‘Cautela, seguir mudo (“Caution, say nothing”). Madrid’s diplomatic response to the emergence of the Irish Free State 1918-1931.

Alvaro Jaspe

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    Abstract

    This paper will primarily seek to examine the official response of the Spanish Restoration and Primo de Rivera governments to the events in Ireland during the time of the Irish Civil War and Partition, as well as giving some insights on the reaction within Spanish society. The quotation, attributed to US Ambassador Juan Riaño, was in response to the Provisional Government of Ireland’s request for official Spanish recognition of Ireland in post war international institutions. The paper will analyse the extremely cautious response of the Spanish authorities to the emergence of the Irish state, as exemplified by Riaño’s quote, which, within the echelons of the Spanish diplomatic service, was viewed as the apparent victory of separatism in Ireland. The paper will also touch on the influential role of the Spanish Ambassador in London, Alfonso Merry del Val, and how his pro-British establishment view coloured the efforts of Dublin to establish diplomatic ties with a country it believed to be a natural historical ally. It will chart the difficulties which prevailed in the setting up of limited diplomatic ties in 1924 and the formal establishment of a Spanish consulate in Dublin in 1927 and examine how the links between Republican Ireland and Monarchical Spain developed until 1931.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-132
    JournalEstudios Irlandeses
    Volume3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008

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