made by the Irish Press, essentially the mouthpiece of Sean Lemass, Minister for Industry and Commerce from 1945 to 1948, 1951 to 1954, 1957 to 1959 and Taoiseach thereafter. The awareness that Ireland had to diversify economically was behind the foundation in 1949-50 of the Industrial Development Authority under the auspices of Daniel Morrissey of Fine Gael. All major parties were deeply divided on the issue of economic development. It is also concluded that the sense of a real social and cultural crisis was intense at the time, and the awareness that an old Ireland had to die that a new one might be born was strong.
- PublicationAn Irish republican tradition?(University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2004)This paper argues that there has indeed been a long-standing republican political tradition in Ireland, dating perhaps from the American and French revolutions and certainly from the 1850s. Intellectually it has been less than coherent, and commonly it has been a very broad church indeed, containing in its ranks constitutional monarchs, communists, near fascists and national democrats. Contrary to modern claims that Irish republicanism has always favoured neutrality, it is pointed out that Irish republicans have commonly favoured alliances with great powers as counterweights to Great Britain. Republican constitutional theory has remained rather underdeveloped and cannot compete for intellectual depth with the mainline Irish political tradition represented by the constitutions of 1922 and 1937. Modern IRA associated attempts at political theory betray a fantasist style of thinking and an utter disregard for both political realities and the whole question of popular consent.
- PublicationRedefining southern nationalism : a political perspective ; an academic perspectiveA political perspective: Southern Irish nationalism was traditionally aggressive and negative, and tended to view Northern Ireland as a colonial remnant; but economic protectionism and isolationism did little to stem the flow of emigrants out of the country. Evolution under the leadership of Sean Lemass from 1959 onwards led to a more outward-looking Ireland, but the more negative aspects of Irish nationalism began to appear again in the 1970s. The tension between two forms of republicanism should be resolved, the author argues, by an effort by liberal democrats to reclaim the term for them-selves, redefining it as a belief in the primacy of the people through an exclusively democratic process.