Tired Titan

A.B. Cooke

  • The Factory of Grievances: Devolved Government in Northern Ireland, 1921-1939 by Patrick Buckland
    Gill and Macmillan, 365 pp, £13.00

Most British politicians were distinctly uninterested in retaining control of six Irish counties while giving up the rest of the country. Nevertheless, strange and misleading interpretations were placed on their behaviour in 1921-22, when withdrawal from Ireland at last became a practicable policy in Britain. Lloyd George’s Cabinet was accused of deliberately creating a puppet regime in Belfast, charged with the duty of seeking to influence events throughout Ireland as a whole, in the name of British imperialism. No very strenuous efforts were made in Britain to refute such misconceptions, which were sedulously fostered by Irish Republican leaders, partly in order to reconcile their followers to the disagreeable necessity of partition. In London, the growth of yet another Irish legend could be tolerated, if it helped to shore up the Irish settlement of 1921-22.

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