Ireland and the United States from 1917 to Trump

@ the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street
recorded at 7pm Tuesday 23 May

The centenary of the entry of the United States into the WWI provides a timely opportunity to review the ‘unique relationship’ with Ireland. But it was not always close or cordial. The 1916 Rising had cast Ireland’s ‘exiled children in America’ in the role of potential subversives, in league with Imperial Germany. After the war, to their great disappointment, Irish nationalists discovered that President Woodrow Wilson’s advocacy of self-determination did not apply to the subject nations of the victorious Allied powers. Relations reached their nadir with US ambassador David Gray’s ‘American note’ of February 1944, implicitly threatening violation of Ireland’s neutrality unless Dublin’s Axis missions were expelled. Things only improved in the wake of JFK’s 1963 visit, and, notwithstanding continuing popular opposition to US foreign policy, particularly during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bushe, reached their high-point with the ‘shamrock diplomacy’ of the Clinton era. But where stands the ‘unique relationship’ in the wake of the election of the xenophobic and protectionist Donald Trump? To discuss these and related matters join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, fwas joined by Michael Kennedy (RIA’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy), Bernadette Whelan (UL), Patrick Geoghegan (TCD) and John Borgonovo (UCC).

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