The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

On an equal footing with all: Ireland at the League of Nations 1923 - 1946

by  John GibneyMichael KennedyZoë Reid
€ 20.00

Book Details

Published by Royal Irish Academy

September 2023


Number of pages: 136

ISBN: 9781802050127

Only available on

In partnership with the National Archives and Department of Foreign Affairs based on records from the National Archives.

In September 1923 Ireland joined the League of Nations: the global organisation created after World War One to oversee international security and disarmament, which was the forerunner of the United Nations. This book explores and evaluates the 23 years of Ireland’s membership of the League, up to its dissolution in 1946, using a chronological and thematic approach. It is illustrated with more than 80 images, including documents, photographs and ephemera, taken from the National Archives and other collections.

Key questions that this book seeks to answer include: What was the League of Nations? Who was involved in it? How did the League impact Ireland? How did Ireland act within the League? What was the significance and legacy of League membership?

Based on up-to-date scholarship, this book provides a visual history of Ireland’s participation in the first multinational organisation that independent Ireland joined.

On an equal footing with all: Ireland at the League of Nations, 1923-1946 accompanies the exhibition of the same name, which is presented by the National Archives in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy and the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme.

Read more about the National Archives' Commemoration programme 

About the authors

John Gibney

John Gibney is Assistant Editor with the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy (DIFP) series. His books include The shadow of a year: the 1641 rebellion in Irish history and memory (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013) and A short history of Ireland, 1500–2000 (Yale University Press, 2017). He is the co-author, with Michael Kennedy and Kate O’Malley, of Ireland: a voice among the nations (Royal Irish Academy, 2019), and, with Kate O’Malley, of The Handover: Dublin Castle and the British withdrawal from Ireland, 1922 (Royal Irish Academy, 2022).


Michael Kennedy

Dr Michael Kennedy has for almost three decades written and published widely on modern Irish history, in particular on Irish military and diplomatic history and on Irish foreign policy. He has been the executive editor of the RIA's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series and head of the DIFP series since 1997. Previously he lectured in Irish and European history at Queen's University, Belfast and received his doctorate from the NUI in 1994 on the early history of Ireland’s relationship with the League of Nations.  Michael appears regularly on television and radio discussing aspects of Irish history ranging from lighthouses to embassies to the history of curry houses in Dublin. Michael is a former member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, a Research Associate of the Centre for Contemporary Irish History, Trinity College, Dublin and was a Visiting Professor at Liverpool Hope University from 2009 to 2018. He was also formerly an adjunct Professor of History at University College Dublin. He is the co-author (with John Gibney and Kate O'Malley) of Ireland: a voice among the nations (Royal Irish Academy, 2019), and (with Daniel Ayiotis and John Gibney) of The Emergency: A visual history of the Irish Defence Forces during the Second World War, 1939-1945 (Eastwood, 2019).

Zoë Reid

Zoë Reid is Keeper of Public Services and Collections at the National Archives. She is an accredited conservator and established the Conservation Department in the National Archives (Ireland) in 2002. She has been responsible for safeguarding the long-term preservation of the national collection and ensuring safe public access to the archives. Over the past 20 years she has presented her work at international conferences and been published widely in conservation journals.