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The Irish Free State/Éire/Republic of Ireland/Ireland: “A Country by Any Other Name”?

  • Mary E. Daly
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Abstract
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References
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1 My spelling of Eire with or without É is determined by the original document that I am citing in that section of the text. All British usage is Eire; in some instances the Irish usage is also Eire, but more commonly Éire.

2 In the 1960s as part of his effort to establish better relations with the Northern Ireland government, the Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Seán Lemass used the term “Northern Ireland” instead of “Six Counties,” which had been the official practice during the 1950s; Horgan, John, Seán Lemass: The Enigmatic Patriot (Dublin, 1997), 260–62.

3 Clough, Ralph, “Taiwan under Nationalist Rule, 1949–1982,” in The Cambridge History of China, vol. 15, The People's Republic, pt. 2, Revolutions within the Chinese Revolution, 1966–1982, ed. MacFarquhar, Roderick and Fairbank, John K. (Cambridge, 1991), 850.

4 Poulton, Hugh, Who Are the Macedonians? 2nd ed. (Bloomington, IN, 2000), 177.

5 Belfast Telegraph, 10 April 1964, used the headline “Eire's Word War” for a story about the delay in exchanging ambassadors between Ireland and Australia. Details of this episode are given later in this article.

6 Arthur, Paul, Special Relationships: Britain, Ireland and the Northern Ireland Problem (Belfast, 2000); Canning, Paul, British Policy towards Ireland, 1921–1941 (Oxford, 1985); Fanning, Ronan, The Four-Leaved Shamrock (Dublin, 1983); Harkness, David, The Restless Dominion: The Irish Free State and the British Commonwealth of Nations, 1921–1931 (London, 1969); McMahon, Deirdre, Republicans and Imperialists: Anglo-Irish Relations in the 1930s (New Haven, CT, 1984).

7 Arthur, Special Relationships, 82.

8 Ronan Fanning, Dermot Keogh, and Eunan O’Halpin, eds., Documents in Irish Foreign Policy (hereafter DIFP; Dublin, 1998), 1:271–73. “Ulster” reflects the fact that three Ulster counties—Monaghan, Cavan, and Donegal—were not included in Northern Ireland.

9 Curran, Joseph M., The Birth of the Irish Free State, 1921–1923 (Tuscaloosa, AL, 1980), 8788.

10 Arthur Griffith, as quoted in Ibid., 113.

11 DIFP, 1:362–67.

12 Ibid., 1:384.

13 Ibid., 1:413.

14 Farrell, Brian, “From First Dáil through Irish Free State,” in his De Valera's Constitution and Ours (Dublin, 1988), 25.

15 Ward, Alan, The Irish Constitutional Tradition: Responsible Government and Modern Ireland (Dublin, 1994), 179.

16 Report from Michael MacWhite, Geneva, 1 June 1922, in DIFP, 1:465–67; memorandum by George Gavan Duffy, “The position of Ireland's Foreign Affairs at date of general election, 1922,” Dublin, 21 June 1922, in DIFP, 1:468–77; MacWhite to Cosgrave, 4 September 1922, in DIFP, 1:500.

17 Desmond FitzGerald to Sir Eric Drummond, 17 April 1923, in DIFP, 2:85.

18 Extracts from report of the Irish delegation to the Fourth Assembly of the League of Nations, September 1923, in DIFP, 2:174–81.

19 Ibid., 2:240–41.

20 Stephens, E. M., “The Constitution,” in Saorstát Eireann: Irish Free State Official Handbook (Dublin, 1932), 7279. This book was commissioned by the Cumann na nGaedheal government, which lost office following the general election in 1932.

21 Press cutting, “Ireland,” National Archives Ireland (NAI) Department of the Taoiseach files (DT) S10467A Ireland, 12–13 November 1934.

