By Ben Tonra
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Additional info for Global Citizen and European Republic: Irish Foreign Policy in Transition
The 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty established the Irish Free State as a dominion within the British Empire with the same constitutional status as the Australian The narrative of the Irish Nation Commonwealth, the Dominions of Canada and New Zealand and the Union of South Africa. The crucial distinction, however, was that this status had been achieved in Ireland through ‘revolution rather than evolution’ (Mansergh 1952: 259) and that it represented an unwelcome compromise of revolutionary ambitions for complete independence.
They sought to establish the sovereign equality of all states within the Empire, their full treaty-making capacity in international law, their right to advise the Crown directly (rather than through Whitehall), and sought to abolish imperial rights to quash or question their legislative or judicial acts. In this way, through several Imperial Conferences and culminating in the 1931 Statute of Westminster, the Irish successfully ‘stretched the framework of dominion status in the attempt to make room within it for the national and self-derived statehood which Ireland claimed’ (Harkness 1969: 22).
The mission to the Irish overseas was to be supplemented and ultimately supplanted by first an evangelical effort and later a frequently vocational ministry to local indigenous communities in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australasia. One key to the success of such endeavours, especially on the part of Irish religious orders, was their focus upon ministries in both education and health care. These were limited and expensive facilities in colonial and immediately post-colonial states and so provided a crucial beachhead for missionary activity.
Global Citizen and European Republic: Irish Foreign Policy in Transition by Ben Tonra