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Ireland's Polemical Past
Views of Irish History in Honour of R.V. Comerford

Terence Dooley (editor)
D. George Boyce (editor)
John Coolahan (editor)
Maura Cronin (contributions)
Enda Delaney (contributions)
Terence Dooley (contributions)
Roy Foster (contributions)
Irene Furlong (contributions)
Jennifer Kelly (contributions)
Margaret Kelleher (contributions)
Publication date:
25th January 2010

Author Biography

Terence A. Dooley Director of the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates at NUI Maynooth.


How societies use the past is one of their most revealing traits. Using this insight "Ireland's Polemical Past" examines how the inhabitants of nineteenth and twentieth-century Ireland plundered their pasts for polemical reasons. The ten essays explore how revolutionaries, politicians, churchmen, artists, tourists and builders (among others) used the Irish past in creating and justifying their own position in contemporary society. The result is a varied portrait of the problems and tensions in nineteenth and early twentieth-century society that these people tried to solve by resorting to the Irish past for inspiration and justification to make their world work. This is a book that will appeal to those who have an interest in the making of modern Ireland as well as those concerned with writing about the Irish past at any level.