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Documents on Irish Foreign Policy Vol. XIII in the news

06 January 2023

The latest volume of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy covers 1965 to 1969 and is out now. Here is some of the advance coverage exploring its contents.

The thirteenth volume in the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy (DIFP) series runs from April 1965 to July 1969 and is out now. The four years and three months covered by DIFP XIII saw significant changes in the international context in which Ireland conducted its foreign policy. Volume XIII covers the tumultuous era from April 1965 to June 1969, during the the Fianna Fáil governments of Seán Lemass (April 1965 to November 1966) and Jack Lynch (November 1966 to July 1969) in which Frank Aiken was Minister for External Affairs. Some of the major issues explored in the volume include Ireland’s ongoing efforts to join the European Economic Community (the EEC, as the EU was then known), north-south relations, and the Nigerian-Biafran war of 1967-70. The turmoil of the late 1960s in Europe, the United States and the Middle East is also reflected in the documents published in the volume, alongside issues closer to home like the beginning of the ‘Troubles’.

In advance of publication, we highlighted some of its contents in print, online, and on the radio. DIFP Executive Editor Michael Kennedy went on RTÉ Radio One’s The History Show to provide Myles Dungan with an overview of the volume. Michael, along with DIFP Assistant Editors John Gibney and Kate O’Malley, also joined RTÉ’s Colm Ó Mongain to explore some of the key themes in the new DIFP volume in this special edition of the Brexit Republic podcast.

The November/December 2022 issue of History Ireland carries an article on the Nigerian-Biafran conflict based on some of the documents in the volume. As the vast bulk of the documents published by DIFP are taken from the collections of the National Archives (one of the partners in the project, along with the Department of Foreign Affairs), we recently did a short series for their ‘Files in Focus’ series, exploring documents about the Irish message brought to the Moon by Apollo 11, the vexed issue of landing rights for US airlines in Ireland, and the resignation of French president Charles de Gaulle. Another sequence of articles we have written for RTÉ Brainstorm expand on the latter two of these themes – landing rights and de Gaulle’s attitude to Ireland – while also adding an account of what the Australian’s thought of the Irish in the late 1960s. And this recent piece in the Irish Times by John Gibney looked at the impact of the emergence of the Troubles  on Irish-America, as reflected in many of the documents in the volume.

We have also partnered with RTÉ Archives for a series of articles linking some of the documents in DIFP XIII to their audio-visual holdings; the first two explore commemorations of the Irish revolution in the 1960s, the Irish state's burgeoning engagement with Africa, and on Ireland, Britain and the EEC.

Finally, get in the mood with some tunes from the era via Kate O’Malley’s Spotify soundtrack to Vol. XIII.

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy Vol. XIII: 1965-1969 is available now from the Royal Irish Academy.

Cover image: a telegram from the Irish embassy in Paris informing the Department of External Affairs in Dublin of Charles de Gaulle's resignation as president of France, April 1969. Reproduced by permission of the Director of the National Archives. 

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