Ireland 1922: confronting our troubled past 100 years on

Book review: Essays deliver a social and cultural history of a critical year

Crowds waiting for the outcome of the Treaty ratification meeting, Earlsfort Terrace, January 1st, 1922. Photograph: Independent News And Media/Getty

Crowds waiting for the outcome of the Treaty ratification meeting, Earlsfort Terrace, January 1st, 1922. Photograph: Independent News And Media/Getty

In the epilogue to Ireland 1922: Independence, Partition, Civil War, Prof Guy Beiner, the historian of memory, describes 1922 as a “worthy candidate for the most undeservedly forgotten year in contemporary Irish history”. It has none of the cachet of 1798, 1848, 1867 or 1916 as he put it (all years punctuated by armed rebellion).

Both political entities in Ireland had reason to remember 1922, but better reasons to forget the year, given the explosion of fratricidal violence which occurred in both jurisdictions.

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