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Review of my Fianna Fáil book was inaccurate

I wish to respond to Ryle Dwyer’s review of my new monograph, Fianna Fáil, partition and Northern Ireland, 1926-1971, which was recently published by your paper (Jul 13).

While I admire Mr Dwyer’s writings, I must say that I was surprised by his inability to portray facts correctly. For instance, in his review of my book, he writes the following: “This campaign [Fianna Fáil’s anti-partition campaign 1938-1939] was called off with the advance of World War II, during which de Valera pursued ‘five years of extremely benevolent semi-neutrality’, says Dr Kelly.” Mr Dwyer is misinformed, if he took time to read my work carefully he would have realised that the reference to “five years of extremely benevolent semi-neutrality” was actually made by Fianna Fáil Tánaiste and future President, Erskine Childers, on Aug 26, 1969.

Secondly, and lastly, Mr Dwyer also incorrectly states that in my book I fail to examine Éamon de Valera’s attitude to partition prior to 1926: this is again an inaccurate statement (I would ask him to read the introduction), and merely offers further evidence that the reviewer simply did not take the adequate time to read my book in its entirety. Such instances of academic laziness cannot go unchallenged.

Dr Stephen Kelly

Department of History and Politics

Liverpool Hope University




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