In 1949, Ireland left the Commonwealth and the British Empire began its long fragmentation. The relationship between the new Republic of Ireland and Britain was a complex one however, and the traditional assumption that the Republic would universally support self-determination overseas and object to 'imperialism' does not hold up to historical scrutiny. In reality, for economic and geopolitical reasons, the Republic of Ireland played an important role in supporting the Empire- demonstrated clearly in Ireland's active involvement in the Cyprus Emergency of the 1950s. As Helen O'Shea reveals, while the IRA formed immediate links with EOKA and the Cypriot rebels, the Irish government and the Irish Church supported the British line- which was to retain Cyprus as the Middle-Eastern base of the British Empire following the loss of Egypt. Ireland and the End of the British Empire challenges the received historiography of the period and constitutes a valuable addition to our understanding of Ireland and the British Empire.
Helen O'Shea is Tutor in British social and political history at the University of Strathclyde and the University of Edinburgh. She completed her PhD in Modern History at the University of Edinburgh in 2009.
Long Shadows 1. The Evolution of Enosis and the Irish Interaction with British Cyprus, 1878-1954 i. 'Accidental' Irishmen or Erin's 'Gallant Sons'? The Early Years of 'British' Cyprus ii. Growing Analogies: T.P. O'Connor, Michael Collins and 'British Fairplay' in Cyprus iii. 'Enosis and Only Enosis': The 1931 Riots, World War II and the Greek Civil War Unlearned Lessons 2. The Irish Press Response to the Cyprus Emergency: A Comparative Analysis i. Hesitant Beginnings: Irish Anti-communism and the Cyprus Question ii. Civil War Ghosts: Historical Constraints on Irish Press Opinion iii. Reflecting the National Synthesis? The Irish Times and the Cyprus Question 3. Insurgent Compatriots: Irish Republicanism and the EOKA Campaign i. A Marriage of Motives: Greek-Cypriot Nationalism and the National Student Council ii. The NSC and International Student Anti-colonialism in Dublin iii. 'The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend': The IRA-EOKA Joint Prison Escape Effort iv. The United Irishman Debate: Northern Ireland, Cyprus and the British Armed Forces Walking the Tightrope 4. The Irish Religious Response to Cypriot Self-Determination i. The Irish Catholic, the Standard, Irish Partition and the Cyprus Question ii. Cyprus, Communism and Irish Catholicism iii. Catholic-Greek Orthodox Tensions and the Cyprus Question iv. The Church of Ireland's Relationship with the Greek Orthodox Church v. The Irish Churches' Response to the Anti-Greek Pogroms and the Deportation of Archbishop Makarios 5. Irish UN Foreign Policy and the Cyprus Question i. The Second Inter-Party Government, UN Membership and the Cyprus Question ii. The Formation and Execution of Liam Cosgrave's Irish UN Policy iii. 'Bloody Mavericks?' The Return of Fianna Fail iv. Irish Partition, the Cyprus Question and the Thirteenth UN Session 6. Ireland, Cyprus and the Council of Europe i. James Crosbie, Sean MacBride and the Consultative Assembly ii. Crosbie, the European Court of Human Rights and the Greek Application 176/56 iii. MacBride, Makarios and Misconceptions iv. Friend or Foe? Britain, Ireland and the Greek Application 176/56 Hidden Histories 7. Ireland, the Colonial Legal Service and Emergency Legislation i. Chief Justice Sir Eric Hallinan ii. Nicosia Special Court: Charles Vesey Boyle and James Trainor iii. Chief Justice Sir Paget John Bourke iv. Attorney-General James Holmes Henry 8. The Irish Involvement in British Counter-Insurgency in Cyprus i. 'Taking the Shilling': Irish Recruitment to the British Army and Service in Cyprus ii. The Cyprus Emergency and the Anglo-Irish Military Tradition iii. The Irish Involvement in the Deportation of Archbishop Makarios iv. Ireland, Cyprus and the Suez Crisis v. Coercion and Conciliation in Cyprus: The Case of Michael Boyd Conclusion