Exploring the Zionist evolution of Robert Briscoe: History and memory

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dc.contributor.advisor Doherty, Gabriel en
dc.contributor.author McCarthy, Kevin James
dc.date.accessioned 2014-07-15T15:25:28Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.date.submitted 2014
dc.identifier.citation McCarthy, K. J. 2014. Exploring the Zionist evolution of Robert Briscoe: History and memory. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/1586
dc.description.abstract Robert Briscoe was the Dublin born son of Lithuanian and German-Jewish immigrants. As a young man he joined Sinn Féin and was an important figure in the War of Independence due to a role as one of the IRA’s main gun-procuring agents. He took the anti-Treaty side during an internecine Civil War, mainly due to the influence of Eamon de Valera and retained a filial devotion towards him for the rest of his life. In 1926 he was a founding member of Fianna Fáil, de Valera’s breakaway republican party, which would dominate twentieth-century Irish politics. He was first elected as a Fianna Fáil T.D. (Teachta Dála, Deputy to the Dáil) in 1927, and successfully defended his seat eleven times becoming the first Jewish Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1956, an honour that was repeated in 1961. On this basis alone, it can be argued that Briscoe was a significant presence in an embryonic Irish political culture; however, when his role in the 1930s Jewish immigration endeavor is acknowledged, it is clear that he played a unique part in one of the most contentious political and social discourses of the pre-war years. This was reinforced when Briscoe embraced Zionism in a belated realisation that the survival of his European co-religionists could only be guaranteed if an independent Jewish state existed. This information is to a certain degree public knowledge; however, the full extent of his involvement as an immigration advocate for potential Jewish refugees, and the seniority he achieved in the New Zionist Organisation (Revisionists) has not been fully recognised. This is partly explicable because researchers have based their assessment of Briscoe on an incomplete political archive in the National Library of Ireland (NLI). The vast majority of documentation pertaining to his involvement in the immigration endeavor has not been available to scholars and remains the private property of Robert Briscoe’s son, Ben Briscoe. The lack of immigration files in the NLI was reinforced by the fact that information about Briscoe’s Revisionist engagement was donated to the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv and can only be accessed physically by visiting Israel. Therefore, even though these twin endeavors have been commented on by a number of academics, their assessments have tended to be based on an incomplete archive, which was supplemented by Briscoe’s autobiographical memoir published in 1958. This study will attempt to fill in the missing gaps in Briscoe’s complex political narrative by incorporating the rarely used private papers of Robert Briscoe, and the difficult to access Briscoe files in Tel Aviv. This undertaking was only possible when Mr.Ben Briscoe graciously granted me full and unrestricted access to his father’s papers, and after a month-long research trip to the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv. Access to this rarely used documentation facilitated a holistic examination of Briscoe’s complex and multifaceted political reality. It revealed the full extent of Briscoe’s political and social evolution as the Nazi instigated Jewish emigration crisis reached catastrophic proportions. He was by turn Fianna Fáil nationalist, Jewish immigration advocate and senior Revisionist actor on a global stage. The study will examine the contrasting political and social forces that initiated each stage of Briscoe’s Zionist awakening, and in the process will fill a major gap in Irish-Jewish historiography by revealing the full extent of his Revisionist engagement. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2013, Kevin McCarthy. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Fianna Fáil en
dc.subject New Zionist Organisation en
dc.subject Eamon de Valera en
dc.subject Vladimr (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky en
dc.subject Partition en
dc.subject Palestine en
dc.subject Aliyah Bet en
dc.subject Jewish refugees en
dc.subject Anti-semitism en
dc.title Exploring the Zionist evolution of Robert Briscoe: History and memory en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Arts) en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.check.info Restricted to everyone indefinitely en
dc.check.date 10000-01-01
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school History en
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out Yes en
dc.thesis.opt-out true
dc.check.entireThesis Entire Thesis Restricted
dc.check.embargoformat Both hard copy thesis and e-thesis en
dc.internal.conferring Summer Conferring 2014 en

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© 2013, Kevin McCarthy. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2013, Kevin McCarthy.
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