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‘Out in the cold’?: The children of the Irish Parliamentary Party and the Irish Free State

  • James McConnel (a1)
Abstract

Drawing on the recent scholarly interest in ‘generationism’ and the revolutionary period, this article examines the life chances of the 247 children born to the last cohort of Irish Parliamentary Party M.P.s elected to Westminster between 1910 and 1918. It employs a prosopographical approach to reconstruct their lives at specific points (1910 and 1948) in order to assess the impact that independence had on their fortunes longitudinally. While it problematises the idea that the Edwardian children of nationalist M.P.s formed part of a privileged elite in waiting, it does conclude that they enjoyed a degree of cultural and political capital that positioned them advantageously in advance of home rule. The analysis advanced here suggests that despite experiencing some political disorientation, those scions of the old I.P.P. who lived through the revolutionary years reoriented themselves relatively quickly, regrouped, and experienced considerable political and professional success during the following decades. As for those children who were born or achieved adulthood after 1922, there is little evidence to suggest that they were socially or politically ostracised, or that, in turn, they felt a sense of fundamental alienation from the new state. Ultimately, unlike those who had fought for the republic but ended up feeling as if they were among the losers, what the children of the I.P.P lost after 1918 should not obscure the fact that many of them were among the winners in the new Ireland.

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* Department of Humanities, Northumbria University, james.mcconnel@northumbria.ac.uk
References
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1 O’Brien, Conor Cruise, Memoir: my life and themes (London, 1998), pp 2021 .

2 Irish Times, 23 July 1994.

3 Whelan, Diarmuid, Conor Cruise O’Brien: violent notions (Dublin, 2009), p. 11 ; O’Brien, Conor Cruise, States of Ireland (London, 1972), p. 106 .

4 For example, see David Fitzpatrick, ‘Protestant depopulation and the Irish Revolution’ in I.H.S., xxxviii, no. 152 (Nov. 2013), pp 643–59; Foster, Roy, Vivid faces: the revolutionary generation in Ireland, 1890–1923 (London, 2014); Taylor, Paul, Heroes or traitors? Experiences of southern Irish soldiers returning from the Great War, 1919–1939 (Liverpool, 2015).

5 For example, see Meleady, Dermot, Redmond: the Parnellite (Cork, 2008); Dooley, Chris, Redmond: a life undone (Dublin, 2015).

6 O’Brien, , Memoir, p. 8 .

7 See Foster, , Vivid faces, p. 7 ; Dháibhéid, Caoimhe Nic, ‘“Fighting their fathers”: the post-revolutionary generation in an independent Ireland’ in Senia Pašeta (ed.), Uncertain futures: essays about the Irish past for Roy Foster (Oxford, 2016), pp 148160 .

8 The existence of M.P.s’ offspring was established using newspaper obituaries and funeral reports for their parents; in particular, the Irish Newspaper Archive (www.irishnewsarchive.com), the online Irish Times archive (www.irishtimes.com/archive), the British Library’s British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk), and other digitised press titles were used. These were supplemented by use of the 1901 and 1911 censuses for Ireland and Britain. Other biographical data were collected using records available on Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk), FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org), the Dictionary of Irish Biography and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

9 On this see Shain, Yossie, The frontier of loyalty: political exiles in the age of the nation-state (Ann Arbor, MI, 2005).

10 For example, see Faber, Sebastiaan, Exile and cultural hegemony: Spanish intellectuals in Mexico, 1929–1975 (Nashville, TN, 2002), p. 162 .

11 Campbell, Fergus, The Irish establishment, 1879–1914 (Oxford, 2009); O’Neill, Ciaran, Catholics of consequence: transnational education, social mobility, and the Irish Catholic elite, 1850–1900 (Oxford, 2014).

12 Pašeta, Senia, Before the revolution: nationalism, social change, and the Catholic elite, 1879–1922 (Cork, 1999), p. 1 .

13 Thomas Martin O’Donoghue, ‘The legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in independent Ireland, 1922–49’ (Ph.D. thesis, National University Ireland, Galway, 2016), p. i.

14 Regan, John M., The Irish counter-revolution, 1921–1936: treatyite politics and settlement in independent Ireland (Dublin, 1999).

