Ronan Fanning

1941- ; son of Irish doctor and English Montessori teacher, who met in Yorkshire; brought up in Dublin and educ. at University College, Dublin; taught by Denis Donoghue and TD Williams - starting first in English and switching to single history; won scholarship to Cambridge adn completed a doctoral thesis on Balfour and Unionism (Cambridge 1972); appt. Professor of Modern History at University College Dublin; Director of Archives at the School of History and Archives (University College Dublin); he was party to information about on-going SDLP-IRA talks prior to 1998 Belfast Agreement and urged in Irish papers that negotiations should go ahead - being criticised for this by Conor Cruise O’Brien and others; he was joint editor of Irish Historical Studies, 1976-87 and sometime secretary and president; sec. & president of Irish Historical Sciences; Fulbright Professor at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 1976-77;

Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast, 1995-96; Visiting Fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge, 2004; MRIA and member of the RIA Irish Biography directory and ed. of 20th c. entries and author of those on Eamon de Valera, et al.; and RIA Irish Foreign Policy board; gave the inaugural Garret FitzGerald Memorial Lecture, 2011; contribs. to Sunday Independent; emeritus UCD; issued Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution, 1910-1922 (2013) containing characterisations of Asquith, Bonar Law and others; contrib. to centenary debate on commemoration of Home Rule Act of 1914 - with John Bruton and others [see under John Redmond - infra], arguing the culpable gullibility of Redmond and Dillon; noted for his familiarity with English state papers and his style.

[ top ]

