Part of the British History in Perspective book series (BHP)


Ireland has proved too small to be divided. Though their country was partitioned politically in 1920, the peoples of Ireland have rarely allowed this to interfere with daily life in practice. Even after seventy-five years of separate statehood they are, by and large, unwilling to regard as their stamping ground anything less than the whole island. During the war years, it is true, the political border assumed reality, and in recent decades the IRA campaign of violence has succeeded in deepening divisions and inhibiting movement. In general, however, the taking of holidays, the pursuit of leisure, and cultural and, increasingly, economic activities, simply ignore the political boundary.


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  1. 3.
    See, for example, J. J. Lee, Ireland 1912–85: Politics and Society (Cambridge, 1990);Google Scholar
  2. Jonathan Bardon, A History of Ulster (Belfast, 1992).Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    See Garret FitzGerald, All in a Life (Dublin and London, 1991), where this phrase appropriately forms part of the title of chapter 14.Google Scholar
  4. 17.
    Terence Brown, Ireland: a Social and Cultural History (Glasgow, 1981), pp. 135–6Google Scholar
  5. 19.
    Garret FitzGèrald, ‘Generosity Needed to bring Island Together’, in Irish Times, 1 October 1994, p. 10.Google Scholar

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© David Harkness 1996

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