The embarrassments of Irish nationalist commemorations for Western Europe, from Fontenoy in 1907 to the Easter Rising in 1966
aan de Wiel, Jérôme
Royal Irish Academy
The commemorations of the Battle of Fontenoy of 1745 and the Easter Rising of 1916 were major events for Irish nationalism and separatism. For Western European governments of the European Economic Community (EEC), however, they could cause serious diplomatic embarrassments in their relations with the United Kingdom. The same commemorations could also be politically manipulated. Much depended on the contemporary international situation. This article examines how these two commemorations were perceived and handled by the governments of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and (West) Germany from 1907 until 1966, and also by the Irish government notably at the time of its application for EEC membership. The article also shows how the diplomatic corps of the EEC member states based in Dublin analysed the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1966 and formed the opinion that the event was not a grandiose display of Irish nationalism or anti-British sentiment.
Commemoration , Diplomatic , Political , European Economic Community , Membership , Ireland , United Kingdom
aan de Wiel, J. (2016) 'The embarrassments of Irish nationalist commemorations for Western Europe, from Fontenoy in 1907 to the Easter Rising in 1966', Irish Studies in International Affairs, 27, pp. 85-107. doi:10.3318/ISIA.2016.27.1
© 2016, Royal Irish Academy.