From Partition to Brexit is the first book to chart the political and ideological evolution of Irish government policy towards Northern Ireland from the partition of the country in 1921 to the present day. Based on extensive original research, this groundbreaking work assesses the achievements and failures of successive Dublin administrations, evaluating the obstacles faced and the strategies used to overcome them. Challenging the idea that Dublin has pursued a consistent set of objectives and policies towards Northern Ireland, this timely study reveals a dynamic story of changing priorities. The picture that emerges is one of complex and sometimes contradictory processes underpinning the Irish Government’s approach to the conflict.

Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews, the author explores and explains the gap between the rhetorical objective of Irish unity and actual priorities, such as stability within Northern Ireland and the security of the Irish state. The book explains why attempts during the 1990s to manage the conflict in Northern Ireland ultimately proved successful when previous efforts had foundered. Identifying key evolutionary trends, From Partition to Brexit demonstrates how in its relations with the British Government, Dublin has been transformed from spurned supplicant to vital partner in determining Northern Ireland’s future, a partnership jeopardised by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

Informed, robust and innovative, From Partition to Brexit is essential reading for anyone interested in Irish or British history and politics, and will appeal to students of diplomacy, international relations and conflict studies.

The focus of this chapter is on the emerging implications of the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (Brexit) for the lives of migrants on both sides of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Brexit is likely to reduce the rights and entitlements of future prospective immigrants to Northern Ireland but it is becoming increasingly likely that the impact on many migrants from European Union countries, and in particular those from countries that joined the EU after 2004, may be mostly

in Immigrants as outsiders in the two Irelands

acquired portfolio on the understanding that he would retain it under Reynolds’s premiership and that he would contest the party leadership whenever Reynolds decided to step down.1 Neither man knew how brief Reynolds’s tenure as Taoiseach 218 From Partition to Brexit would be – little more than two years and nine months. However, during this time Reynolds would play a vital role in a series of major breakthroughs in Northern Ireland and in facilitating a peace process to take root. The new Taoiseach’s proclamation that, along with the economy, Northern Ireland was

in From Partition to Brexit
Neo-colonialism encounters regionalism?

The Brexit campaign for the UK to leave the EU was predicated upon a number of policy claims from the leading ‘Brexiteer’ politicians, notably Liam Fox, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson. One particularly interesting claim was that a Brexit decision to leave the EU would offer a progressive opportunity for improved, ‘pro-poor’ ties with Commonwealth countries in Africa (Lowe, 2016 ; Murray-Evans, 2016 ; Plummer, 2015 ; UKIP, 2016 ). According to the Brexiteer discourse, EU trade and aid policies are skewed against the economic and

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
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Parties and policy making in Ireland

State Government inherited 21,000 civil servants 2 From Partition to Brexit and to this number it added a mere 131 of its own and reinstated 88 others. Chubb notes that The administrative machinery of the new state did not have to be created: what existed was taken over by nationalist rebels, most of whom were by no means revolutionaries looking to effect great social and political reforms … Their senior civil service advisers, steeped in the British tradition, saw no need for changes in administrative structures or practices. They looked for and got much friendly

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affairs so that international audiences would not have to rely on British sources for keeping abreast of events in Ireland. Though de Valera participated in the work of the Committee, he was half-hearted at best about the venture ‘given [his] lack of 64 From Partition to Brexit enthusiasm for involvement in any anti-Partition strategy which he was not controlling’.4 Costello’s unilateral declaration of intent to repeal the External Relations Act (ERA) and, consequently, to declare a Republic of Ireland outside of the Commonwealth not only shocked the British

in From Partition to Brexit
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the Stormont and London governments and not with your government’ and there was ‘a limit to the extent to which we can discuss with outsiders—even our nearest neighbours, this internal matter’.1 But just as the British were instructing Dublin to back off, the Government was besieged with requests to support the northern nationalist community. The 106 From Partition to Brexit cabinet meeting of 13 August exposed deep divisions on how best to respond. Kevin Boland, Neil Blaney and Charles Haughey advocated some kind of military action. This might take the form of

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analysis of the regime type that would allow such an atrocity to go unpunished. Rather, the Minister for Justice focussed on public empathy with the victims of Bloody Sunday who, in the absence of official justice, had burnt down the symbol of British diplomacy in Ireland. It was this reaction – that caused no injuries, let alone fatalities – that was depicted as ‘irrational’ and ‘frightening’. 138 From Partition to Brexit Moreover, Cooney did not suggest that nationalists should interrogate the nature of loyalism as a result of the 17 May massacre. Instead he

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republicanism had moved from the periphery to the mainstream. Hunger strikes, executions and atrocities such as those committed on Bloody Sunday punctuated what was in retrospect a mercifully short war for independence. Almost 2,000 people were killed between January 1919 and July 1921, of whom about a quarter resided in the six counties of what became Northern Ireland. In Belfast, where 12 From Partition to Brexit most of the northern fatalities occurred, British state forces combined with loyalist irregulars to target the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and minority

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remaining ready at any time to revert to a more Republican posture to satisfy the Party faithful’. While the report said that the British need not care about his electoral prospects, Haughey was considered ‘the best placed to secure the agreement of the more Republican wing of his Party to any acceptable solution we can devise for the North’. Most 172 From Partition to Brexit important from the British perspective, Haughey’s accession ‘has not harmed security cooperation between the RUC and the Garda which seems, if anything, to have improved’. As for Haughey’s ‘real

in From Partition to Brexit