Historian Ronan Fanning challenges John Bruton over necessity for 1916 Rising

Ronan Fanning said British government’s inept behaviour encouraged violence

Professor Ronan Fanning said ‘British failures were responsible for violence and the triumph of violence in Ireland’. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Professor Ronan Fanning said ‘British failures were responsible for violence and the triumph of violence in Ireland’. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Veteran historian Professor Ronan Fanning has said violence worked in Ireland during the revolutionary period because of the “pusillanimous and inept behaviour of British governments”.

Responding to former taoiseach John Bruton’s belief that neither the Easter Rising or War of Independence were necessary, Prof Fanning said he was not a believer in “blood and iron”, but that was not the same as saying that violence does not work.

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