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Mervyn O’Driscoll

This chapter focuses on the resentments in some rural Irish districts against the purchase of land and property by foreigners, particularly Germans. Land was inextricably linked to the 'national' or Irish question, and controversies about the ownership of land grew acute in the aftermath of the Great Famine. It reached a crescendo during the prolonged period of agrarian unrest and civil disturbances that characterised the rolling land wars from the 1870s to 1890s. The Land Commission expropriated larger foreign-owned agricultural holdings purchased before the 1965 Land Act, and Irish owned ones. During the spring and summer of 1962, as the Irish authorities redoubled their efforts to convince the European Economic Community that Ireland was a worthy applicant, the troubling allusions to a 'German invasion' intensified. Sensationalist German invasion allegations in the foreign press entwined with the arrival of a former high-profile Nazi and military servant of the Nazi state.

in Ireland, West Germany and the New Europe, 1949– 73
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Ireland, German reunification and remaking Europe
Mervyn O’Driscoll

Ireland's relationship with West Germany was an essential component in its embrace of economic modernisation and European integration. Ireland interpreted integration as a declaration and not as a threat to national identity and independence; it had the potential to equalise the unequal relationship between Ireland and Britain. Irish-East German trade was minuscule and was dwarfed by Irish-West German trade. German banks did come into the Irish Financial Services Centre in Dublin and a few German 'high-tech' and services companies have invested in Ireland since 2004. From that perspective, the Irish-German business relationship is relatively static. From his accession as Taoiseach in 1987, Charles J. Haughey identified Ireland's relations with the European Communities (EC) as a strategic priority to extricate the Irish economy from a severe slump. Haughey was preparing for the Irish Presidency of the EC in the first six months of 1990 long before German reunification became an issue.

in Ireland, West Germany and the New Europe, 1949– 73