15 Regan, , The Irish counter-revolution .

16 Simmons, Allan H., ‘Topography and transformation: a postcolonial reading of Dubliners ’ in Leonard Orr (ed.), Joyce, imperialism, and postcolonialism (Syracuse, NY, 2008), p. 24 .

17 Joyce, James, Dubliners, ed. Jeri Johnson (Oxford, 2000; first published 1914), pp 3035 .

18 Il Piccolo della Sera, 19 May 1907; McConnel, James, The Irish Parliamentary Party and the third home rule crisis (Dublin, 2013), pp 1115 .

19 O’Day, Alan, The English face of Irish nationalism: Irish involvement in British politics, 1880–86 (Dublin, 1977), p. 22 . However, see O’Brien, Conor Cruise, Parnell and his party, 1880–90 (Oxford, 1957), pp 1718 .

20 Maume, Patrick, The long gestation: Irish nationalist life, 1891–1918 (Dublin, 1999), p. 36 .

21 Levenson, Leah and Natterstad, Jerry H., Hanna Sheehy Skeffington: Irish feminist (Syracuse, NY, 1986), p. 7 ; O’Brien, , States of Ireland, p. 80 .

22 O’Brien, , States of Ireland, p. 62 .

23 Campbell, , The Irish establishment, p. 174 .

24 Ibid., pp 67, 213–14.

25 O’Neill, , Catholics of consequence, p. 2 .

26 Campbell, , The Irish establishment, pp 7779 . The 1911 census details 1,246,706 men and women aged 20 to 49. Catholics constituted 73.8 per cent of the Irish population, suggesting that the Catholic portion of those aged 20 to 49 was roughly 920,069. 30,000 is 3.3 per cent of this figure.

27 Lyons, F. S. L., The Irish Parliamentary Party, 1890–1910 (London, 1951), pp 169176 .

28 McConnel, , The Irish Parliamentary Party, pp 7193 .

29 William Lundon to John Dillon, 7 Apr. 1908 (T.C.D., John Dillon papers, MS 6756/924); John Roche to John Dillon, 3 June 1912 (Ibid., MS 6750/109).

30 Western People, 20 July 1912.

31 Clear, Caitriona, Social change and everyday life in Ireland, 1850–1922 (Manchester, 2007), pp 43–5, 4850 .

32 Gaughan, J. Anthony, A political odyssey: Thomas O’Donnell, M.P. for West Kerry, 1900–1918 (Dublin, 1983), p. 141 ; Meleady, Dermot, John Redmond: the national leader (Sallins, Co. Kildare, 2014), p. 12 ; Longford Leader, 16 Sept. 1919.

33 Longford Leader, 6 Sept. 1916.

34 Irish Examiner, 30 July 1913.

35 O’Neill, , Catholics of consequence, p. 164 .

36 O’Brien, , States of Ireland, pp 6263 .

37 Kenneth Prandy and Wendy Bottero, ‘Social reproduction and mobility in Britain and Ireland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’ in Sociology, xxxiv, no. 2 (May, 2000), p. 272.

38 Meleady, , Redmond, p. 72 .

39 Ibid., p. 229.

40 Irish Examiner, 4 Mar. 1922.

41 Irish Independent, 3 June 1933.

42 Regan, , The Irish counter-revolution, p. 245 .

43 Lyons, , The Irish Parliamentary Party, p. 169 .

44 O’Brien, , Memoir, p. 21 ; Pašeta, , Before the Revolution, p. 83 .

45 Longford Leader, 4 Aug. 1915.

46 Whelan, , Conor Cruise O’Brien, p. 12 ; Philip Sheppard, ‘Protestant society and nationalist popular politics: the Queen’s County, 1898–1914’ (M.Phil., Newcastle University, 2017), p. 50.

47 Prandy, and Bottero, , ‘Social reproduction and mobility’, p. 273 .

48 Lyons, , The Irish Parliamentary Party, p. 210 .

49 Ward, Margaret, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington: a life (Cork, 1997), p. 1 . See also Akenson, Donald Harman, Conor: a biography of Conor Cruise O’Brien (2 vols, Montreal, 1994), i, 13 .

