The Spanish Civil War, Irish newspapers, journals, and periodicals – A Thematic Examination, 1936-39

  • William Burton

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge by examining Irish reportage of the Spanish Civil War thematically. The chosen themes have previously not been studied in a sustained scholarly manner: Guernica, Basque refugees, readers' letters, the siege of Madrid, Donegal and propaganda. This approach has reaped two particular rewards. First, it reveals new level of detail about Irish reportage, particularly in the provincial publications. There are sources here utilised that have been largely overlooked. Second, it calls for a re-evaluation of the current understanding of Irish newspaper coverage as limited to two interpretations of the Spanish Civil War, namely as a necessary war against Fascism and/or as a war against Catholicism. As argued here, there was greater complexity than this. The thematic approach explores how the reporting of the conflict was viewed through the prism of Irish history of the past few centuries to the more contemporary. Most notably, the often problematic relationship with the United Kingdom supplied a myriad of cultural, historical and political references to frame the conflict in Spain for an Irish audience.
Date of AwardJul 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPeter O'Connor (Supervisor) & Ian Thatcher (Supervisor)


  • Spain
  • Ireland
  • Newspapers
  • civil war themes
  • Franco
  • International Brigades

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