‘Twentieth-Century Ireland’ focuses on the consolidation of the new Irish state. Professor Dermot Keogh highlights the long tragedy of emigration, its effect on the Irish psyche and on the under-performance of the Irish economy. He emphasises the lost opportunities for reform of the 1960s and early 70s. Membership of the EU had a diminished impact due to short-term and sectionally motivated political thinking and an antiquated government structure. The despair of the 1950s revisited the country in the 1980s as almost an entire generation felt compelled to emigrate, very often as undocumented workers in the United States. Dermot Keogh also argues that the violence in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s was an Anglo-Irish failure which was turned around only when Britain acknowledged the role of the Irish government in its resolution. He extends his analysis to include a wide-ranging survey of the most contentious events—financial corruption, child sexual abuse, scandals in the Catholic Church—between 1994 and 2005.
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