50 Ward, , Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, p. 8 ; Maura Brock to Colonel Josiah Wedgewood, 7 Jan. 1937 (History of Parliament Trust, London, Wedgewood Archive).

51 Regan, , The Irish counter-revolution, p. 342 .

52 Boland, Bridget, At my mother’s knee (London, 1978), p. 45 .

53 Pašeta, , Before the revolution, p. 64 .

54 Manning, Maurice, James Dillon: a biography (Dublin, 1999), p. 108 .

55 O’Mara resigned from the I.P.P. in 1907.

56 Lavelle, Patricia, James O’Mara: a staunch Sinn Feiner (Dublin, 1961), pp 141142 .

57 Freeman’s Journal, 10 Dec. 1910.

58 Ibid., 1 Aug. 1899, 1 June 1906.

59 Information on Redmond provided by Honor Ó Brolcháin to author, 8 Aug. 2016.

60 Ward, , Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, pp 2526 .

61 Freeman’s Journal, 14 Apr. 1913, 22 Apr. 1914.

62 Ibid., 4 May 1908.

63 On this, see Chubb, Basil, The government and politics of Ireland (London, 1992), p. 88 .

64 Sinn Féin, 31 Oct. 1914.

65 McConnel, , The Irish Parliamentary Party, pp 297313 .

66 The Leader, 26 Sept. 1914.

67 Sheehy, Eugene, May it please the court (Dublin, 1951), p. 86 .

68 Freeman’s Journal, 2 Feb. 1915; Irish Times, 18 Sept. 1915.

69 Reid, Colin W., ‘Between the Redmondite and revolutionary generations: Denis Gwynn in old and new Ireland’ in Pašeta (ed.), Uncertain futures, p. 139 .

70 Ibid., p. 140.

71 Jeffery, Keith, 1916: a global history (London, 2015), p. 111 ; Puirséil, Niamh, ‘War, work, and labour’ in John Horne (ed.), Our war: Ireland and the Great War (Dublin, 2008), p. 186 ; Bowman, Timothy, Irish regiments in the Great War: discipline and morale (Manchester, 2003), p. 76 .

72 O’Malley, William, Glancing back: 70 years’ experiences and reminiscences of press man, sportsman and member of parliament (London, 1933), p. 164 .

73 W. A. Redmond to John Redmond, 14 July 1916, cited in Meleady, Redmond, p. 391.

74 Sheehy, , May it please the court, p. 91 .

75 Richardson, Neil, According to their lights: stories of Irishmen in the British army, 1916 (Dublin, 2015), p. 79 .

76 Townshend, Charles, Easter 1916: the Irish rebellion (London, 2005), p. 161 ; Ward, , Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, p. 155 .

77 Freeman’s Journal, 12 Nov. 1917.

78 Aubrey E. Clancy and Andrew J. Kettle, ‘Claim for loss of commission on rates due to rebellion in Dublin’ (N.A.I., Property Losses (Ireland) Committee, 1916, PLIC/1/6371) (accessed online: http://centenaries.nationalarchives.ie/reels/plic/PLIC_1_6371.pdf) (26 Nov. 2017).

79 Irish Independent, 19 Apr. 1932; Manning, James Dillon, p. 25.

80 ‘The Meehan brothers & “Dev” at Knock’ (https://www.knockunion.ie/news/the-meehan-brothers-dev-at-knock-10320) (26 Nov. 2017).

81 Leinster Express, 16 Dec. 1916, 30 July 1977.

82 Sheehy, , May it please the court, p. 91 .

83 Freeman’s Journal, 16 July 1917.

84 Irish Examiner, 11 Mar. 1918; Freeman’s Journal, 11, 12, 16 Mar. 1918.

85 Leinster Express, 11 Aug. 1917, 14 Sept. 1918.

86 Manning, , James Dillon, p. 108 .

87 Harrington, Niall C., Kerry landing: an episode of the Irish Civil War (Dublin, 1992), pp 4761 .

88 McConnel, , The Irish Parliamentary Party, pp 125129 . See also Keogh, Richard and McConnel, James, ‘The Esmonde family of Co. Wexford and Catholic loyalty’ in Oliver P. Rafferty (ed.), Irish Catholic identities (Manchester, 2013), pp 272291 . The phrase is Michael Wheatley’s. See his Nationalism and the Irish Party: provincial Ireland, 1910–1916 (Oxford, 2005), p. 136.

