I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Andy Pollak

Wrongfooted by History

An up-close look at Northern Ireland’s Protestant community

Didn’t They Do Well?

Irish settlers in Argentina saw no contradiction between leaving a country wracked by land conflict and occupying land in the one to which they’d moved from which the native people had been expelled. For they were a civilised people and the dispossessed were savages.

Before The Fall

In 1945 a new housing authority in Northern Ireland set itself the target of building 30,000 houses over ten years, houses that would be allocated on the basis of need, not religious affiliation. In Belfast, some religiously integrated estates lasted, and thrived, until the start of the Troubles.

Backs to the Wall

The widely held view of the Northern Protestant working class is that it is reactionary, prone to violence and possesses little that could be called culture other than marching bands. This is certainly the view that has been promoted by republicans. The reality is a little more nuanced.

The Pity of War

A study of war across the ages argues that our propensity to engage in such conflicts is not genetically determined but a matter of culture and can be combated by integration, mutual linkages of a practical and beneficial kind, and the elimination of boundaries between interests.

A Book of Two Halves

A new history of sport in Ireland impresses with its meticulous research and its account of the historical origins and the momentous developments of the nineteenth century but somewhat runs out of steam and loses direction as we approach the present day.

Tell It Like It Is

During the years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the media, and particularly BBC television, came under pressure to assist the state’s war against armed revolt rather than fulfilling its duty to be impartial and to inform. For the most part, it resisted that pressure

Wild Geese and Clerical Bohemians

Prague’s Franciscan College, set up in the 1630s to send missionary priests back to Ireland, flourished through its contacts with an influential expatriate community of soldiers and doctors. Soon, however, it was to develop a reputation for quarrelling and irregularity.

The Orangeman who loved Ireland

The prolific singer, actor, traveller, film-maker and writer Richard Hayward, who died in 1964, was in many ways a pre-partition figure, the kind of Irishman who combined a passionate love of his country with a strong unionist allegiance that was not uncommon in the nineteenth century.

Captain Mighthavebeen

The mid-1960s saw a relaxation of old certainties among both communities in Northern Ireland. The unionist leader Terence O’Neill was conscious that it was necessary to offer some remedy to the discrimination that Catholics suffered, but even his mild measures of reform did not win majority support within his own community.