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Documents on Irish Foreign Policy Volume III, 1926 – 1932 (Dublin, 2002)
About Volume III
The third volume in the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series reveals how through the League of Nations, the Commonwealth and a small network of overseas missions the Department of External Affairs protected Ireland''''s international interests in the increasingly unstable world system of the late 1920s and the early 1930s.
Elected in 1930 to the Council of the League of Nations (the equivalent of today''''s UN Security Council) Irish diplomats faced grave problems across the globe. Through the Council Irish foreign policy developed a truly international perspective, far beyond the concerns of Anglo-Irish relations which had long dominated Ireland''''s external affairs. Anglo-Irish relations were strained in the 1920s as successive Ministers for External Affairs, FitzGerald, O''''Higgins and McGilligan and President W.T. Cosgrave sought to develop Ireland''''s independence by stripping the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty back to its basic articles. The result was a widespread reform of Dominion status in which the Irish increasingly took the initiative through the Imperial Conferences of 1926 and 1930.By 1932, when Cosgrave''''s Cumann na nGaedheal government left office, Ireland was infull control of her internal and external affairs and the British Empire had given way to the Commonwealth.
Volume III explores the varied means by which Irish politicians and diplomats sought to secure Ireland''''s place amongst the nations. The volume examines the visit of Cosgrave to the United States and Canada in January 1928, the first overseas visit by an Irish Prime Minister. It also looks at Irish relations with the Holy See in the run-up to the 1932 Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, the views of Irish diplomats on the collapse of Weimar Germany and problems such as selling Ireland as a tourist destination in the United States and the development of trade with Europe.
Other issues covered include how much state hospitality should be afforded in Dublin to visiting dignitaries and the use by Irish diplomats of new technologies such as cinema newsreels and talkie films to bring to a world audience the message that Ireland was n independent state that sought peace and prosperity across the international system. Ireland had an active foreign policy in the years surrounding the Great Depression.
The story of this critical period in world history as it affected Ireland and as seen by Irish diplomats has never before been told. DIFP Volume III tells that story through the confidential telegrams, secret despatches and personal letters of this small group of men and women.
Excerpts from DIFP volume III
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The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.
The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
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