Emergency law in independent Ireland, 1922–1948

Seosamh Ó Longaigh

Hardback €58.50
Catalogue Price: €65.00
ISBN: 1-85182-922-9
January 2006. 336pp.

‘[This book] begins in the turbulent period after independence … The author brings into sharp focus the sheer brutality of the executive’s response to former colleagues in the Civil War period and its immediate aftermath … The author deals with the attempts to distinguish emergency legislation from ordinary criminal law and the many devices that were employed … The author deals in detail with the difficulties that DeValera faced in pushing constitutional reform while at the same time retaining what he regarded as essential emergency legislation. The rethinking of the constitution has been well examined by historians but Ó Longaigh focuses on the role of the civil servants and advisors in approaching that particular task and brings a fresh understanding to the issues at the time … The author has tackled a difficult technical legal problem and has handled it with efficiency and insight. His examination of trials, of legislation both primary and secondary, is clear and accurate and his presentation of this material in its historical context makes this a book that will show many a different side to the early difficult years of the infant state', Tim P. O’Neill, Irish Economic and Social History (2012).

‘This is an interesting and useful book whose author deserves a particular compliment for taking on a subject so full of legal technicality despite having, as far as I know, no legal training. The book does not suffer on this account’, Adrian Hardiman, History Ireland.

‘THIS IS an inspired, scholarly work … Dr Ó Longaigh embarks on a uniquely successful strategy in historiography, which integrates legal, political and human perspectives. Further, he prompts examination of the psychology of power, individual integrity and, crucially, the relevance of Aristotle’s Separation of Powers to modern states … My generation owes a particular debt to Dr Ó Longaigh’, Ruaírí Ó Domhnaill, Irish Democrat.

'… much of what Dr Ó Longaigh has uncovered is new and benefits from taking a longer view than previous works have', Eoin Magennis, Seancas Ard Maca.