The main task of DIFP is to research and publish volumes in the DIFP series, but the project also plays its part in promoting interest in the history of Ireland and its international relations. The DIFP news pages highlight the publication of new volumes in the DIFP series and show some of the project’s outreach involvements.
It was another very busy month for the project as we continued to edit DIFP IX. By the end of the month we had 250 documents in place and had finished 1948 – one of the most complicated years in the history of Ireland’s foreign relations.
Our media outreach continued and Michael was interviewed for a forthcoming radio documentary on captured Second World War Irish merchant seamen who were forced to work in labour camps in Nazi Germany.
Michael also appeared on the History Show on RTE Radio one discussing the 1944 ‘American Note’ incident – one of the last major crises in Ireland’s Second World War foreign policy – which we cover in DIFP VII. The podcast is here: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/the-history-show/programmes/2014/0309/507971-the-history-show-sunday-9-march-2014/?clipid=1431197
On 15 March Michael spoke to the Stated Meeting of the RIA on his ongoing research – which will feature in DIFP IX – on how a number of suspected war criminals made it to Ireland after the Second World War.
Finally, on 28 March Michael spoke at a major conference on disarmament and non-proliferation organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, University College Cork and the Embassy of Japan in Ireland and held at the RIA. The programme and further details are here: http://www.ucc.ie/en/history/news/fullstory-462407-en.html
DIFP IX really began to take shape through February as the typescript of the first hundred or so documents in the volume came in. Kate and Michael checked these against the originals and the editing process kicked-in in earnest. Each day we read through the typescript of documents, adding in footnotes, editing back repetitious documents and giving the volume a real shape.
Later in the month the two-part Pioneers and Aviators series on the history of Irish aviation, in which Michael was interviewed, was shown on RTE in a prime time evening slot. See here for more information: http://pioneersandaviators.avolon.aero/
Michael with members of the Irish Aer Corps
at the launch of 'Pioneers and Aviators'
Michael was also interviewed for an upcoming RTE documentary on the history of food on the development of Indian restaurants in Ireland – a topic he has worked on for many years and which always generates public interest.
DIFP began work assisting Military Archives with a project to digitise the records of Second World War coastal Look Out Posts which formed the basis of Michael’s 2008 book ‘Guarding Neutral Ireland’.
The major event for the project this month was the selection of 835 documents that have become the core of DIFP IX. Over the coming months these documents will be typed up and Kate and Michael will check, edit and footnote them. Some will be deleted and others edited down to their essential parts. This is a very labour intensive task involving reading the typed text out aloud against the original to check for errors.
We continued to work on the Andrija Artukovic material and on 17 January Michael spoke at the UCD War Studies seminar on Artukovic and Ireland. See here
Later in the month, on 26 January, Michael appeared on The History Show on RTE Radio One talking about how it is necessary to reconsider how fugitives from Axis states got to Ireland after 1945. A podcast of the interview can be found here
In February RTE will broadcast ‘Pioneers and Aviators: A century of Irish Aviation’. Michael was interviewed for the documentary on the role aviation played in Irish foreign policy making and how Ireland’s geographic position made it of huge importance in 20th Century Aviation. You can learn more about the documentary here