The origins of official Irish nationalism

Katy Hayward

in Irish Nationalism and European Integration

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780719072789
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702369 | DOI:
The origins of official Irish nationalism

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The establishment of an independent Irish state was severely complicated by the fact that there was not an Irish nationalism seeking an Irish nation-state as such but rather a range of nationalisms competing for political space and influence in Ireland. The three core versions of nationalism — unionist nationalism, constitutional nationalism, and republican nationalism — fostered different conceptions of the meaning and implications of Ireland's identity, borders, and governance and consequently occupied conflicting positions regarding the ideal notion of Irish nation-statehood. In relation to their opposing views on Britain's role in Ireland, these competing nationalisms also fostered different opinions regarding the relevance of developments in the international context for Ireland. Developments in international affairs, particularly in Europe, had the effect of altering the focus and appeal of each of these versions of nationalism in Ireland. As a result, the need to find a middle ground between constitutional and republican nationalisms shaped the development of official nationalism in the independent Irish Free State after 1922.

Keywords: Ireland; nationalism; unionist nationalism; constitutional nationalism; republican nationalism; identity; borders; governance; nation-statehood; Irish Free State

Chapter.  11428 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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