Extreme political violence of the ‘Troubles’ in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s
forced radical changes in the use of public space. The Twelfth of July,
formerly an unchallenged part of civic ritual, now came to be seen as
problematic. The Lord Mayor’s Show, a celebration of commerce and unionism,
dwindled before being revived as an apolitical, carnival-style event. St
Patrick’s Day, formerly associated solely with Nationalism, was promoted,
with mixed success, as a cross-community festival.
This chapter reiterates the main points of the book. Essentially, it confirms
that while the Irish Parliament clearly was a colonial assembly in its
origins and in its development, there is also a clear line of development
that is more local and more organic than might first meet the eye. It brings
together the many strands of the book to make some strong concluding
statements about the nature of the institution and its place within the
kingdom, its constitution, and the institutional history of Ireland.
Initially, this chapter discusses the position of the Irish Parliament within
early modern Irish historiography and whether it has served Irish
institutional history well. This is followed by a consideration of the
development of parliamentary history in England, and whether there is a
potential usefulness of applying such a historiographical model to Ireland.
It also considers how an institutional history of the Irish Parliament might
be written and to what extent this can be achieved, considering to what
extent the relevant source material is available to us. The day-to-day
records of the two houses, the parliamentary journals, are discussed in
great detail – their original purpose and to what extent they might direct
such an institutional study.
Traditional histories of parliament, whether Irish or otherwise, have generally
treated them as political events. This book considers the seventeenth-century
Irish Parliament as an ongoing element within the state. It considers the role
of parliament within the context of an overall state apparatus of governance and
charts its development over time. While parliament developed in conjunction with
the Irish state, local politicians, and local institutions, it was also a
colonial institution, taking direction from Westminster on how to operate.
Whether by design or by chance, it resembles the Westminster model of
parliamentary procedure, but it also had specifically Irish traits in how it
dispatched its business. This book describes a developing institution chiefly
through the work that it undertook. Most will be well aware of parliament’s work
on legislation and the creation of law and also representation of communities
and locations, but it spent large amounts of time hearing petitions and
undertaking judicial work. It undertook these ever-increasing responsibilities
with a growing group of parliamentary officers, who had a wide variety of powers
and responsibilities. Naturally this led to a sophisticated set of procedures
and privileges in undertaking this work in order to increase its efficiency and
productivity. This book discusses topics and describes processes that are still
very much a cornerstone for today’s parliamentary democracy in Ireland and will
resonate in Irish institutional culture and elsewhere in the common law
The passing of legislation was of great importance to both government and
community in early modern Ireland. It frequently was the mechanism by which
grievances were addressed and also how finance was secured. This chapter
considers the relevance of legislation and also the relevance of Poynings’
Law to the passage of legislation in Ireland. It also considers the relative
importance of the creation of statute law in the Irish legal system. This
chapter takes the reader through the various stages of legislation in the
Irish Parliament, an area that has been relatively ignored when compared
with the focus of studies on Poynings’ Law.
In a book that deals with procedure and focuses a little less on MPs and
politics than other works, a chapter on the officers and servants of
parliament brings light onto this sometimes forgotten corner of parliament.
While nobody could fail to acknowledge the importance of the speaker of
either house, this book brings a sharp concentration of the very important
roles of the judges and other legal officers, on the all-important clerk and
his juniors, and on the lesser officers of parliament. It discusses the role
of the officers, their responsibilities, and the capacity for influence on
political and other developments in parliament. It also describes the
payment and other rewards they received for their work.
Petitioning, either as a general call for favour and assistance, or as the
opening salvo in a legal action, was a common process in the Irish
Parliament and there is strong evidence that it took up a considerable
amount of time, frequently much more than legislation did. This chapter
considers both the theory and practice of petitioning. It discusses how and
why it happened, the methodology and materials of the process, the role of
counsel, officers, and members. It also provides the statistical evidence of
how the system worked and to what extent certain petitioners and types of
petitions were more successful than others.
The two constituent parts of parliament were generally self-regulating in
their behaviour. With the exception of statute law that did stipulate
certain ways for parliament to behave, the Commons and the Lords organised
the way they undertook their business and how their members should conduct
themselves. This meant that parliamentary privilege for the member and the
liberties of each house were jealously guarded. These were certain rights to
avoid arrest, to be free from civil actions, and also for the house to
dominate certain areas, for example appellate oversight of other courts or
finance. The author convincingly asserts that while privilege could well be
the domain of the petty and self-interested, its fundamental purpose was to
preserve the individual roles and promote their smooth running.
Contemporary political discourse makes clear that confino is a contested memory. The collective memory of internal exile tends to be presented as inextricably linked to the Resistance, but the materials examined in this study resist such a neat identification. These texts describe divided memories through experiences that must be interpreted, remembered, and contested. Competing narratives call for a nuanced appreciation for the complexities of remembrance that are not fixed and cannot be reduced to a single moment, but instead are continuously being redefined. The ideals for what would become the European Union were first articulated in a manifesto written by exiles on the island of Ventotene. Today, geo-political and socio-economic challenges threaten the ideals of justice and freedom at the root of both European integration and the Italian constitution, which can also trace its influences to confino and to Ventotene. Divided memories of how Fascism suppressed dissent are changing the political course of Europe and Italy.
Confino (internal exile) has a history that pre-dates Fascism. While utilised in ancient times, it has its immediate antecedents in Liberal Italy. Fascism expanded the scope of practice to consolidate its political power and to exert social control. Drawing on legislation, the penal codes, and archival materials, this chapter examines the legal, political and philosophical foundations of internal exile and the factors that permitted its rapid implementation as an effective means for addressing internal political opposition to the Regime. The so-called ‘exceptional laws’ presented the rationale for internal exile, but the punishment extended beyond the purely political. Anyone considered ‘different’ could be exiled: e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, Freemasons, defeatists, sex workers, abortion providers, gender nonconformists, Roma, mafiosi, Slovenians, Croatians. The chapter also considers the role of Chief of Police Arturo Bocchini and the evolution of the practice of confino after 1943.