89 Pauric J. Dempsey and Shaun Boylan, ‘Esmonde, Sir Osmond Thomas Grattan’, in Dictionary of Irish Biography (D.I.B.).

90 Freeman’s Journal, 24 Sept. 1918.

91 Maurice Manning, ‘Dillon, James Matthew’, in D.I.B.; idem, James Dillon, p. 23.

92 Dempsey & Boylan, ‘Esmonde, Sir Osmond Thomas Grattan’; Freeman’s Journal, 12, 15 Jan., 1 July, 9 Sept. 1921; ‘Report on the mission to New Zealand and Australia by Osmond Grattan Esmonde’ (N.A.I., Department of Foreign Affairs, E.S., box 32, file 220; accessed online via Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: http://www.difp.ie/docs/1921/Australia-New-Zealand/105.htm) (3 Jan. 2018).

93 Mrs George Gavan Duffy statement (N.A.I., B.M.H., W.S. 712).

94 Ibid.

95 Ryan, Meda, Michael Collins and the women who spied for Ireland (Dublin, 2006), p. 51 ; Coogan, Tim Pat, Michael Collins: a biography (London, 1990), p. 108 .

96 Ryan, , Michael Collins and the women who spied for Ireland, pp 12, 64 .

97 Hart, Peter, Mick: the real Michael Collins (London, 2005), p. 352 .

98 Coogan, , Michael Collins, p. 287287 ; Southern Star, 12 Oct. 1996.

99 Coogan, , Michael Collins, p. 109 ; Lubenow, W. C., The Cambridge Apostles, 1820–1914: liberalism, imagination, and friendship (Cambridge, 1998), p. 195 .

100 Leinster Express, 30 July 1977.

101 Leinster Express, 27 Nov. 1920.

102 Leinster Express, 30 July 1977.

103 Irish Times, 13 Feb. 1965.

104 Manning, , James Dillon, p. 27 ; Pašeta, Senia, ‘Women and civil society: feminist responses to the Irish constitution of 1937’ in Jose Harris (ed.), Civil society in British history: ideas, identities, institutions (Oxford, 2005), p. 224 .

105 Katherine Barry-Moloney statement (N.A.I., B.M.H., W.S. 731).

106 Freeman’s Journal, 27 July 1920.

107 John Dillon to T. P. O’Connor, 8 Feb. 1923, cited in F. S. L. Lyons, John Dillon: a biography (London, 1968), p. 472.

108 Irish Independent, 19 Sept. 1919; Leinster Express, 3 Oct. 1981; Laura O’Kelly, Irish women in medicine, c.1880s–1920s: origins, education, and careers (Manchester, 2012), p. 227; Leinster Express, 27 Aug. 1949; Manning, James Dillon, p. 31.

109 Shaun Dillon to James Dillon, 24 Nov. 1921, cited in Manning, James Dillon, p. 34.

110 Meath Chronicle, 20 Jan. 1923.

111 O’Brien, , States of Ireland, p. 104 .

112 Daire Hogan, ‘Sheehy, Eugene’, in D.I.B; Irish Times, 18 Feb. 1928; O’Brien, States of Ireland, p. 105.

113 O’Brien, , States of Ireland, p. 105 .

114 Irish Examiner, 1 May 1925; Evening Herald, 1 Jan. 1927; O’Brien, Memoir, p. 62; O’Brien, States of Ireland, p. 106.

115 Harrington, , Kerry landing, pp 4761 .

116 Foster, Vivid faces; Flanagan, Frances, Remembering the revolution: dissent, culture, and nationalism in the Irish Free State (Oxford, 2015).

117 O’Callaghan, Margaret, ‘Introduction’ in Angela Bourke et al., (eds), The Field Day anthology of Irish writing, v: Irish women’s writing and traditions (Cork, 2002), p. 123 .

118 Dempsey & Boylan, ‘Esmonde, Sir Osmond Thomas Grattan’; Irish Examiner, 8 Jan. 1923; Ulster Herald, 13 Jan. 1923.

119 Manning, , James Dillon, p. 33 .

120 Ibid., p. 28.

121 Brian Dillon to Theo Dillon, 17 Nov. 1922; John Dillon to Myles Dillon, 25 Nov. 1922, cited in Joachim Fischer and John Dillon (eds), The correspondence of Myles Dillon, 1922–1925 (Dublin 1999), pp 47, 53.

