This book brings together new research on loyalism in the 26 counties that would become the Irish Free State. It covers a range of topics and experiences, including the Third Home Rule crisis in 1912, the revolutionary period, partition, independence and Irish participation in the British armed and colonial service up to the declaration of the Republic in 1949. The essays gathered here examine who southern Irish loyalists were, what loyalism meant to them, how they expressed their loyalism, their responses to Irish independence and their experiences afterwards.
The collection offers fresh insights and new perspectives on the Irish Revolution and the early years of southern independence, based on original archival research. It addresses issues of particular historiographical and political interest during the ongoing ‘Decade of Centenaries’, including revolutionary violence, sectarianism, political allegiance and identity and the Irish border, but, rather than ceasing its coverage in 1922 or 1923, this book – like the lives with which it is concerned – continues into the first decades of southern Irish independence.