Recently declassified documents (December 2023)
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
6M ago
The Irish government has released some previously classified documents at the turn of the year. There are some that cast light on events in Northern Ireland and Ireland more generally. The Guardian reports on stories aof acrimonious meetings between David Trimble, leader of the UUP, and Tony Blair, in the period after the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1997: David Trimble was ‘extraordinarily rude’ to Tony Blair at Good Friday talks https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/dec/27/david-trimble-was-extraordinarily-rude-to-tony-blair-at-good-friday-talks Another headline, “Diana apparently ..read more
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Belfast, Queen’s Bridge (Edwardian period?)
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
1y ago
Oilettte Postcard of Belfast, Queen’s Bridge An “oilette”* postcard from the Leonard A. Lauder collection of Raphael Tuck & Sons postcards (Curt Teich Postcard Archives Collection) via https://archive.org/details/nby_LL7497 *Introduced in 1903, Oilettes were promoted by the company as “veritable miniature oil paintings.” See: https://publications.newberry.org/tuck ..read more
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Irish History Compressed e-book on sale from 15 December 2022
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
1y ago
My book Irish History Compressed (the new and updated second edition) will be available as part of the Smashwords 2022 End of Year Sale! This is a chance to get my book, along with books from many other great authors, at a promotional discount. You can find the promo here: https://smashwords.com/shelves/promos Thank you for your help and support! Happy reading ..read more
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Irish History Compressed e-book – second edition
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
1y ago
The redesigned cover for the second edition A revised and slightly expanded version of my short history of Ireland should be available from all good e-book retailers by the time you read this. A couple of years ago, when the offer came to translate the original e-book into German (see here for details), I decided to make use of that opportunity to make a few revisions and corrections, and also write a new end section. The previous version ended with the economic crash of 2008, but since then Ireland has seen a number of highly significant events such as the referenda on abortion and same-sex ..read more
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Public Record Office at the Four Courts recreated online
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
1y ago
Cheering news for everyone interested in Ireland’s history: the mammoth project to recreate in virtual form the Public Records Office in Dublin’s Four Courts has been officially unveiled. (It can’t be said it’s been completed – indeed, it’s doubtful it ever can be.) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/22/irish-public-record-office-civil-war-bombardment-archives-reborn You can read about the destruction of the original archive here. [Note: this post should have been published in May. For some reason it landed in the “drafts” folder instead ..read more
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Eine komprimierte Geschichte Irlands:Irish History Compressed in German
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
2y ago
Titelbild vom Buch Eine komprimierte Geschichte Irlands I’m delighted to say that the (still unpublished) second edition of Irish History Compressed has been translated into German. I decided that the first edition (which ended with the economic crash of 2008) needed updated to take into account the many changes Ireland has experienced since then. (As you may notice, the cover got a makeover as well.) My thanks are due to my wonderful and patient translator Tora von Collani, who had to cope with me rewriting the final section over and over during the various lockdowns. I’m really happy with ..read more
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On this day: The Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
2y ago
On this day, after over a month of arduous and sometimes ill-tempered negotiation, delegates representing Dáil Éireann, the break-away Irish parliament, signed an agreement with the British government that brought to an end the political violence that had wracked Ireland since 1919 (some might even say, since 1916). Its main points were: Ireland would become a self-governing dominion, with a status similar to that of Canada. It would therefore remain within the British Empire and the Head of State would be the King. Ireland’s new status would be reflected in its name, Saorstát Éireann (Irish ..read more
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Sisi, Maynooth and St. George
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
2y ago
Empress Elisabeth of Austria in dancing-dress, 1865, Franz Xaver Winterhalter. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Empress_Elisabeth_of_Austria_in_dancing-dress,_1865,_Franz_Xaver_Winterhalter.jpg This is actually from a call for papers for an academic conference on Austrian travel writing, but I found it pretty funny: On 24 February 1879, Empress Elizabeth of Austria (‘Sisi’), participating in a stag hunt out of Summerhill House, residence of the Viscounts of Langfort in Kilcock, County Meath, breached the walls of neighbouring St. Patrick’s College ..read more
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On this day: the Opening of the Northern Irish Parliament
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
2y ago
One hundred years ago this week, on 22 June 1921, the official opening of a new parliament within the the United Kingdom took place. After elections on 24 May across the newly created entity of “Northern Ireland” (made up of the six north-eastern counties of Ireland), the successful candidates of the majority party, the Ulster Unionist Party, met in the Council Chamber of Belfast City Hall and appointed their leader James Craig first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. He was chosen unopposed, for the other parties that had contested the election refused to take up their seats. These other MPs ..read more
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Two Northern Irish book reviews:Paramilitary Loyalism: Identity and Change/A Difficult Birth: The Early Years of Northern Ireland, 1920–5
Irish History Compressed
by Bruce Gaston
2y ago
Richard Reed, Paramilitary Loyalism: Identity and Change (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015) Alan F. Parkinson, A Difficult Birth: The Early Years of Northern Ireland, 1920–5 (Dublin: Eastwood, 2020) As preparation for a guest lecture I gave at the University of Mannheim last month I read these two books, which in a way can be seen as book-ending the now-hundred-year history of Northern Ireland. They both also feature a large amount of anti-Catholic sectarian violence, though contrary to what you might expect there’s more about intimidation and violence towards Catholics in Parkins ..read more
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