Documents on Irish Foreign Policy

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy is a project of the Royal Irish Academy, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Archives of Ireland and was established in 1997. The project publishes essential source material for anyone interested in the development of Irish foreign policy since 1919.

New volume just published - Documents on Irish Foreign Policy X (1951-57)

DIFP X runs June 1951 to March 1957. It encompasses two administrations: the June 1951 to June 1954 Fianna FŠil government of …amon de Valera, and the June 1954 to March 1957 Second Inter-Party government of Fine Gael, Labour and Clann na Talmhan, led by Fine Gaelís John A. Costello.

Each administration saw a new Minister for External Affairs take office. Fianna FŠilís Frank Aiken and Fine Gaelís Liam Cosgrave were hardly political novices, yet despite their experience, both men were new to the development and execution of Irish diplomacy. Their respective Taoisigh, both having long-term involvement in international affairs, maintained a considerable intellectual influence over the direction of foreign policy.

The years from 1951 to 1955 were the nadir of Irelandís post-war international isolation. Outside the main international bodies of the post-war world, Ireland lacked a strong international voice.

Admission to the United Nations in December 1955, as part of a Cold War package deal, brought Ireland back into the mainstream of international affairs.

After December 1955 a new focus and a wider direction, centred on the United Nations General Assembly, entered Irish foreign policy. The volume thus covers a significant turning point in Irelandís foreign relations.

Over the following year the United Nations came to dominate Irelandís international relations. Policy was defined by a belief in the primacy of the United Nations Charter, a desire to maintain Irelandís international independence of action and a strong anti-Communist tone. It was the beginning of a dynamic decade at the United Nations which would put the organisation centre-stage in Irelandís foreign relations.


For further information and queries contact Dr Michael Kennedy, Executive Editor, DIFP†at difp@ria.ie

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy is a project of the Royal Irish Academy, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Archives of Ireland and was established in 1997. The project publishes essential source material for anyone interested in the development of Irish foreign policy since 1919.

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The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.
 

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International Counterparts

The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
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