The Irish War of Independence – A Religious War? Part III

In this concluding part of a three-part series, we talk about the results of the Irish Revolution and the partition of the country between North and South.

Free State troops man the new Irish border in 1922

Firstly, Fearghal McGarry strikes a cautionary note. Although we in Ireland might look back and shudder at political violence in our twentieth century, it amounts to no more than a drop in the ocean compared to the century’s other instances of war, massacre and population displacement.

McGarry Comparison

Here, we discuss the results of the War of Independence, firstly discussing the departure of some 40,000 Protestants from the south of Ireland after independence and the contrast between the two post-partition Irish states – the Irish Free state and Northern Ireland.

War of Independence 3

Contributors here are, in order, Fearghal McGarry, Niall Meehan and John Borgonovo. Questions by John Dorney.

Finally, long after the dead had been buried and the rifles had rusted in storage, the Irish War of Independence became the field for a furious war of words over whose interpretation of Irish history would predominate. Here we discuss the so called “nationalist” versus “revisionist” debate.

It’s worth bearing in mind that, as our contributors point out, the “History Wars” were conducted against the backdrop of actual armed conflict in the North. An influential body of opinion in the south took the view that nationalist history as whole was partly to blame for republican violence and also that it had obscured the complexity and nuance of real as opposed to mythological Irish history.

History Wars

Contributors; John Borgonovo, Fearghal McGarry and Niall Meehan.

Part I Before the Revolution

Part II Religious War?

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