Publication of Department of Foreign Affairs archive

Wednesday 06 February 2013 19.17
The latest volume covers the period from 1945-48. Pictured above - Dublin's O'Connell Street in 1948
The latest volume covers the period from 1945-48. Pictured above - Dublin's O'Connell Street in 1948

The latest volume of documents from the archives of the Department of Foreign Affairs has been published.

Volume VIII in the series of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, prepared by the Royal Irish Academy, covers the period from 1945-48.

It shows that during the immediate post-war years Ireland redefined its global position as a result of wartime neutrality and the developing Cold War.

Previously thought to be years of vacuum and general isolation, the post-war years saw Ireland engage with a wide range of multilateral organisations.

It saw new diplomatic missions open and relations with states, in particular the United States and Britain, were repaired, which had suffered during the World War II.

Nazi gold, fugitive war criminals, the threat of nuclear war and the growing dominance of Communism were all issues dealt with by Irish diplomats.

The idea behind the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series is to make sources for understanding Irish foreign policy easily available to the interested reader who might not be able to access the archives directly.

Speaking at an event to launch the publication, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore paid tribute to those involved in bringing this latest volume to fruition.

"I would like to congratulate the Royal Irish Academy on the publication of this latest volume of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy.

"The publication of these papers marks a great addition to our store of knowledge on what was a fascinating period in our history," he said.