In this original and scholarly study based on extensive archival research in Ireland, Italy and the United States, the author examines the complex triangular relationship between government, bishops and the Holy See from the beginnings of the Irish state in 1922 to the end of the De Valera period.
The work analyses the history of Irish church-state relations within an international context. It discusses political involvement in senior episcopal appointments and the role of leading ecclesiastics in Irish national politics, most notably the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid. The richness of the primary sources enables Professor Keogh to investigate the many difficulties that arose between the Holy See and Irish governments during this period. The author attaches considerable importance to the career and the foreign policy ideas of the leading Irish diplomat Joseph Walshe. As secretary of the Department of External Affairs and as Ambassador to the Holy See from 1946 to 1954, he attempted to cultivate a 'special relationship' between Ireland and the Holy See.
The author examines the influence of the Vatican on Ireland's policy of neutrality during the Second World War, the role of Irish diplomats at the Vatican and the attempted influence of the Irish government in the selection of a Papal Nuncio after the death of Paschal Robinson. This work is a rigorous and significant contribution to the writing of Irish history, the study of Vatican diplomacy and international relations in the twentieth century. A comprehensive examination of the complex triangular relationship between the Irish government, the bishops and the Holy See from the origins of the Irish state in 1922 to the end of the de Valera government.