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Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: v. 11: 1957-1961

by  Michael KennedyEunan O'HalpinKate O'MalleyBernadette WhelanDermot Keogh
€ 50.00

Book Details

Published by Royal Irish Academy

November 2018


Number of pages: 932

ISBN: 9781908997883


PDF icon Advance Information

DIFP XI covers five critical years in Irish foreign policy when, at the height of the Cold War, Ireland played a central role between East and West at the United Nations General Assembly on issues ranging from nuclear disarmament to apartheid to the admission of Communist China. Significantly, it also covers the years that Irish Defence Forces personnel first participated in peacekeeping missions with the United Nations. The volume pays particular attention to the reaction of Iveagh House to UN operations in Congo’s Katanga province and includes documents on the Niemba Ambush (November 1960), and the fighting at Jadotville and Elisabethville (September 1961). A constant theme through the volume is European integration and the volume includes the high-level diplomacy surrounding Ireland first application for membership of the European Economic Community in 1961. Using original declassified documents from the Department of Foreign Affairs‘ archive, the volume pieces together as no other source can, the secret top-level decision making by Minister for External Affairs Frank Aiken, Taoiseach Seán Lemass and Irish diplomats, including household names Conor Cruise O’Brien and Ireland’s Ambassador to the UN Frederick Boland that saw 1960s Ireland play a central role on the world stage.

Media coverage:

RTE Drivetime (Mary Wilson/Alan Torney), 12 November 2018: Dr Michael Kennedy discusses emergency planning and the Lemass government’s transition to war plans for Ireland in the event of WW3.

Colm Ó Mongáin, RTE News Online, 12 November 2018: "Volume Eleven of the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series contains plenty of material that could have been written today. The files are from 1957-61, the period leading up to Ireland’s first tilt at joining the six-member European Economic Community in 1961. Anxiety on the island of Ireland over the implications of changing UK-Brussels relations are strikingly - some might say depressingly - familiar". 

Colm Ó Mongáin, RTE 6.01 News, 12 November 2018: TV package version of the report here above with further details on the volume by Dr Kate O’Malley.

Stephen Collins, Why Hitler's top SS man bought a farm in Co Kildare, Irish Times, 13 November 2018.

Stephen Collins, Khruschev sent Irish diplomat wine after ‘shoe banging’ incidentIrish Times, 13 November 2018.

Stephen Collins, Officials tried to get JFK to visit Dublin in 1961Irish Times, 13 November 2018.

Stephen Collins, Letters show O’Brien had UN authority for actions in KatangaIrish Times, 13 November 2018.

Stephen Collins, Ireland’s 1961 application to join EEC fraught with fear of rejectionIrish Times, 13 November 2018.

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About the authors

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).

Eunan O'Halpin

Eunan O'Halpin MRIA is the Professor of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College, Dublin. He is also an editor of the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series. His most recent publications are: Head of the Civil Service: A Study of Sir Warren Fisher, Defending Ireland: The Irish State and its Enemies since 1922 and MI5 and Ireland, 1939 – 1935. He is a co-editor of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: Volume I, 1919-22, Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: Volume II, 1923 – 1926 and Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: Volume III, 1926 – 1932. He is currently co-editing a study of Anglo-American security co-operation between 1914 and 1949. For more information about the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy research project please check

Kate O'Malley

Dr Kate O’Malley is Assistant Editor with the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy (DIFP) series. She is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin (BA, PhD). Her book Ireland, India and Empire was published by Manchester University Press in 2008. She is co-author (with Michael Kennedy and John Gibney) of Ireland: a voice among the nations (Royal Irish Academy, 2019), and, with John Gibney, of The Handover: Dublin Castle and the British withdrawal from Ireland, 1922 (Royal Irish Academy, 2022). She has lectured at Trinity College, Dublin, University College Dublin and Queen's University, Belfast. 

Bernadette Whelan

Bernadette Whelan MRIA is professor emeritus in the Department of History, University of Limerick. She is a co- editor of the Document of Irish Foreign Policy series. She publishes extensively on American Irish diplomatic relations. Among her publications are De Valera and Roosevelt. Irish and American Diplomacy in Times of Crisis, 1932-1939 (Cambridge University Press, 2021) awarded the American Conference of Irish Studies Lawrence J. McCaffrey Prize for Books on Irish America; ‘A real revolution’: Ireland and the Oxford Group/Moral Re-Armament movement, 1933–2001’, Irish Historical Studies, November 2021; with Mary O’Dowd and Gerardine Meaney, Reading the Irishwoman: Studies in Cultural Encounters and Exchange, 1714-1960 (Liverpool University Press, 2013); American government in Ireland, a history of the US consular Service 1790-1913 (Manchester University Press/Palgrave, 2013). She is currently completing a study of the evolution of the role of first lady and first gentleman in Ireland between 1919 and 2011.

Dermot Keogh

Dermot Keogh MRIA is Professor of History at University College Cork and an editor of the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series. He has been a Fulbright Professor in California, Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington and Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at University College Cork. He is the co-editor of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: Volume I, 1919-22, Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: Volume II, 1923-1926 and Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: Volume III, 1926-1932. He is the author of numerous books on Irish diplomatic and political history, including Ireland and Europe, 1919-1989, Ireland and the Vatican: The Politics and Diplomacy of Church and State, 1922-1960, Twentieth-Century Ireland: Nation and State and Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland: Refugees, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.

You can find more information on the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy research project here.