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Ireland and Argentina in the twentieth century: Diaspora, diplomacy, dictatorship, catholic mission and the Falklands crisis
Ireland and Argentina in the twentieth century

Our Price:39.00
Authors: Dermot Keogh
Affiliation: Emeritus Professor of History University College Cork
Publication Year: Hardback May 2022
Pages: 592
Size: 240 x 170mm

ISBN: 9781782055112

Written in an accessible style that will appeal both to an academic and a general readership, this ground-breaking book traces the history of Irish settlement in nineteenth century Argentina and the part played by Irish Catholic male and female missionaries in the building of tight bonds with the ‘motherland.’ The various threads of this history are seamlessly interwoven to provide a captivating account of Irish Argentine relations from the arrival of the immigrants to the expansion of the Irish diplomatic presence in twenty-first-century Latin America.

Between 1919 and 1922, Dáil Éireann sent three diplomats to Buenos Aires, Eamonn Bulfin, Laurence Ginnell and Patrick J. Little, to win support in Latin America for the Irish cause. This book analyses their work and reveals the unknown but significant role played by Irish Argentines in the struggle for independence. Then tracing Irish Argentine contacts with Ireland from the 1920s to the 1940s, it sets out the background to the exchange of envoys in 1948. Thereafter, the continued presence of Irish diplomats in Buenos Aires provides eyewitness accounts of the rise and fall in 1955 of Juan Domingo Perón, the recurring dictatorships in the 1960s, the emergence of guerrilla movements, the chaotic return and death of Perón in 1973 and the sinister, brutal and dark tyrannous days which followed the military coup d’etat on 24 March 1976. The book sheds new light on the complex challenges faced by the Catholic Church and other Faiths, confronted government-sponsored kidnappings, disappearances, torture and murder of its citizens considered by the civilian military junta to be ‘enemies of the state.’

Keogh analyses the making of Irish Argentine policy in the lead up to Falklands/Malvinas war in 1982. Tracing the patriotic attitude of many Irish Argentines towards the ownership of those islands, he reconstructs how they lobbied the Irish government to support Argentine territorial claims following military occupation of the islands on 2 April. This book examines the excellent professional work of the two embassy diplomatic staff in Buenos Aires throughout the crisis, the behind-the-scenes indecisiveness of the Haughey government’s foreign policy in April, the volte face in early May which triggered an unprecedented deterioration in Anglo-Irish relations in modern times and loss of national status in the EEC while bouquets replaced brickbats for the embassy staff in Buenos Aires as Ireland was wrongly perceived as having changed sides to support the Argentine government.
After the decisive military defeat in the Anglo-Argentine war, the collapse of the civilian military regime ended with the restoration of Argentine democracy in 1983.

In the following three decades, the book shows how the Irish diplomatic presence grew from a single embassy in Buenos Aires to the opening of missions in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Colombia underlining the growing importance of Latin America in Irish foreign policy.

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