Irish-American diaspora nationalism

The Friends of Irish Freedom, 1916-35


Michael Doorley

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ISBN: 1-85182-830-3
August 2005. 224pp.

The Friends of Irish Freedom has been described as one of the most effective propaganda machines in Irish-American history. The author describes the factors that led to the establishment of the Friends and those that coloured its nationalist outlook. He examines the motives behind the Friends' campaign to prevent American entry into the First World War on Britain's side. One might have expected a close working relationship, based on mutual self-interest, between the Friends and the main nationalist organization in Ireland, Sinn Féin. Yet significant divisions soon emerged between both organizations and an explanation for this feud forms the core of this work; it reached such a pass that Bishop Michael Gallagher, the president of the Friends, denounced de Valera as a 'foreign potentate'.

Michael Doorley is an associate lecturer in history and politics in the Open University, Dublin, and the American College, Dublin.