Irish history

  • "Phantom Catholic Threats" Haunt Ireland's National Maternity Hospital

    by Máiréad Enright

    Secular Irish health advocates fear that a partnership between the state and religious charities to operate the national maternity hospital will impose limits on care, including abortion access. Is this justified or a case of finding "nuns under the bed"? 

  • The Irish Lesson: Abortion Bans Won't Stop Abortion

    by Fintan O'Toole

    The recently overturned Irish constitutional ban on abortion and the recent attack by conservative Americans on abortion rights have a common intellectual champion in Notre Dame's Charles E. Rice. The Irish learned the hard way what followed. 

  • Ireland, We Hardly Knew Ye: Fintan O'Toole's Story of Modernization

    by Jack Sheehan

    Fintan O'Toole's acclaimed popular history of modern Ireland delivers a sharp indictment of child abuse by Catholic priests and the operators of reform schools and institutions, but substitutes national-level psychoanalysis for research in other areas, a historian argues.

  • Fintan O'Toole on Ireland's Great Gamble

    O'Toole's "personal history" of Ireland shows that the Republic sought both modern prosperity and traditional values, but could secure only one. 

  • Why Does St. Brigid Get So Much Less Attention than Patrick?

    by Lisa Bitel

    "This year on March 17, when you’re wearing the green and singing “Dirty Ol’ Town,” take a moment to whisper thanks to St. Brigid, the compassionate, sensible, native-born patron saint of Ireland, and ask if Ireland’s premier patron saint should be a woman."

  • Beware Prophecies of Civil War

    by Fintan O'Toole

    Northern Ireland's history shows how "premonitions of civil war served not as portents to be heeded, but as a warrant for carnage," as a seemingly inevitable mass conflict justifies and normalizes smaller-scale political violence as an everyday phenomenon.

  • Memo From Irish History: Welcome to Your Future, American Women

    by Laura Weinstein

    After sustained public outcry, the Republic of Ireland looked to its history of horrific treatment and preventable death of girls and women under its draconian abortion laws and said "enough." Will this example change the course American states like Texas are poised to follow? 

  • Review: Heroes of Ireland's Great Hunger

    by Alan J. Singer

    Christine Kinealy and her co-editors enlist top scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to highlight the stories of individuals and who led efforts for hunger relief against the opposition of the British government. 

  • Except for the Miracles

    by Olúfémi Táíwò

    "The deciding aspect of politics over these next crucial years will turn on battles against overwhelmingly powerful foes who will try to prevent radical redistribution of resources," writes Olúfémi Táíwò. The legacy of two radicals, in Ireland and Kenya, show the value of partial victory and learning from defeat. 

  • Why Irish Revolutionaries Had to Go Global

    by Brian Hanley

    Irish republicans advanced their cause by association with the rising tide of anti-imperialism and the endorsement of national self-determination by Woodrow Wilson, as well as a promiscuous set of alliances with Black nationalists like Marcus Garvey and the new Italian fascist movement.