122 Southern Star, 14 Apr. 1923.

123 Gaughan, , A political odyssey, pp 141142 .

124 John Dillon to T. P. O’Connor, 27 Jan. 1921, cited in Lyons, John Dillon, p. 469.

125 Pašeta, Senia, ‘Ireland’s last home rule generation: the decline of constitutional nationalism in Ireland, 1916–30’ in Michael Cronin and John M. Regan (eds), Ireland: the politics of independence, 1922–49 (Basingstoke, 2000), p. 26 .

126 Regan, , The Irish counter-revolution, pp 244249, 378 .

127 Ibid., pp 264–5.

128 Freeman’s Journal, 17 Aug. 1923.

129 Longford Leader, 23 Oct. 1920, 12 May 1923.

130 Freeman’s Journal, 10 Aug. 1923; Longford Leader, 6 June 1925.

131 Regan, The Irish counter-revolution, p. 241.

132 Evening Herald, 25 June 1926.

133 Manning, , James Dillon, p. 43 ; Marie Coleman, ‘Redmond, William Archer Redmond’, in D.I.B.

134 Regan, , The Irish counter-revolution, p. 142 .

135 Kevin O’Higgins to Frank McDermott, 18 May 1927, cited in Manning, , James Dillon, p. 60 .

136 Meehan, Ciara, The Cosgrave party: a history of Cumann na nGaedheal, 1923–33 (Dublin, 2010), pp 100105 .

137 Manning, , James Dillon, p. 44 .

138 Regan, , The Irish counter-revolution, p. 265 .

139 Gaughan, , A political odyssey, p. 167 ; Connacht Tribune, 28 May 1927; Irish Independent, 14 Dec. 1926.

140 Gaughan, , A political odyssey, p. 161, 168 ; Manning, , James Dillon, p. 43 .

141 Gaughan, , A political odyssey, pp 151153 ; Irish Times, 25 May 1927.

142 Manning, , James Dillon, pp 32, 47 .

143 Ibid., p. 47.

144 Nenagh Guardian, 5 Apr. 1930; Irish Independent, 3 June 1933.

145 Manning, , James Dillon, pp 2751 .

146 Gallagher, Michael, Political parties in the Republic of Ireland (Manchester, 1985), p. 102 ; Lawrence William White, ‘Esmonde, Sir John Lymbrick’, in D.I.B.

147 Longford Leader, 14 Oct. 1933; Connacht Tribune, 7 Nov. 1933.

148 Connacht Tribune, 7 Nov. 1933; Manning, James Dillon, p. 73.

149 Pauric J. Dempsey and Shaun Boylan, ‘Esmonde, Sir Osmond Thomas Grattan’, in D.I.B.

150 Ibid.

151 Nenagh Guardian, 5 Apr. 1930; Manning, James Dillon, p. 386; Longford Leader, 14 Oct. 1933; Connacht Tribune, 7 Nov. 1933; Irish Press, 16 Apr. 1937; Irish Examiner, 24 May 1974.

152 O’Connor-Lysaght, D. R., The Republic of Ireland: an hypothesis in eight chapters and two intermissions (Cork, 1970), p. 142 .

153 Whyte, J. H., ‘To the declaration of the Republic and the Ireland Act, 1945–9’ in J. R. Hill (ed.), A new history of Ireland, vii: Ireland, 1921–1984 (Oxford, 2003), p. 269 .

154 Lynch, Patrick, ‘More pages from an Irish memoir’ in Richard English and Joseph Morrison Skelley (eds), Ideas matter: essays in honour of Conor Cruise O’Brien (Oxford, 2000), p. 130 .