22 Draft article, University College Dublin Archives (UCDA), de Valera Papers, P 150/2370.

23 Draft article, UCDA, P 150/2373.

24 Printed debates Dáil Éireann (PDDE), vol. 67, 25 May 1937, col. 948.

25 Ibid., 25 May 1937, col. 969.

26 Ibid., 4 June 1937, cols. 1917–18.

27 PDDE, vol. 68, 9 June 1937, cols. 116–17.

28 NAI DT S10467A, 19 January 1938; 2 March 1938; 23 December 1937.

29 McMahon, Republicans and Imperialists: Anglo-Irish Relations in the 1930s, 228; Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) Cab 4/389 (2), conclusions of Cabinet meeting held Tuesday, 7 December 1937, at 11 a.m.; report on a meeting between Lord Craigavon, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and the British Prime Minister, Home Secretary, and Secretary for the Dominions to discuss the new Irish Constitution. Some of the files in PRONI relating to this issue remain closed.

30 Hansard Parliamentary Debates, Reign of George VI, Commons Debates, Thirty-seventh Parliament, written answers, 4 May 1938, vol. 353, col. 899.

31 For details of the 1938 agreement, see Lee, J. J., Ireland 1912–1985: Politics and Society (Cambridge, 1989), 214.

32 The National Archives of the United Kingdom (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) Dominions Office (DO) 35/3949, 17 December 1952.

33 TNA: PRO Prime Minister's Office, PREM 8/1464 Ireland, report of working party of officials, GEN 262/13, 1 January 1949.

34 TNA: PRO, PREM 8/1464 Ireland; GEN 262 (M), minutes of a meeting held at 10 Downing St., 18 January 1949.

35 Hansard Parliamentary Debates, 5 May 1938, vol. 353, cols. 1098, 1101.

36 This quotation comes from a speech by William Norton, Minister for Industry and Commerce, to the Council of Europe on 16 August 1949, as cited by McCullough, David, A Makeshift Majority: The First Inter-Party Government, 1948–1951 (Dublin, 1998), 130. On the postwar antipartition campaign, see Ibid., 128–31; and Akenson, Donald H., Conor: A Biography of Conor Cruise O’Brien (Montreal, 1994), 117–34.

37 NAI DT S10467A, draft of semiofficial letter that the Department of External Affairs thought of writing to heads of other government departments, 5 June 1947.

38 NAI DT S13875A, application to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

39 TNA: PRO DO 35/3949, nomenclature of “Eire” in conferences and agreements. Record of meeting in the Dominions Office, 24 September 1946.

40 PRONI, Cab 4/684, Cabinet Conclusions, 3 October 1946, item 10.

41 TNA: PRO DO 35/3949, 21 January 1947.

43 Ibid., minutes of a meeting, 21 January 1947. This meeting was attended by representatives of the Foreign Office, the Dominions Office, and the Home Office, including the Home Office Northern Ireland liaison officer.

44 Ibid., 1 February 1947.

45 Ibid., issued by the Home Office to all government departments, March 1947.

46 Ibid., 21 January 1947.

47 For a detailed account of these matters, see McCabe, Ian, A Diplomatic History of Ireland, 1948–1949 (Dublin, 1991). Quotations from MacBride and Costello are on 34.

48 PDDE, 24 November 1948, vol. 113, cols. 394–98.

49 UCDA, P 150/2970, 2 June 1959. This is a review of the Republic of Ireland Act in June 1959, written only fifteen days before de Valera was elected president and left active politics.

50 NAI DT S9550, 6 July 1951, Department of External Affairs to N. Ó Nualláin.

51 NAI DT S13834B, Australian representation in Ireland, 5 November 1953.

52 NAI DT10467B, 23 September 1949.

53 Ibid., 14 December 1949.

54 NAI DT S13834B.

55 NAI DT S10467C, directive issued by the Government Information Bureau, 17 June 1953.

56 Ibid., 8 August 1959.

57 Ibid., note for Ministers, 2 October 1963; Horgan, Seán Lemass: The Enigmatic Patriot, 260–62.

58 NAI DT S10467C.

59 Daly, Mary E., “Easter 1966: A Tale of Multiple Commemorations,” in ’16 in ’66: The Golden Jubilee of the Easter Rising, ed. Daly, Mary E. and O’Callaghan, Margaret (London, 2007), forthcoming.

