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.
Michael contributed a paper entitled 'Ireland: the Neutral Dominion' to a day workshop on 'The Dominions and the Second World War' (programme available here) held at Kellogg College, Oxford on 4 April by the British Empire at War Research Group. It was a valuable opportunity to bring the work of DIFP to the attention of a specialised British audience researching in areas that are covered in detail in DIFP volumes.
Through March research continued to bring together existing and new research for DIFP IX. Kate undertook a detailed study of the located material dealing with the 1948 repeal of the 1936 External Relations Act and the 1949 Declaration of the republic of Ireland. It is already clear that DIFP IX will be heavily centred around British-Irish relations and partition, two key concerns of Seán MacBride, Minister for External Affairs in the inter-party government of 1948 to 1951.
Through February and March we helped the Embassy of the United States of America by providing background information on the history of the yearly ‘Shamrock Ceremony’ at the White House on St Patrick’s Day. The Embassy were making a video history of the ceremony which features Michael talking about the origins of the ceremony. View the video below.
The project has been heavily involved in a joint venture between the RIA and the National Archives of Ireland to research and produce an exhibition on Ireland's accession to the EEC in 1973 that focuses on European integration as an aspect of Irish foreign policy since 1961. The exhibition will be ready for display at events connected with Ireland's ongoing EU Presidency by April.
On the morning of 6 February Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore TD visited DIFP as part of coverage for the launch of DIFP VIII was arranged by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with RTE. We were delighted to be able to show the Tánaiste the new DIFP volume, the source material that goes into DIFP volumes and how the project operates. The 6.01 news item on DIFP VIII can be found here.
6 February turned out to be an eventful day and that evening Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Joe Costello hosted a very well attended launch reception for DIFP VIII at Iveagh House. Minister Costello welcomed the publication of the volume, explaining what it revealed about Ireland’s post-1945 foreign policy. PRIA Professor Luke Drury thanked the editors and spoke about the significance of the strong partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the National Archives of Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy which underpins DIFP. On behalf of the editors Michael thanked all involved in the production and publication of DIFP VIII.
PRIA Professor Luke Drury presents Minister of State Joe Costello TD with a copy of DIFP VIII. (l-r) Mr Tim Mawe (DFAT), Minister Costello, Dr Kennedy, Professor Drury
The DIFP editorial team at the launch of DIFP VIII. (l-r) Dr Kate O’Malley, Professor Ronan Fanning, Ms Catriona Crowe, Dr Michael Kennedy, Professor Dermot Keogh, Professor Eunan O’Halpin.
DIFP started off the New Year reviewing the material we had already accumulated for DIFP IX which will cover the intriguing foreign polices of the inter-party government of 1948 to 1951. Kate has undertaken a specific ‘module’ of research on the repeal of the External Relations Act in 1948 and the declaration of the Republic of Ireland in 1949 – actions which saw Ireland leaving the Commonwealth. Michael got together the material on the Marshall Plan and Ireland’s involvement with the Council of Europe – of which Ireland was a founder member in 1949.
Michael was on the RTE Radio One ‘History Show’ on 13 Jan with Myles Dungan talking about post-war Ireland and its narrow refugee policy as well as doing a short interview on the Pat Kenny Show on 16 January about the activities in Ireland from the late-1940s of a number of ex-Nazis including the infamous Otto Skorzeny. Kate and Michael appeared on Newstalk 106’s ‘Talking History’ on 27 January to discuss with Patrick Geoghegan DIFP VIII and to highlight the use DIFP is making of Twitter through its @DIFP_RIA feed.