The Legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in Independent Ireland, 1922-1949

BookThe Legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in Independent Ireland, 1922-1949

The Legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in Independent Ireland, 1922-1949


November 13th, 2019

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This book provides the first detailed analysis of the influence of former Irish Parliamentary Party members and methods in independent Ireland and the place of the party’s leaders in public memory. Previous studies of the party have concluded with its dramatic fall in 1918 and shown little interest in the fate of its members thereafter. This study adopts a new approach, using biographical data to provide the first statistical analysis of the Irish Party heritage within each political party in the independent Irish state established in 1922. Utilising a wealth of archival material, as well as contemporary and critical writings, it explores how former Irish Party followers reacted to the changed circumstances of independent Ireland. One chapter undertakes a case study of the Irish National League, arguing that this organisation, founded and led by former MPs, effectively constituted a ‘legacy party’.

Analysis of party politics is complemented by scrutiny of the practice of commemoration to ask how the Irish Party was remembered in a state founded on the sacrifice of the Easter Rising. This detailed study of the evolution of the party’s public memory sheds new and significant light on the way that figures such as Charles Stewart Parnell, John Redmond and Michael Davitt were remembered.

'This book fills a very significant gap in Irish political history by exploring the after-life of the old Irish home rule party after its electoral demise in 1918. It charts expertly the continuing legacy of the constitutional nationalist tradition in the politics of the newly independent Ireland. The home rule movement dominated Irish politics for nearly fifty years and in this excellent book its much longer and wider impact is properly acknowledged.'
Dr Marie Coleman, Queen's University Belfast

'A methodical pioneering study of the old nationalists in the new order... With no dominant archive or set of papers to work from, the author had a challenging task in assembling his materials and has completed it impressively.'
R. V. Comerford, Parliaments, Estates and Representation

The Legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party addresses a significant lacuna in Irish political history, demonstrating that Sinn Féin’s claim in 1917 that the IPP had been ‘killed in South Longford and buried in East Clare’ was not totally accurate.’
Paul Hughes, Parliamentary History

‘O’Donoghue has produced a well-researched and informative study on the legacy of one of the most celebrated, feared and despised political movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.’
Colin W. Reid, Irish Historical Studies

Author Information

Martin O'Donoghue is Lecturer in British and Irish History at the University of Sheffield.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
1. The Legacy of the Irish Party in Free State Politics, 1922–535
2. The Place of Home Rulers in Memoir, Commemoration and Public Discourse, 1922–569
3. A Legacy Party? The Irish National League, 1926–797
4. From the National League to Cumann na nGaedheal?131
5. The Blueshirts and the Shadow of the Land League, 1932–4155
6. Home Rulers in a New Ireland, 1935–49185
7. ‘Why Not Study History!’ Remembering Parnell’s Party v. Remembering Redmond’s Party213
Biographical Appendix249