Lecturer: Dr John Gibney, Royal Irish Academy

In 1919 the First Dáil set up its very own foreign service. Since before the Easter Rising of 1916 Irish republicans had anticipated Ireland making a claim for the recognition of its independence at a post-war peace conference, and to that end the Dáil established a diplomatic mission in Paris. But over the next few years Sinn Féin made use of a wide range of agitators and propagandists scattered across the US, Europe and farther afield to disseminate anti-British propaganda, to lobby politicians, raise money and even obtain weapons for the IRA. The IRA’s guerrilla campaign tends to hog the limelight in discussions of the period 1919-23 in Irish history, but the colourful activities of the Dáil’s very own diplomatic service remains an overlooked aspect of the revolutionary period.

Date of the original lecture: 4th February 2019 at 11am