  • Leadership and Transition from the Politics of Revolution to the Politics of Party: The Example of Ireland, 1914-1939 [14th International Congress of Historical Sciences] (SF: CISH/AHA 1975), 15pp.
  • “The Four-leafed Shamrock”: Electoral Politics and the National Imagination in Independent Ireland [25th O'Donnell lecture; delivered at UCD, Tuesday, 22 Feb. 1983] (NUI 1983), 18pp.
  • Independent Ireland (Dublin: Helicon [Educational Company of Ireland] 1983), viii, 230pp.;
  • ed. Judith Devlin, Religion and Rebellion [Historical Studies XX; Proceedings of the Irish Conference of Historians 1995] (UCD 1997) [conference paper].
  • with Catriona Crowe, Michael Kennedy, Dermot Keogh, Eunan O'Halpin, Documents on Irish Foreign Policy [Cáipáisí ar pholasaí eachtrach na hÉireann] (Royal Irish Academy 1998-2006) - see contents.
  • Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution, 1910-1922 (London: Faber & Faber 2013), xxi, 423pp., ill. [8 b&w pls.], 24 cm.
  • Garret FitzGerald and the Quest for a New Ireland [Inaugural Dr Garret FitzGerald memorial lecture, 2011] (Dublin: NUI 2012), 40pp.
  • “Arthur Balfour and the leadership of the Unionist Party in opposition, 1906-1911 : a study of the origins of Unionist policy towards the third Home Rule Bill” [PhD] (UCD 1972).
  • The Irish Department of Finance, 1922-58 (Dublin: IPA 1978), xxi, 708pp.
Also ...
  • with Michael Lillis, The Lives of Eliza Lynch: Scandal and Courage (Dublin : Gill & Macmillan 2009), xxi, 298pp., ill. [16pp. of pls.; see details under Eliza Lynch - infra.]
  • ‘The Response of the London and Belfast Governments to the Declaration of the Republic of Ireland, 1948-49’, in International Affairs (1981-82), pp.95-114.
  • ‘Irish Neutrality - An Historical Review’, in Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 1 (1982), pp.27-38.
  • ‘The Four-Leaved Shamrock: Electoral Politics and the National Imagination in Independent Ireland, Being the 25th O’Donnell Lecture delivered at University College Dublin, 22 Feb. 1983 (Dublin: National University of Ireland, 1983).
  • ‘The Impact of Independence’, in Bicentenary Essays - the Bank of Ireland 1783-1983, ed. F.S.L. Lyons (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1983), pp.53-95.
  • ‘“The rule of order”: Eamon de Valera and the IRA, 1923-40’, in De Valera and his Times: Political Development in the Republic of Ireland, ed. John P. O’Carroll & John A. Murphy (Cork: Cork UP 1983), pp.160-72.
  • ‘“Rats” versus “Ditchers”: The Die-Hard Revolt and the Parliament Bill of 1911’, in Parliament and Community, ed. Art Cosgrove & James McGuire (Belfast: Appletree Press, 1983), pp.191-210.
  • ‘Economists and Government: Ireland 1922-52’, in Economists and the Irish Economy from the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day, ed. Antoin E. Murphy (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1984), pp.138-56.
  • ‘The British Dimension’, in The Crane Bag, Vol. 8, No. 1 [“Ireland: Dependence and Independence” Issue] (Dublin: Blackwater Press 1984), pp.41-52.
  • ‘The Politics of Irish Neutrality During World War II’, in Les Etats Neutres Européens et la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, ed. Louis-Edward Roulet (Neuchatel: 1985).
  • ‘Anglo-Irish Relations: Partition and the British Dimension in Historical Perspective’, in Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1985, pp.1-20.
  • ‘The Anglo-American Alliance and the Irish Application for Membership of the United Nations, 1945-46’, in Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1986, pp.35-61.
  • ‘Partition’, in Milestones in Irish History, ed. Liam de Paor (Dublin & Cork: Mercier Press, 1986), pp.128-37.
  • ‘Britain’s Legacy: Government and Administration’, in Irish Studies 5: Ireland and Britain since 1922, ed. P. J. Drudy (Cambridge, 1986), pp.46-64.
  • ‘Memoir of Alexis Fitzgerald’, in Essays in Memory of Alexis Fitzgerald, ed. P. K. Lynch & James Meenan (Dublin: Incorporated Law Society of Ireland, 1987), pp.1-18.
  • ‘Irish Neutrality’, in UNESCO Yearbook on Peace and Conflict Studies 1985 (Paris: UNESCO 1987), pp.251-70.
  • ‘The Meaning of Revisionism’, in The Irish Review, No. 4 (Spring 1988), pp.15-19.
  • ‘Mr. De Valera Drafts a Constitution’, in De Valera’s Constitution and Ours, ed. Brian Farrell (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1988), pp.33-45.
  • ‘Britain, Ireland and the End of the Union’, in Ireland after the Union [Proceedings of the Second Joint Meeting of the Royal Irish Academy and the British Academy, 1986] (Oxford: British Academy 1989), pp.105-20.
  • ‘The Genesis of Economic Development’, in Planning Ireland’s Future, ed. John F. McCarthy (Dublin: Glendale, 1990), pp.74-111.
  • ‘Irish neutrality’, in Neutrals in Europe: Ireland, ed. Bo Huldt and Atis Lejins (Stockholm: Swedish Institute of International Affairs, 1990), pp.1-23.
  • ‘Charles de Gaulle, 1946-58 - From Resignation to Return: the Irish Diplomatic Perspective’, in De Gaulle and Ireland, ed. Pierre Joannon (Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 1991), pp.64-80.
  • ‘”The Great Enchantment”: Uses and Abuses of Modern Irish History’, in Interpreting Irish History: the Debate on Historical Revisionism, ed. Ciarán Brady (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1994), pp.146-60.
  • with Garret FitzGerald & Paul Gillespie, ‘Britain’s European Question: the Issues for Ireland’, in Britain’s European Question: the Issues for Ireland, ed. Paul Gillespie (Dublin, Institute of European Affairs, 1996), pp.5-71.
  • ‘Small States, Large Neighbours: Ireland and the United Kingdom’, in Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 9 (1998), pp.21-9.
  • ‘Michael Collins - An Overview’, in Michael Collins and the Making of the Irish State, ed. Gabriel Doherty & Dermot Keogh (Cork, 1998), pp.202-10.
  • ‘Dublin: The View from a Neutral Capital’, in Victory in Europe 1945: from World War to Cold War, ed. Arnold A. Oftner & Theodore Wilson (University Press of Kansas, 2000), pp.103-116.]
  • ‘Raison d’État and the Evolution of Irish Foreign Policy’, in Irish Foreign Policy 1919-1966, ed. Michael Kennedy & Joseph Morrison Skelly (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000), pp.308-26.
  • ‘”Playing it Cool”: The Response of the British and Irish Governments to the Crisis in Northern Ireland, 1968-9’, in Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 12, 2001, pp.57-85.
  • ‘The Anglo-American Alliance and the Irish Question in the Twentieth Century’, in Encounters with Europe: Essays in Honour of Albert Lovett, ed. Howard Clarke & Judith Devlin (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2003), pp.185-220.
  • ‘The Home Rule Crisis of 1912-14 and the Failure of British Democracy in Ireland’, in From Political Violence to Negotiated Settlement, ed. Maurice J. Bric & John Coakley (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2004), pp.32-48.

The Years of Commemoration
See Irish Times articles in 2014-14 ...
Ronan Fanning on Home Rule and 1916, articles in The Irish Times (16 Aug. 2014 & 10 Jan. 2015) - as attached.


Bibliographical details

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy [Cáipáisí ar pholasaí eachtrach na hÉireann], ed. with Catriona Crowe, Michael Kennedy, Ronan Fanning, Dermot Keogh, Eunan O’Halpin (Royal Irish Academy 1998-2006) -

Vol. I: 1919-22 (Dublin, 1998), pp. xxviii, 548; Vol. II: 1923-26 (Dublin, 2000), pp. xlv, 596; Vol. III: 1926-32 (Dublin, 2002), pp. lviii, 986.

[ top ]

Online sources ...

On Irish Treaty Negotiations [interview by Ivan Gibbons], in Irish Post (10 Jan. 2014) online [accessed 04.10.2014].
On Irish Home Rule Act, 1914, in The Irish Times (14 Aug. 2014) - copy in RICORSO Library - as attached.

An interview of 5 Dec. 2013 conducted conducted by Ivan Gibbons,  Programme Director for Irish Studies at St. Mary’s Univ. College, London, is available on Youtube - online.

[ top ]