The Irish Potato Famine and Revolution comprise the twin pillars of the Irish nationalism's post-1923 ideal of the Republic. The two disparate events were celebrated, recalled and made into mythology for very different reasons. The Great Hunger was seen, within nationalist circles, as a largely avoidable food crisis, precipitated and subsequently exacerbated by British ineptitude and an attitude that saw the Irish as expendable quasi-citizens. The Revolution, on the other hand, was portrayed as a glorious event which successfully liberated an oppressed people, while making heroes and martyrs of men such as Michael Collins who, "in a span of six short years brought a country from bondage to a position where she could win her freedom." (Conlon & Barter, 2003, p.20). Both events would likewise serve as the twin axis upon which revisionism was to flourish - the backlash against nationalism both from within and outside of Eire.
Fuelled by frustrated patriotism and the deep-rooted influence of the Irish Diaspora in the New World, post-Famine Irish Nationalism espoused an interpretive view o ...Show more