Perspectives on Parnell

Parnell Reconsidered, edited by Pauric Travers and Donal McCartney (UCD Press, €28.00 / £24.00)

Behold the fruits of one of the best established and most productive of Irish summer schools. These days those that attract attention are those which keep their focus on political or social matters, but the Parnell summer school attempts also to deal with wider issues. All the presentations in this volume are of interest, indeed some are by important and long established historians.

But for this reviewer at least two stand out:  Pat Power writing about “The Parnells and Paris”, and Fionnuala Waldron on the nuanced matter of the relations of Parnell and his party with the Irish drink trade.

The pubic house as a local meeting place and a hatchery of both dissent and conspiracy is important in Irish history, and this paper breaks some new ground in its exploration of the theme.