The Irish government has released some previously classified documents at the turn of the year. There are some that cast light on events in Northern Ireland and Ireland more generally.

The Guardian reports on stories aof acrimonious meetings between David Trimble, leader of the UUP, and Tony Blair, in the period after the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1997: David Trimble was ‘extraordinarily rude’ to Tony Blair at Good Friday talks

Another headline, “Diana apparently believed Northern Ireland part of the Republic, archive shows” seems to put the worst spin on what may have been a slip of the tongue or a poorly expressed pleasantry. Make up your own mind here.


Cheering news for everyone interested in Ireland’s history: the mammoth project to recreate in virtual form the Public Records Office in Dublin’s Four Courts has been officially unveiled. (It can’t be said it’s been completed – indeed, it’s doubtful it ever can be.)

You can read about the destruction of the original archive here.

[Note: this post should have been published in May. For some reason it landed in the “drafts” folder instead.]


My review of Oscar Wilde’s Elegant Republic: Transformation, Dislocation and Fantasy in Fin-de-siècle Paris by David Charles Rose has just been published online and will be included in the next issue (26.3) of Irish Studies Review.



A website I’m coming to appreciate more and more is It’s very useful for finding primary sources such as articles or collections of speeches from the 19th and early 20th century (all of which are out of copyright by now).

Just recently I found Home Rule: Speeches of John Redmond M.P., which contains speeches from 1886 to 1909, and also The Select Speeches of Daniel O’Connell, M. P.

Definitely a lot more convenient than hunting through dusty volumes in the archives, though part of me does miss the romance of doing that…