Publications / Reviews

Reviews of DIFP Volumes


Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Volume I (1919-1922)

Hugh Oram in Books Ireland (March 1999)
‘a most revealing publishing project by the Department [of Foreign Affairs] and the Royal Irish Academy, creating an invaluable compilation of source material’
‘a fascinating repository of information about the establishment of the State’

Garret FitzGerald, Irish Times, 23 January 1999
‘A striking feature of this volume is the amount of Foreign Affairs documentation that has survived from the years before the foundation of the State.’

Professor Tom Garvin (UCD), Irish Times, 17 October 1999
‘The excitement and the desperation of the crucial years at the beginning of the State , as well as the ingenuity and determination of her civil servants, have never been clearer.’
‘one splendid book’
‘the handbook of all serious students of the period in the future’
‘fascinating reading for the general public and contains many an eye-opener’

Professor John A. Murphy, Irish Independent, 8 November 1998
‘fascinating material’
‘presented skilfully and informatively annotated, with an indispensable biographical glossary.’

Books Ireland, November 1998
‘a very handsome volume’
‘invaluable and fascinating’
‘you won’t get closer to the events of those years than in this fine book.’


Reviews of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Volume II (1923 – 1926)

Professor Tom Garvin (UCD), Irish Times, 16 December 2000
‘a marvelous compilation, compulsory reading for any student of Irish political development’
‘the series is in itself a major Irish intellectual landmark.’

Professor John A. Murphy, Sunday Independent, 31 December 2002
‘the documents selected are representative and significant’
‘an authoritative source and reference work for those interested in the early years of the State’
‘splendid document collection’


Reviews of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Volume III (1926-1933)

Stephen Collins, Sunday Tribune, 12 January 2003
‘an invaluable record of Ireland’s developing foreign policy’
‘amazing range of documents from the…intensely political to the highly personal’
‘volume III maintains impeccable standards set by its predecessors’

Professor John A. Murphy, Sunday Independent, 1 December 2002
‘an informative who's who of the main figures, lucid footnotes and an excellent index make this a reader’
‘friendly publication’


Reviews of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Volume IV (1932 – 1936)

John A. Murphy, Sunday Independent, 6 March 2005
‘[this] is the dramatic story of the evolution of the Irish Free State during five years of radical constitutional change.’
‘a convenient resource for the student of Irish diplomatic history – and also for the interested general reader.’
‘the excellent editorial approach in previous volumes also characterises this absorbing book. A concise who’s who of the main figures, informative footnotes and an excellent index make this a reader-friendly publication’

John Bowman, Magill, 16 March/12 April 2005
‘compelling reading’
‘[an] outstanding series’
‘…new documents shed valuable light on the official Irish attitude to Britain, and to Nazi Germany.’

Stephen Collins, Sunday Tribune, 14 November 2004
‘An eyewitness account of Hitler’s rise to power, contained in a series of dispatches sent back to Dublin by an Irish diplomat based in Berlin, is just one of the gems contained in the latest series of Documents on Irish foreign policy…’

Deaglán de Bréadún, Irish Times, 15 November 2004
‘Irish diplomatic reaction to the rise of Adolf Hitler to power in Germany in the 1930s is a prominent feature of Volume Four in the series Documents on Irish Foreign Policy…’

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, TD, 9 November 2004
‘One of the striking features of these documents is the continuing validity of many of the observations contained in them…The volumes are of the highest quality…they represent a real and successful partnership between my Department, the Royal Irish Academy and the National Archives.’

Diarmaid Ferriter, Village, 11-17 December 2004
‘a fascinating new book’
‘Documents on Irish foreign policy, Volume IV, brings together over 400 documents which go to the heart of de Valera’s quest to establish an independent role for Ireland in international affairs during a tumultuous decade.’

Reviews of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Volume V (1937 – 1939)

James Downey, Irish Independent, 31 March 2007
‘Every two years the Royal Irish Academy publishes the latest volume in the series Documents on Irish Foreign Policy. This piece of work is beyond praise. It gives an authentic flavour if the development of the Irish State's foreign policy from the beginning…' ‘The documents are…admirable in style and compilation. They even show a literary sense and a sense of drama.’

Ryle T. Dwyer, Irish Examiner, 6 January 2007
‘ &ellip;the book has a number of fascinating documents covering the years 1937 to 1939. Pride of place must go to a previously unpublished letter that Seán MacEntee drafted to Éamon de Valera during the Anglo-Irish negotiations of 1938. De Valera asserted that ending partition was always his main goal in politics, but MacEntee accused him of having no policy to do so in 1938’

John A. Murphy, Sunday Independent, 3 December 2006
‘Expertly edited and reader friendly (useful biographical notes, a good index and excellent layout of contents), this volume is a primary source which conveys a great sense of immediacy of events and people. It is indispensable for all students of the period.’

Reviews of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Volume VI (1939 – 1941)

Robert Fisk, Independent, 4 December 2010
‘The latest volume… has taken us from 1939 to the cruel January of 1941, and what a cracker it is. Dry prose, maybe, but here are the secret reports of the only English-language country to have its diplomats based across Europe throughout the war, not only in Vichy France but in the very heart of Nazi Germany.’
‘…there are nuggets in these records which capture the dangerous reality of war’

Mary Kenny, Times Literary Supplement, 26 June 2009
‘a compelling narrative’
‘a page-turner, leaving the reader eager for the sequel... one longs for Volume VII’

Deirdre McMahon, Irish Times, 2 December 2008
‘Reports from the diplomatic front line on a world turned upside down’

Ciaran Byrne, Irish Independent, 26 November 2008
‘remarkable disclosures’

Stephen Collins, Irish Times, 26 November 2008
‘War Secrets – a fascinating light on a critical period in the nation's history’
‘State planned for British rescue mission in case of German invasion’

Belfast Telegraph, 2 December 2008
‘DIFP VI reveals a mood of continual crisis’

Reviews of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Volume VII (1941 – 1945)

John A. Murphy, Irish Independent, 9 January 2011
‘…a volume packed with fascinating material... The reader's enjoyment of this volume is enhanced by the high professional level of editing, the enlightening introduction, potted biographies of the personalities involved, informative footnotes and a comprehensive index. The series is an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of the State's historical development. ’

James Downey, Irish Independent, 4 December 2010
‘History teaches us value of leadership… to read these papers is to make you reflect on the meaning of leadership. And to make you long for something that has been lost.’

Reviews of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Volume VIII (1945 – 1948)

Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Irish Times, 23 March 2013
‘Scrupulously edited, with clear, concise introductory essays, the series is an exemplary collaborative project between the Royal Irish Academy, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Archives of Ireland’
‘[an] altogether admirable series’

Eithne Shortall, Sunday Times, 18 November 2012
‘Wartime papers show state's deep suspicion of any overseas dignitaries with dubious politics. ’

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Purchase Volumes Online



The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

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The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
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