60 TNA: PRO PREM 8/1464 Ireland, report of working party of officials, 1 January 1949, pars. 17–19.

61 TNA: PRO PREM 8/1464, Norman Brook to prime minister, 13 January 1949.

62 TNA: PRO PREM 8/1464 GEN 262 Cabinet, minutes of a meeting held at 10 Downing St., 18 January 1949.

63 The Ireland Act covered a wide range of issues consequent on the Republic of Ireland Act. For details, see McCabe, A Diplomatic History of Ireland, 1948–49, 117–33; TNA: PRO PREM 8/1464 Ireland, GEN 262 Cabinet, 1946–51.

64 TNA: PRO PREM 8/1464, Ireland: Title of Eire, report of committee signed by Norman Brook, 25 January 1949.

65 TNA: PRO PREM 8/1464, Ireland Bill, memorandum by the Prime Minister, C. P. (49) 47, 4 March 1949.

66 TNA: PRO PREM 8/1464, pt. 3, Cabinet, the Irish Republic memorandum by the Prime Minister, C. P. (49) 111, May 1949.

67 TNA: PRO DO 35/3977, political and constitutional relations, Republic of Ireland, status and nomenclature, 5 April 1949.

68 TNA: PRO DO 35/3949, use of term Irish Republic in records of international bodies, 1 October 1952.

69 TNA: PRO DO 35/3977, 18 January 1950.

70 TNA: PRO DO 35/3802, correct mode of reference to the Irish Republic at international conferences.

71 For example, in the Great Northern Railway Act 1953 (passed by Dáil Éireann)—an act relating to a railway company that operated in both jurisdictions—the preamble explained that “`the Minister’ means the Minister for Industry and Commerce” and “`the Minister of Commerce’ means the Minister of Commerce for Northern Ireland” (Acts of the Oireachtas, 1953/17; NAI DT S 10467C).

72 TNA: PRO DO 35/3897, 7 March 1951.

73 TNA: PRO DO 35/1980 JG L, extract form note of a conversation with the Minister for External Affairs, 30 November 1949.

74 TNA: PRO PREM 11/4618, form of credentials of Australian ambassador to Irish Republic, Letters of credence of Commonwealth ambassadors in Dublin, memorandum prepared for Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO), July 1959.

75 NAI DT S10467C, 29 October 1953.

76 TNA: PRO PREM 8/1464, pt. 4, record of conversation between Sir Pericavle Liesching and Mr. Boland, 22 June 1950.

77 TNA: PRO PREM 11/4618, letters of credence of Commonwealth ambassadors in Dublin, memorandum prepared in the CRO, July 1959, annex A.

78 TNA: PRO DO 35/3980, 15 June 1950.

79 Ibid., conversation between Secretary of State for Commonwealth relations and his Excellency Mr. L. Dana Wilgress, 22 June 1950.

80 Ibid., P. L. (Sir Percivale Liesching) to secretary of state, 22 June 1950.

81 Ibid., minutes by Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations to the Lord Chancellor.

82 NAI DT S10467C; Evening Herald, 18 August 1953.

83 TNA: PRO PREM 11/4618, 14 November 1957.

84 NAI DT S13834 C, memorandum, January 1958.

85 TNA: PRO PREM 11/4618, letters of credence, July 1959.

86 NAI DFA Secretary's Office, P257 VIII (1), appointment of Australian ambassador, 1959–64; memorandum for the government, 5 February 1964. The schedule to the Royal Style and Titles Act 1953 reads, “Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom, Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.”

87 NAI DFA Secretary's Office, P257 VIII (2), 5 January 1965.

88 Peck, John, Dublin from Downing Street (Dublin, 1978), 34.

89 Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdon of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Republic of Ireland, Cmnd. 9690 (1985), 15 November 1985.

90 Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Ireland: Belfast, HMSO 1998, cm. 4292., annex B, Irish government draft legislation to amend the constitution, 10 April 1998.

91 Miriam Tiernan, archivist, Department of Foreign Affairs, letter to author, October 2005.

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