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Irish Media: A Critical History maps the landscape of media in Ireland from the foundation of the modern state in to the present. Covering all principal media.
Table of contents

It comprises 26 of the island of Ireland 's 32 counties. The constitution renamed the state Ireland. In it explicitly became a republic under the terms of the Republic of Ireland Act , definitively ending its tenuous membership of the British Commonwealth. In it joined the European Communities.

From its foundation, the Irish Free State was embroiled in a civil war between nationalists supporting the Treaty and opponents who supported a republic. The pro-Treaty side, organised as Cumann na nGaedheal emerged victorious from the conflict and won subsequent elections. The Irish state, despite its violent beginnings, has remained a liberal democracy throughout its existence.

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Changes in the s removed many of the links with Britain established under the Treaty and Ireland's neutrality in the Second World War demonstrated its independence in foreign policy matters from Britain. In the economic sphere, the Irish state has had a mixed performance. On independence, it was one of the wealthier countries in Europe per head of population.

For much of its history, the state struggled to rectify these problems. Particular peaks of emigration were recorded during the s, s and s, when the Irish economy recorded little growth. In the late s, these policies were dropped in favour of free trade with selected countries and encouraging of foreign investment with low taxes. This was expanded when Ireland entered the European Economic Community in The resultant economic slump has deepened the effect of the world recession on Ireland.

From to , the Irish constitution included an irredentist claim on Northern Ireland as a part of the national territory. However, the state also opposed and used its security forces against those armed groups — principally the Provisional Irish Republican Army — who tried to unite Ireland by force. This occurred in the s, throughout the s and s and has continued on a reduced scale. The British government officially recognised the right of the Irish government to be a party to the Northern negotiations in the Anglo-Irish Agreement of However, from the s there had been long standing nationalist agitation for autonomy or Home Rule.

Other, more radical voices such as the Irish Republican Brotherhood called for independence, but these were in a minority. Alarmed, unionists in the north organized the Ulster Volunteers , an armed militia proposing to resist Home Rule by force. Nationalists in response founded the Irish Volunteers. Arising out of this stand off, the partition of Ireland was proposed in three way talks between the Irish Parliamentary Party , the Unionist Party and the British government.

The nationalist leader John Redmond pledged support for the British war effort and many Irishmen served in the British Army see Ireland and World War I , but the war and the frustration of nationalist ambitions regarding Home Rule led to a radicalisation of Irish nationalism. The rebellion did not have popular support and was put down within a week, but the execution of its leaders, and the subsequent wholesale arrest of radical nationalist activists proved very unpopular with the nationalist public.

Finally, the British proposal to extend conscription for the war to Ireland provoked widespread resistance, see Conscription Crisis of and discredited the Irish Parliamentary Party who had supported the British war effort. They declared the existence of a new state called the " Irish Republic " and established a system of government to rival the institutions of the United Kingdom.

The violence started out slowly, with only 19 deaths in , but escalated sharply from the second half of and in the first six months of alone there were 1, deaths on all sides. However he spent much of the conflict in the United States, raising money and support for the Irish cause. In his absence, two young men, Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy rose to prominence as the clandestine leaders of the IRA — respectively Director of Intelligence and Chief of Staff of the guerrilla organisation.

There were several failed attempts to negotiate an end to the conflict. In the summer of , the British government proposed the Government of Ireland Act which passed into law on 3 May that envisaged the partition of the island of Ireland into two autonomous regions Northern Ireland six northeastern counties and Southern Ireland the rest of the island, including its most northerly county, Donegal. After further failed talks in December , the guerrilla conflict was brought to an end in July , with a truce agreed between the IRA and the British.

Talks were then formally begun in pursuit of a peace settlement. To some extent, the War of Independence exposed political and religious fissures in Irish society. The IRA killed over civilians as alleged informers in the conflict. Negotiations between the British and Irish negotiating teams produced the Anglo-Irish Treaty , concluded on 6 December The British team led by David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill were prepared to make concessions on Irish independence but would not concede a republic. Towards the end of negotiations, Lloyd George threatened, "immediate and terrible war" if the Irish did not accept the terms offered.

The Treaty envisaged a new system of Irish self-government, known as " dominion status ", with a new state, to be called the Irish Free State. It had its own police and armed forces and control over its own taxation and fiscal policy, none of which had been envisaged under Home Rule. However, there were some limits to its sovereignty. It remained a dominion of the British Commonwealth and members of its parliament had to swear an oath of loyalty to the British monarch.

