ISBN : 9780198739159
Remembering the Irish Revolution chronicles the ways in which the Irish revolution was remembered in the first two decades of Irish independence. While tales of heroism and martyrdom dominated popular accounts of the revolution, a handful of nationalists reflected on the period in more ambivalent terms. For them, the freedoms won in revolution came with great costs: the grievous loss of civilian lives, the brutalisation of Irish society, and the loss of hope for a united and prosperous independent nation. To many nationalists, their views on the revolution were traitorous. For others, they were the courageous expression of some uncomfortable truths. This volume explores these struggles over revolutionary memory through the lives of four significant, but under-researched nationalist intellectuals: Eimar O'Duffy, P. S. O'Hegarty, George Russell, and Desmond Ryan. It provides a lively account of their controversial critiques of the Irish revolution, and an intimate portrait of the friends, enemies, institutions and influences that shaped them. Based on wide-ranging archival research, Remembering the Irish Revolution puts the history of Irish revolutionary memory in a transnational context. It shows the ways in which international debates about war, human progress, and the fragility of Western civilisation were crucial in shaping the understandings of the revolution in Ireland. It provides a fresh context for analysis the major writers of the period, such as Sean O'Casey, W. B. Yeats, and Sean O'Faolain, as well as a new outlook on the genesis of the revisionist/nationalist schism that continues to resonate in Irish society today.
1. Writing the revolution in the Free State
2. Eimar O'Duffy and the Waste of 1916
3. Clean Minded Separatists and the Mob: P.S. O'Hegarty and the ambiguous victory of Sinn Fein
4. Shivering Elders and the Exploits of Youth: George Russell's interpretations of the Irish revolution
5. Remembering Sion: Desmond Ryan's therapeutic revolution
Conclusion: Dissent, disillusionment, and the nationalist ideal