History of ireland

Blindness and betrayal still bedevil Britain’s policy in Ireland

Charles Péguy’s adage that everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics is sharply illustrated by the development of the Irish Revolution. In his previous scintillating studies, Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion and The Republic: The Fight for Irish Independence 1918–1923, Charles Townshend traced the progress of Ireland’s long-drawn-out severance from Britain. The completion of the trilogy is delivered with his characteristic scholarly panache. And by foregrounding how Northern Ireland came into being in 1920–21, and was sustained by the notable fudge of a non-delivering Boundary Commission in 1925, he brings into unforgiving focus the carelessness, double-dealing and myopia which has bedevilled Britain’s government of Ireland, so spectacularly demonstrated in