The Irish Republic (book)

The Irish Republic is a history book written by Dorothy Macardle, first published in 1937, which covers the formation and existence of the Irish Republic, the Irish War of Independence, the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the Irish Civil War, a period which covered from 1919–1923.

The book, which was first published in 1937, usefully analyses the period from an Irish republican, pro-Éamon de Valera perspective. Though sometimes disputing aspects of its analysis, the book, along with Frank Pakenham's Peace by Ordeal, is regarded within universities as elementary reading for students studying the period and features on most course reading lists.

Among the reasons are:

  • The author personally knew, and was friendly with, many of the people she was writing about; among those who she thanked in the acknowledgements were Seán T. O'Kelly, Oscar Traynor, Thomas Derrig, Seán MacBride, and the widows of Austin Stack and Robert Erskine Childers. As a result she knew from personal experience their private views and opinions, not just those expressed publicly.
  • She had been an activist with the republican movement during the period, serving in Cumann na mBan, being held in Mountjoy and Kilmainham Gaols during the Civil War. Thus she had an insider's perspective on the movement.
  • It reflects the perspective of Anti-Treaty republicans. Later books were less sympathetic to the Anti-Treaty side, given the widespread belief, even expressed by de Valera at the end of his life, that opposition to the Treaty was in retrospect a mistake.

Macardle willed the royalties from the book, which has regularly been reprinted, to her close friend Éamon de Valera, who wrote the book's foreword. The book's political allegiances were demonstrated unmistakably when a studio portrait of de Valera featured on the front page of some editions.

Other historians such as Patrick Murray have found that the book's outline was substantially laid down by de Valera to create a continuous justification of his political views from 1916 to 1936, that was then fleshed out by Macardle.

Famous quotes containing the words irish and/or republic:

    The next forenoon we went to Oldtown.... The Indian is said to cultivate the vices rather than the virtues of the white man. Yet this village was cleaner than I expected, far cleaner than such Irish villages as I have seen.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    I date the end of the old republic and the birth of the empire to the invention, in the late thirties, of air conditioning. Before air conditioning, Washington was deserted from mid-June to September.... But after air conditioning and the Second World War arrived, more or less at the same time, Congress sits and sits while the presidents—or at least their staffs—never stop making mischief.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925)