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The British also retained three naval bases — known as the Treaty Ports. In addition, the Irish state was obliged to honour the contracts of the existing civil service -with the exception of the Royal Irish Constabulary , which was disbanded, albeit with full pensions — payable by the Irish state. There was also the question of partition, which pre-dated the Treaty but which was copper-fastened by it. In theory, Northern Ireland was included under the terms of the Treaty but under Article 12 was, given the option to opt out within a month.

They also began recruiting for a new police, the Civic Guard, to replace the RIC which was disbanded as of August However a majority of the IRA led by Rory O'Connor opposed the Treaty, on the grounds that it disestablished the Irish republic, which they argued they were sworn to defend, and that it imposed a declaration of fidelity to the British monarch on Irish parliamentarians.

With two rival Irish armed forces now in the country, civil war looked likely from the spring of Three events set it off. While it is not clear who ordered the killing, the British government assumed it was the anti-Treaty IRA and ordered Collins to act against them or risk armed British intervention to do it. This combination of events forced the Collins government to assault and take the anti-Treaty positions in Dublin, which it succeeded in doing after a week's fighting in July A further military offensive secured Free State control over the other major towns and cities in its territory by the beginning of August.

Despite their defeat in open warfare, the IRA regrouped and took up a guerrilla campaign, as they saw it, to restore the Irish Republic. The war dragged on in a guerrilla form until April In August , the Free State was rocked by the death of its two main leaders.

Michael Collins was killed in an ambush at Beal na mBlath, Cork, on 22 August and Arthur Griffith died of a stroke a week earlier. Cosgrave assumed control of both the Irish Republic's cabinet and the Provisional Government and both administrations disappeared simultaneously shortly afterwards, replaced by the institutions of the Irish Free State on 6 December However, without the same degree of popular support, they were less effective.

By late , the Irish National Army had taken all the major towns in the country and reduced the IRA's campaign to small scale attacks. A very large number of anti-Treaty fighters, some 12, in all, were interned by the Free State. Moreover, as it went on the war produced acts of great cruelty on both sides. The Free State embarked on a policy of selective executions — 77 prisoners were judicially shot with over more 'unofficially' killed in the field.

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The anti-Treaty forces assassinated one pro-Treaty member of Parliament, and several other civilian politicians, wounded more and burned their houses. However the Free State's tactics of internment and executions combined to cripple the anti-Treaty forces by April The death in action of Liam Lynch in this month led to the anti-Treaty IRA, under the orders of Frank Aiken and on the urgings of civilian leader de Valera, calling a ceasefire and to "dump arms".

There was no negotiated end to the war however. The Civil War between Irish nationalists created a great deal of bitterness and the Civil War cleavage also produced the two main parties of independent Ireland in the 20th century. The number of dead has yet to be accurately counted but is considered to be around 2,; at least as high as the number killed in the preceding War of Independence. However the pro-Treaty side, organised in Cumann na nGaedheal , won a comfortable majority and went on to form the government of the new state until The Cumann na nGaedheal governments, led by WT Cosgrave, were highly conservative — being more concerned with establishing the state's basic institutions after the havoc of the Civil War than with social or political reform.

According to Kevin O'Higgins, the Minister for Justice, "we were the most conservative group of revolutionaries ever to have carried out a successful revolution". The Irish Civil Service was largely inherited intact from the British and senior civil servants such as C. Gregg were 'lent' to the Irish from London to get the new state's bureaucracy off the ground.

The new service, and especially its comptroller, Joseph Brennan were initially most concerned with balancing the state's budget and avoiding long-term in-debtedness [28] The Free State printed its own notes the punt , and minted its own coins but their value remained tied to British sterling currency until the s. Whereas the British had devolved much power to local government in the s, one of the Free State's first acts was to abolish many of the powers of County Councils and replace them with unelected County managers.

On the economic front, the Cosgrave administration saw its role as supporting the Irish agricultural export sector by consolidating farms and improving the quality of their produce. The Cumann na nGeadhael governments did not see providing social services as a priority and instead cut income tax from 5 shillings to 3 shillings. While the last prisoners of the Civil War were released in , the Free State retained extensive emergency powers to intern and even execute political opponents, under a series of Public Safety Acts , and However, they entered the parliament in , in part to disassociate themselves from the killing of Kevin O'Higgins.

Initially Cumann na nGaedheal had been popular as the party that had established the state, but by , their economic conservatism and continued repression of anti-Treaty Republicans was becoming unpopular. They would be in government without interruption until and for much of the rest of the 20th century.

