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.

Niall Meehan

The Polariser

He was the most important Irish intellectual of the twentieth century, though he got many things wrong, some of them in the pursuit of consistency. Or he was a renegade who went back on every progressive view he had championed in his earlier life. Two views of Conor Cruise O’Brien heard at a recent debate.

Protestant and Irish

Three historians discuss issues raised by a new anthology outlining the varieties of Protestant experience in independent Ireland. Topics touched upon include religious segregation in education, privileged access to employment, and its disappearance, and national feeling.

Harvesting Souls For The Lord

In 1916 Revd JW Tristram summed up his early thoughts in the Church of Ireland’s Irish Church Quarterly in opposition to “The late Rebellion”: “When Irish people learn to rise early, tell the truth, use soap and water more freely, think more modestly of themselves and exercise individual independence in thought, speech and action, there may be some hope for the country, but certainly not before.”

Top People

De Valera’s policies protected and promoted indigenous economic activity, which was often under the control of a Protestant business class who quickly reconciled themselves to life in the new state, as did most of their co-religionists, who were never persecuted on the basis of their religion or perceived nationality. Sectarianism in Ireland has to be seen in its political and economic context. It is not merely an isolated or mystical aspect of religious “culture”.