This book provides the first detailed analysis of the influence of former Irish Parliamentary Party members and methods in independent Ireland and the place of the party’s leaders in public memory. Previous studies of the party have concluded with its dramatic fall in 1918 and shown little interest in the fate of its members thereafter. This study adopts a new approach, using biographical data to provide the first statistical analysis of the Irish Party heritage within each political party in the independent Irish state established in 1922. Utilising a wealth of archival material, as well as contemporary and critical writings, it explores how former Irish Party followers reacted to the changed circumstances of independent Ireland. One chapter undertakes a case study of the Irish National League, arguing that this organisation, founded and led by former MPs, effectively constituted a ‘legacy party’.
Analysis of party politics is complemented by scrutiny of the practice of commemoration to ask how the Irish Party was remembered in a state founded on the sacrifice of the Easter Rising. This detailed study of the evolution of the party’s public memory sheds new and significant light on the way that figures such as Charles Stewart Parnell, John Redmond and Michael Davitt were remembered.
'This book fills a very significant gap in Irish political history by exploring the after-life of the old Irish home rule party after its electoral demise in 1918. It charts expertly the continuing legacy of the constitutional nationalist tradition in the politics of the newly independent Ireland. The home rule movement dominated Irish politics for nearly fifty years and in this excellent book its much longer and wider impact is properly acknowledged.'
Dr Marie Coleman, Queen's University Belfast