Ireland and Argentina in the Twentieth Century: Diaspora, Diplomacy, Dictatorship, Catholic Mission and the Falklands Crisis

Ireland and Argentina in the Twentieth Century: Diaspora, Diplomacy, Dictatorship, Catholic Mission and the Falklands Crisis

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Author/Contributor(s): Keogh, Dermot
Publisher: Cork University Press
Date: 06/24/2022
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: NEW
This is a ground-breaking book on Irish diplomatic relations with Argentina/Latin America from the nineteenth to the twenty first century. Written in an accessible style, the contents will appeal to both a specialist academic and general readership. The volume enhances our understanding of the contribution Irish immigrants like the journalist and author William Bulfin made to their new home in Argentina. The role of Irish Catholic missionaries, which the author refers to as 'Irish soft power, ' is also a major theme in the book. Based on original research in public and private archives in Europe, the U.S.A. and Latin America, he reveals for the first time the active role played by Irish Argentines in the struggle for Irish independence and the campaign waged over 25 years for establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The continued presence of Irish diplomats in Buenos Aires since 1948 provide eyewitness accounts of the rise and fall of Juan Domingo Perón in 1955, his chaotic return in 1973, the sinister and dark days of the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983 which ended in its collapse following the decisive military defeat in the Falklands/Malvinas war. This book sheds light on the complex challenges the Catholic Church and other faiths confronted during that dictatorship which used kidnapping, torture and murder to silence the thousands of Argentine citizens who regime considered to be enemies of the state. The author presents three interlocking case studies to illustrate the resistance to the terror by (1) the worker priest Patrick Rice, (2) the Irish Vatican diplomat, Kevin Mullen and(3) the Irish diplomats, Justin Harman and Ambassador Wilfred Lennon. Rice was kidnapped in October 1976, tortured and held without charge for three months before being deported. He credits his survival to the swift action of two Irish diplomats, Harman and Lennon. This volume also details the making of Irish foreign policy during the Falklands/Malvinas crisis, and traces the role played by Irish Argentines in lobbying the Irish government to change its position. Here he examines the interplay between divergent perspectives in the policy-making process and the uncharacteristically volatile shifts in that policy in early May 1982, triggering a major deterioration in Anglo-Irish relations a loss of status in the EEC.Keogh concludes on a hopeful note with the restoration of democracy in Argentina in 1983 and the expansion of the Irish diplomatic service in Latin America with the opening of embassies in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Colombia.