From the Editor…

Published in Issue 3 (Autumn 2004), Volume 12

‘Just when we thought it was safe…’


In this issue’s interview (p. 43) Senator Martin Mansergh makes the observation that Irish historiography has gone through a Hegelian dialectical process of thesis (traditional nationalist), antithesis (revisionist) and synthesis (post-revisionist), an observation with which most with an interest in Irish history would concur. Few of us will miss the rancour of the historical debates of 10 or 20 years ago. Of course, the danger (especially for HI) is that as passions subside so too might the interest. Judging by the response to our last issue in our letters page (p. 14), we needn’t have worried: the debates are as lively as ever.

At the risk of ruining what’s left of the summer holidays, Leaving Cert students of history and their teachers are reminded that this issue kicks off (!) our revived ‘curriculum’ section, with a source-based article by Noel Kissane on the early years of the GAA (p. 38). For this issue we are also undertaking a promotional drive in North America, and we welcome those who may be reading the magazine for the first time. Let’s hope it won’t be your last.
Finally, we make no apology for devoting two pages to an obituary on Douglas Gageby (p. 05), former editor of the Irish Times. While Tim Pat Coogan naturally focuses on Gageby’s career as a journalist, historians in years to come will have to assess the much broader role he played as a major influence in the huge changes that have taken place in Irish society, North and South, over the past 40 years or so. He was an enthusiastic supporter of History Ireland since its launch in spring 1993 and was one of the first to put his name forward as a ‘patron’ of the magazine. May he rest in peace.


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