Irish Media: A Critical History, Since 1922 2001

IRA members began attacking Cumann na nGaedhal supporters, who they considered "traitors" at rallies. There were frequent riots and occasional shootings between the two factions in the early s. Not long afterwards, in , de Valera made a clean break with political violence when he banned the increasingly left-wing IRA after they murdered a landlord's agent, Richard More O'Farrell, in a land dispute and fired shots at police during a strike of Tramway workers in Dublin.

They also set up a large number of semi-state companies such as the Electricity Supply Board and the Turf Development Board. While this state-led strategy had some positive results, emigration remained high throughout this period, with up to 75, leaving for Britain in the late s. The British in retaliation raised tariffs on Irish agricultural produces, hurting Ireland's export trade. De Valera in turn raised taxes on the importation of British goods. The burden of this standoff fell on the cattle farmers, who could no longer sell their cattle at competitive rates in Britain.

Police and sometimes troops were used to seize cattle off farmers who would or could not pay. Farmers aggrieved at these policies were one of the principal support bases of the Blueshirt movement [33]. The dispute with Britain was finally settled in Half of the land annuity debt c. The British also returned to Ireland the Treaty ports, which they had retained since the Treaty of Irish control over these bases made possible Irish neutrality in the looming Second World War. The Free State from — was a constitutional monarchy over which the British monarch reigned from with the title " King of Ireland ".

The Representative of the Crown was known as the Governor-General. The head of government was called the President of the Executive Council. This document was drawn up by the de Valera administration. It was approved by the electorate in a plebiscite by a simple majority.

The Governor-General was replaced by a President of Ireland and a new more powerful prime minister, called the " Taoiseach ", came into being, while the Executive Council was renamed the " Government ". Though it had a president, the new state was not a republic. The British monarch continued to reign theoretically as King of Ireland and was used as an "organ" in international and diplomatic relations, with the President of Ireland relegated to symbolic functions within the state but never outside it. The Anglo-Irish Treaty provided that should Northern Ireland choose not be included in the Free State, a Boundary Commission would be set up to revise the borders between the two jurisdictions.

The Irish perspective was that this was intended to allow largely nationalist areas of Northern Ireland to join the Free State, and shortly after the establishment of the Free State this commission came into being. However the commission concentrated on economic and topographic factors , rather than the political aspirations of the people who would be living near the new border.

In the Boundary Commission report, contrary to expectations, proposed ceding some small areas of the Free State to Northern Ireland. The outbreak of the Second World War put the state and the de Valera government in a difficult situation.

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It came under pressure from Britain and later the USA, to enter the war, or at least to allow the allies to use its ports. However, there remained a minority who felt that national independence had yet to be achieved and who were resolutely opposed to any alliance with Britain.

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For this reason, de Valera ensured that the state remained neutral throughout the War which was officially known as the " Emergency ". The state's decision to adopt neutrality was influenced by memories of the Anglo-Irish War and the Civil War, and the state's lack of military preparedness for involvement in a war. The remnants of the IRA, which had split several times into ever smaller groupings since , embarked on a bombing campaign in Britain see Sabotage Campaign IRA and some attacks in Northern Ireland see Northern Campaign , intended to force a British withdrawal from Northern Ireland.

De Valera, considering this activity a threat to Irish neutrality and therefore to the state's vital interests, interned all active IRA members and executed several. Another was hanged in Northern Ireland for shooting a policeman. Behind the scenes the Irish state worked with the Allies; in , the government agreed provisionally with Britain that it would accept the entry of British troops and put its own armed forces under their command should the Germans invade Ireland — see Plan W.

There was a provisional German plan for an invasion of Ireland, known as Operation Green , but it was never carried out. Additionally, Irish fire fighters were sent to Northern Ireland to help fight the fires caused by the German bombing of Belfast in See Belfast Blitz.

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There were a number of further examples of co-operation. German pilots who crashed in Ireland were interned while Allied airmen were returned to Britain. There was also mutual sharing of intelligence. For example, the date of the D-Day Normandy landings was decided on the basis of transatlantic weather reports supplied by the Irish state.

It is estimated that between 50, and , men from Ireland took part, with that number roughly evenly divided between Northern Ireland and the southern state. Conversely, following the suicide of Adolf Hitler , de Valera, following diplomatic protocol, controversially offered condolences to the German ambassador.

Ireland: Europe's Appendix

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The participants are all prime figures or confirmed experts of their parts, protecting quite a lot of themes and issues within the following seven sections: January 10, admin. A severe History maps the panorama of media in eire from the basis of the fashionable kingdom in to the current. Beginning in a rustic ravaged by means of civil battle, it strains the complexities of wartime censorship and info the historical past of media expertise, from the improvement of radio to the inauguration of tv within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties.

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