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My review of Fianna Fáil book was fair

Having written 20 books, I am aware some reviewers do not honestly assess books.

The Evening Press carried a purported review of one of my books in the 1980s. The reviewer admitted that he had only read the first paragraph of the preface. I read all of the books that I review.

In response to Stephen Kelly’s hysterical invective regarding my review of his book on Fianna Fáil and partition, I was quite complimentary of the book, and made only one criticism of the content — that Kelly was not convincing when he suggested that de Valera’s anti-partition campaign forced the hand of the Inter-Party Government to play ‘the green card’. I gave two instances to back up that point, which he did not contest.

By ending in 1971, the book only covered half the story. That was not a criticism, but a statement of fact, which is incontrovertible. “By only taking up the story with the foundation of Fianna Fáil,” I also wrote, “the author does not examine Éamon de Valera’s earlier views on partition.” Kelly took extreme exception to this. He suggested that he did refer to it in the introduction.

Surely, Kelly is not so naive as to think that a passing reference amounts to an examination.

Moreover, if Kelly thinks he examined, in the introduction, de Valera’s earlier views on partition, then he is exhibiting a frightening ignorance.

T Ryle Dwyer, PhD


Co Kerry


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