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16 February 2017 | by Mary Kenny

Ireland: The Autobiography – One Hundred Years of Irish Life, Told by its People
EDITED BY JOHN BOWMAN

John Bowman is a much-respected broadcast journalist in Ireland, the author of an award-winning book about De Valera and the Ulster question. His new explor­ation of life in Ireland between 1916 and 2016 is a compilation, bringing us glimpses into the life of the nation.

These range from Patrick Pearse’s (rather happy) last letter to his mother, to Kitty Holland’s contemporary complaint about not being able to get her unbaptised son into any of four primary schools, two of them faith-based.

This certainly isn’t the Ireland that Pearse died for, and in the intervening years so much discontent with the state of the nation emerges that it prompts the question: if the Catholic Ireland which was the consequence of Irish nationalism caused so many problems, would it perhaps have been wiser to stay in the United Kingdom in the first place?

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