This talk will look at the border question from the southern Irish perspective and the extent to which the issue of a hard mental border has, for decades, underlined the gulf between the rhetoric associated with achieving Irish unity and the reality of practical and political disengagement or avoidance of the issue.
It will examine various examples of this over the course of the century 1920-2020 as revealed in particular by state papers in the Republic, and also reflect on the persistence of tensions between southern and northern nationalists on the question of a united Ireland.
Diarmaid Ferriter is Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD. His books include The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000 (2004), Judging Dev: A Reassessment of the life and legacy of Eamon de Valera (2007), Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland (2009), Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s (2012), A Nation and not a Rabble: The Irish Revolution 1913-23 (2015), On The Edge: Ireland’s Offshore Islands, A Modern History (2018), The Border: The Legacy of a Century of Anglo-Irish Relations (2019) and Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War (2021). He is a regular television and radio broadcaster and a columnist with the Irish Times. He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2019.
Michael Laffan: The Partition of Ireland 1911-25 (1983)
Clare O'Halloran: Partition and the limits of Irish Nationalism (1987)
Diarmaid Ferriter: The Border: The Legacy of a Century of Anglo-Irish Politics (2019)
Donnacha O Beacháin: From Partition to Brexit: The Irish Government and Northern Ireland (2019)