The Oxford Companion to Irish History

By S. J. Connolly | Go to book overview
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Eason & Son ( 1886- ), nationwide retail and wholesale bookseller and newsagent. The firm was founded by Charles Eason ( 1823-99) when he took over the Dublin branch of W. H. Smith in 1886. VK

Ecclesiastical Titles Act (1851), forbidding Catholic clerics to assume ecclesiastical tides taken from any place in the United Kingdom. The act was introduced by the *Liberal government of Lord John Russell, in response to the re-creation in 1850 of an English Catholic hierarchy. To Protestants, this was the 'papal aggression', a wholly unacceptable assertion by a foreign power of authority over British territory. Irish Catholics of all shades of opinion, however, regarded the act as a gratuitous insult, and the demand for its repeal provided the main impetus for the creation of the Independent Irish Party (see INDEPENDENT OPPOSITION PARTY).

Economic Development, an official report, published in 1958 under the name of T. K. Whitaker, secretary of the Irish Department of Finance, is commonly credited with providing the blueprint for the transformation of the Irish economy during the 1960s. It signalled a rejection of the policies of *protection, and of government efforts to stimulate the economy by spending money on infrastructural projects, in favour of a return to a more competitive free-trading economic environment. This message was confirmed with the almost simultaneous publication of the government's Programme for Economic Expansion. The impact of both publications was primarily psychological: the modest target for 2 per cent annual growth in GNP was exceeded, and public expenditure was also much higher than planned. However Economic Development is generally credited with reversing a mood of pessimism within the state, and with creating a vogue for French-style economic planning. The fact that Sean *Lemass succeeded Eamon de *Valera as *taoiseach less than a year after this report was published reinforced the impression that Economic Development signalled the emergence of a more modern and more prosperous state. MED

Economic War, a six-year Anglo-Irish dispute involving economic, constitutional, financial, and defence questions. The dispute began in 1932 when de *Valera abolished the *oath of allegiance and refused to pay the *land annuities. The British government imposed special duties on Irish imports, principally cattle and dairy produce. The Irish government retaliated with emergency duties on British coal, machinery, and iron and steel goods. Both sets of duties inflicted considerable damage on Anglo-Irish trade.

From 1933 to 1935 de Valera passed further controversial amendments to the *constitution. In 1934 the trade war was ameliorated by the first of three coal--cattle pacts. Malcolm MacDonald, appointed British dominions secretary in 1935, established friendly relations with de Valera and pushed the British cabinet towards negotiations. For most of 1936-7, de Valera's new constitution was the focus of attention. Its completion, and the decision that its terms did not after all change Ireland's position within the *Commonwealth, clarified the constitutional issues that had underlain the economic dispute. Neville Chamberlain, prime minister from May 1937, gave added backing to MacDonald's efforts to secure a settlement. Negotiations began in January 1938 and ended three months later with the *Anglo-Irish agreements. DMcM

ecumenism is the name given to the aspiration for the visible union of all Christians throughout the world. Although ecumenical stirrings within the churches can be detected down through the centuries, the modern ecumenical movement dates from the Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910. This multidenominational conference generated a number of other international organizations, culminating in the formation of the World Council of Churches in 1948. Similar processes were at work in early 20th-century Ireland, resulting in 1923 in the formation of the United


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