155 Irish Times, 25 Sept. 1950.

156 Irish Independent, 9 July 1958.

157 Maurice Manning, ‘Dillon, James Matthew’, in D.I.B.; Irish Independent, 20 Feb. 1942.

158 Westmeath Examiner, 30 Aug. 1997.

159 Ibid., 10 May 2003.

160 Daily Telegraph, 26 Dec. 2002.

161 Irish Independent, 30 Nov. 1946.

162 Law, Francis, A man at arms: memoirs of two world wars (London, 1983), pp 157170 .

163 Nenagh Guardian, 21 Feb. 1942; Irish Press, 13 Apr. 1942; Chaz Bowyer, Eugene Esmonde, VC, DSO (London, 1983).

164 Irish Press, 7 Dec. 1957.

165 Irish Independent, 1 June 1966.

166 Ibid., 12 June 1942.

167 Irish Press, 27 July 1948.

168 O’Brien, , Memoir, p. 8 ; Irish Times, 13 Feb. 2016.

169 Irish Press, 31 Dec. 1940.

170 Westmeath Examiner, 30 Aug. 1997.

171 Ulster Herald, 17 Nov. 1945.

172 Irish Press, 14 Nov. 1947; Gaughan, , A political odyssey, p. 139 .

173 Irish Examiner, 24 Sept. 1956.

174 Delaney, Enda, The Irish in post-war Britain (Oxford, 2007), p. 89 .

175 Ibid., p. 92.

176 Irish Independent, 1 June 1966; Tony Shaw, British cinema and the Cold War: the state, propaganda, and consensus (New York, 2006), p. 81.

177 Irish Examiner, 22 Mar. 1963.

178 The Times, 2 Feb. 1982.

179 Westmeath Examiner, 8 June 1974; Irish Independent, 28 Aug. 1951, 20 Feb. 1967.

180 Garvin, Tom, Nationalist revolutionaries in Ireland, 1858–1928 (Oxford, 1987), p. 56 . See also Garvin, Tom, ‘Declonisatation, nationalism, and electoral politics in Ireland, 1832–1945’ in Otto Büsch, (ed.), Wählerbewegung in der Europäischen geschichte (Berlin, 1980), p. 279 .

181 Irish Examiner, 15 July 1937; Pašeta, , ‘Women and civil society’, pp 224225 ; Pašeta, Senia, Irish nationalist women, 1900–1918 (Cambridge, 2013), p. 271 .

182 Irish Times, 5 Oct. 1950.

183 Connacht Tribune, 28 May 1960.

184 Irish Independent, 11 July 1935.

185 Daniel M. Smith and Shane Martin, ‘Political dynasties and the selection of cabinet ministers’ in Legislative Studies Quarterly, xli, no. 1 (Feb. 2017), p. 133.

186 Eoghan Ó Raghallaigh, ‘Dillon, Myles Patrick’, in D.I.B.

187 Manning, ‘Dillon, James Matthew’, in D.I.B.; Manning, James Dillon, p. 3.

188 Reid, , ‘Between the Redmondite and revolutionary generations’, pp 136, 147 .

189 Manning, , James Dillon, p. 56 .

190 Martin O’Donoghue, ‘“The renewal of a pledge of faith”?: “John Redmond days” in the south-east in the 1920s’ in History Ireland, xxiii, no. 1 (Jan./Feb. 2015), pp 28–41.

191 Noel Kissane, ‘Harrington, Niall Charles’, in D.I.B.

192 Irish Independent, 5 Oct. 1937; Freeman’s Journal, 13 Nov. 1918.

193 Irish Times, 26 Dec. 1960.

194 Ibid., 4 Jan. 1969; Irish Independent, 19 Dec. 1938.

195 Irish Press, 2 Sept. 1966.

196 Munster Express, 28 Sept. 1956, 11 July 1958; Irish Press, 1 Oct. 1956; Irish Times, 3, 18, 27 Sept. 1956; Irish Examiner, 3, 5 Sept. 1956; Irish Independent, 1 Oct. 1956.

197 Irish Examiner, 1 Oct. 1956.

198 Irish Times, 1 Oct. 1956.

199 Farrell, J. G., Troubles (London, 1970);

Brian Donnelly, ‘The big house in the recent novel’ in Studies, lxiv, no. 254 (Summer 1975), pp 133–42.

200 Foster, Vivid faces, p. 291. This article resulted from a paper delivered to the Parnell Summer School in 2016. The author would like to thank the school’s academic director, William Murphy, and the organising committee for this opportunity.

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Irish Historical Studies
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