The Irish Parliamentary Party at Westminster, 1900–18
Acknowledgements Looking back, I cannot say I ever planned to write a book about the Irish Parliamentary Party. An interest in modern Irish history led me to seek out Professor Michael Laffan when deciding upon a topic for my undergraduate dissertation in University College Dublin at the end of 2006. I was then a student in his long-running course of the Irish revolution and the idea of studying flying columns appealed more to my twenty-year-old self than the idea of trawling through the
... of Hansard. Probably picking up on something I had said, Michael steered me in the direction of the Eoin MacNeill papers in the UCD Archives. From there, a thesis on MacNeill, John Redmond, and the splitting of the Irish Volunteers emerged. I then developed an interest in Redmond and moved from studying paramilitarism towards parliamentarianism. After a most enjoyable year at Trinity College Dublin under the supervision of Dr William E. Vaughan, I decided to return to UCD and to Michael Laffan where the ideas which have culminated in this book began life as a doctoral thesis. I would like to begin by offering my sincere thanks to my two supervisors. Professor Laffan began supervising this project in January 2009. In summer 2010, Michael retired and Professor Diarmaid Ferriter took over my supervision. I could not have asked for two better or more pleasant mentors. The seamless transition in supervision that occurred between them is a testament to the professionalism of two scholars truly committed to nurturing postgraduate research. For the financial assistance given by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences -now the Irish Research Council -I would like to express my sincere thanks. Without this support, none of what followed would have been possible. Since completing the thesis from which the present work originated, my colleagues, students, and the friendly community of historians in Ireland, Britain, and beyond have shared their insights and offered new perspectives which have enhanced the quality of this book in innumerable ways.