Irish Political Review

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Irish Political Review
Categories Politics
Frequency monthly
Year founded 1986
Company Athol Books
Country United Kingdom
Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Language English

The Irish Political Review is a monthly Irish magazine dedicated to Irish politics and history. It is known for its criticisms of historians associated with the "revisionist" view of Irish history, especially Peter Hart[1] [2] and Roy Foster.[1] [3]


The magazine was first published in 1986, by Athol Books, a publisher linked with the British and Irish Communist Organisation.[4] The Irish Political Review was the successor to the B&ICO magazine, The Irish Communist. [4][5]

Views on Irish history and politics[edit]

Originally, the Irish Political Review was inimical towards Irish Republicans and supported the use of the Diplock Court system and Section 31 against Republicans.[6] However, it moved away from this position and currently expressed support for Irish Republican parties [7]

In the late 1990s the Irish Political Review came to public notice when it began running articles strongly critical towards the work of Peter Hart, especially Hart's account of the Dunmanway killings.[1][3] The Irish Political Review also ran a series of articles by Brendan Clifford and Jack Lane about the wartime intelligence work of writer Elizabeth Bowen, claiming this meant that the Anglo-Irish Bowen was thus not an Irish writer. [8] These articles were later published as the Athol Books publication Notes on Eire: Espionage Reports to Winston Churchill, 1940–2 (1999).[9] The magazine also published an article by Joe Keenan strongly hostile towards former Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald, claiming that Fitzgerald's reputation for intelligence and integrity was unjustified.[10]

The magazine has also defended the Irish government's decision in September 2008 to guarantee the Irish banks,[11] as well as stating that Brian Cowen should have remained leader of Fianna Fail during the 2011 Irish election. [12]

Desmond Fennell has written several pieces for the Irish Political Review.[13]

Views on foreign affairs[edit]

The Irish Political Reivew supported Robert Mugabe in what it called "the Zimbabwe Land War" (by analogy with the Irish Land War of the 1880s); it argues that Mugabe's opponents are manipulated by white commercial farmers (whom it compares to nineteenth-century Irish landlords) and other neo-colonial interests.[14]

The Irish Political Review has also defended the Chinese occupation of Tibet[15] [16] It also backed Russia during the 2008 South Ossetia War.[17]

The Irish Political Review published an essay defending General Toshio Tamogami's controversial article on WWII, claiming Japan ran a "very moderate" regime in Korea and Manchuria and was tricked into war by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration.[18]

Malachi Lawless, the chair of the Irish Political Review group, and Eileen Courtney, the magazine's editor, were among those signing an Irish petition protesting against the Israeli government's handling of the Gaza War (2008–09).[19]

At one point in time, the Irish Political Review's editorials proclaimed support for Declan Ganley's campaign against a second Lisbon Treaty and Libertas' plan to run for European Parliament elections.[20]

However, in 2012 IPR contributor Jack Lane argued that Ireland needed to vote in favour of the European Fiscal Compact, stating that a "Yes" vote would help the EU to function without British involvement.[21]

The Irish Political Review expressed support for Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential Election,that arguing Trump's business background would make him a good administrator, and that his criticisms of NATO would encourage European autonomy.[22] The magazine also criticised British politician Angela Rayner for taking issue with Trump's comments about women in the Access Hollywood Recording.[23]


  1. ^ a b c Cillian McGrattan, Memory, politics and identity :haunted by history. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. ISBN 9780230292000 (p. 183)
  2. ^ Richard English, Irish Freedom :the history of nationalism in Ireland. London : Macmillan, 2006.ISBN 1405041897 (p. 526)
  3. ^ a b John M.Regan. "The ‘Bandon Valley Massacre’as a historical problem." History 97.325 (2012): (pp. 70-98).
  4. ^ a b Peter Barberis, John McHugh and Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations. London : Pinter, 2000. ISBN 1855672642 (p. 143).
  5. ^ Ulrich's international periodicals directory. New York : Bowker, 1965-2000. ISSN 0000-0175 (p. 4833)
  6. ^ Irish Political Review, December 1987.
  7. ^ Sean Swan. "Where is the Irish Border? Theories of Division in Ireland." Nordic Irish Studies (2005): (pp. 61-87).
  8. ^ Brian W. Shaffer (editor) The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction (Volume One). Chichester : Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. ISBN 9781405192446 (p. 45)
  9. ^ Maud Ellman. Elizabeth Bowen: The Shadow Across the Page. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. 2003, p. 35. ISBN 978-0-7486-1702-9
  10. ^ Markus Kornprobst, Irredentism in European politics : Argumentation, Compromise and Norms. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2008. ISBN 9780521895583 (p. 207, 276)
  11. ^ Could we have issued a credible threat to Europe in September 2008, which would have involved us committing economic suicide? In this reviewer's opinion the answer is "no". John Martin, Review of Brian Lenihan: In Calm and Crisis. Irish Political Review, December 2014. Volume 29, Number 12.ISSN 0790-7672 (p.10-13).
  12. ^ Brian Cowen should not have been deposed as FF leader before the election". John Martin, Review of Brian Lenihan: In Calm and Crisis. Irish Political Review, December 2014. Volume 29, Number 12. ISSN 0790-7672 (p.10-13).
  13. ^ Desmond Fennell, Essays and Objections 1994-2003. Dublin : Liffey Press, 2003. ISBN 1904148352 (p.222, 229).
  14. ^ Angela Clifford, "Zimbabwe: One Farmer, One Farm", Irish Political Review, Sept 2002
  15. ^ Irish Political Review, April 2008 (p. 3)
  16. ^ Irish Political Review, June 2008 (p. 11)
  17. ^ Editorial "International Law?" Irish Political Review, Sept. 2008.[dead link]
  18. ^ "Has the General A Point?" by Philip O'Connor, Irish Political Review, January 2009.
  19. ^ Irish Times advertisement for the petition
  20. ^ Editorial "Interesting Times!" Irish Political Review, January 2009.[dead link]
  21. ^ "The Union is at a dead end, and inter-Governmental arrangements which leave Britain isolated have had to be made. This referendum presents an opportunity to re-establish an older alliance than the EU, an opportunity to put real flesh on the alliance proclaimed in 1916 with 'our gallant allies in Europe'. If this Referendum succeeds, that would be clearly evident for the centenary of 1916 and that event could then take on a whole new meaning. Vote Yes!" : Jack Lane, "A New Treaty With 'Our Gallant Allies'", Irish Political Review, May 2012
  22. ^ "A Trump victory would oblige Europe to become something other than an American poodle, and it finds that prospect too awful to contemplate". "Trump V. Clinton" (Editorial), Irish Political Review, November 2016, Vol. 31, No. 11 ISSN 0790-7672 (p.5)
  23. ^ "Also on the panel was Jeremy Corbyn's Shadow Minister for Education, Angela Rayner, apparently a typical member of the Snowflake Generation . She wasn't interested in Trump's record as a good employer, or his foreign policy. All that concerned her, as a potential Cabinet Minister in a major state was that piece of secretly recorded banter." "Trump V. Clinton" (Editorial), Irish Political Review, November 2016, Vol. 31, No. 11 ISSN 0790-7672 (p.5)