Padraig de Burca (1893-1975) was Chief Leader Writer and Literary Editor of the Irish Independent. In 1931 he was called to the Irish Bar and was recognised by the Law Library as an expert in the law of landlord and tenant and the law of defamation. Of his co-author, John F. Boyle, little is known. Patrick Murray holds doctorates from the National University of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin. He was a lecturer in English in St Patrick's College Maynooth and is the author of Oracles of God: The Roman Catholic Church and Irish Politics, 1922-37 (Dublin, 1999). Fearghal McGarry is a lecturer in Modern Irish History at Queen's University Belfast.
The Centenary Classics series examines the fascinating time of change and evolution in the Ireland of 100 years ago during the 1916-23 revolutionary period. Each volume is introduced by Fearghal McGarry who sets the scene of this important period in Ireland's history. Free State or Republic? provides eye-witness accounts by two reporters from the Irish Independent newspaper of the historic Treaty debates of Dail Eireann, held in University College Dublin's Earlsfort Terrace building in December 1921 and January 1922. Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith and a host of other participants come to life. The colourful descriptions of the scene and of the reactions to speeches, written while the debates were in progress, are far more revealing than the published record of the debates. This book was originally published in 1922 and the introduction by Patrick Murray constructs a modern analysis of these lively debates.
Introduction by Patrick Murray
Free State or Republic
- An Dail Assembles
The Treaty Moves
Lady Creates a Scene
Alderman Cosgrave's Humour
A Day of Fervid Oratory
After the Recess
A Dramatic Scene
A Day of Sensations
De Valera's Resignation
The Fateful Division
De Valera's Defeat for Presidency
Griffith Elected President
Treaty Formally Ratifies
‘These titles are not the usual “classics” of the period often thought of, but each gives a selection of vivid, and in some cases such as that of Darrell Figgis, almost forgotten experiences of life and politics.’
The Irish Catholic
'Greater familiarity with these sources — including the range of evocative first-hand accounts spanning the revolutionary decade from the Ulster crisis to the Civil War published as part of UCD Press’s new Centenary Classics series — should complicate as well as inform commemoration in 2016.
Although the achievements of the founding generation will be honoured and, inevitably, appropriated, the urge to celebrate independence should be tempered by an unsentimental understanding of the process by which it was achieved.'
21 March 2016
'UCD Press’s new ‘Centenary Classics’ series makes available eye-witness accounts of key revolutionary episodes including the Ulster crisis; the aftermath of 1916; the rise of Sinn Féin; the War of Independence; the Treaty split; and the Civil War. These provide first-hand perspectives on such topics as the significance of sectarian divisions; the impact of imprisonment on republicanism; the importance of popular mobilisation and guerrilla warfare; and the conflict’s divisive legacy.
These accounts offer many insights into the influences that shaped the revolutionary generation. The value of these texts does not lie solely in the factual light they shed on past events, they illuminate mentalities, as well as the memory of the revolution, a growing area of research.
These stories could be ‘made into a patchwork quilt from memory’. This aim alone provides a compelling reason to ensure the wider availability of eye-witness accounts, particularly during a period of commemoration in which politicians and others will claim to speak on their behalf.'
Fearghal McGarry, Queen's University Belfast
'These contemporary accounts by well known personalities of historical events and attitudes have an immediacy that conventional histories do not have. Introductions by modern historians provide additional historical background and, with hindsight, objectivity.'
'Scholars of nineteenth-century Irish and Irish-American politics should reacquaint themselves with these classics, part of a long running and immensely useful series from University College Dublin Press.'
Irish Literary Supplement
FREE STATE OR REPUBLIC?
'If journalism is the first draft of history, Free State or Republic constitutes primary source material.'