Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Making of Modern Ireland

“The Ireland I now inhabit is one that these Irish contemporaries have helped to imagine.” – Seamus Heaney

The history of a nation all too often depends on an admixture of truths, half-truths and mythology; exemplified by the story of Britain and Ireland. Both countries were part of the Angevin Empire that controlled an area from the banks of the Shannon to the Centre of France until after its defeat by the French, in 1399. But Ireland did not experience English rule until her colonisation by Henry VIII in the 16th Century.

Basing their story on past ills which resulted in the 1798 Rising by the United Irishmen and the birth of republicanism, together with carefully selected facts, folklore and historically inaccurate assumptions, the Fenians produced a mythology which was in part responsible for the Rising of 1916. Few are aware that this would not have been possible but for the secret connivance of the enemies of Irish freedom, while Ireland gained her independence not by the Rising but as a result of British over-reaction which produced the War of Independence.

The Making of Modern Ireland looks at the broad sweep of the nation’s history from the 12th Century, when it was part of the Angevin Empire, right up to 2009 and the government of Brian Cowan. Geoff Robinson’s narrative offers an alternative view, stripped of the half-truths and mythology, that has passed for much of the country’s history.

Though born and educated in England, Geoff Robinson is an Irish citizen who has lived in Ireland for over fifty years. An unswerving believer in the rectitude of the Irish cause, he knew many who had been involved in the 1916 Rising and later came to meet others of such divergent political views as the daughter of a Redmondite MP and the editor of the “Bulletin”, a clandestine newssheet published during the War of Independence. Following his marriage in 1966 to Bernadette Tiernan, a national teacher, he developed an interest in Irish politics. His wife’s revelation that no critical examination of the events leading up to the 1916 Rising was contained in the schools curriculum, prompted him to make a re-evaluation of Irish history which has resulted in his book, The Making of Modern Ireland. He lives in Dublin with his wife Bernadette and at 88 years old Geoff Robinson proves that it’s never too late to write your first book.

You can buy the book HERE