THIS BOOK has been long in the making, put on hold while I undertook a succession of administrative and managerial roles, necessary tasks that tend to befall academics of a certain age—in my case, Head of the new School of History, then Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Liverpool. Its final completion owes much to the generosity of external funding bodies. I would like to record my thanks to the British Academy for a Larger Research Grant (LRG33569) for extensive archival visits in Britain and Ireland; and to the Leverhulme Trust for the award of a Major Research Fellowship, allowing me time and scope to place the Irish within the wider context and broad sweep of Liverpool history.
Throughout this unduly lengthy period, I have received invaluable help from colleagues who have shared their knowledge and expertise, commented on drafts, corrected my blunders and encouraged me to persevere. Particular thanks to Don Akenson, Joan Allen, Frank Boyce, Sean Connolly, Enda Delaney, Marianne Elliott, Jim Epstein, David Fitzpatrick, Roy Foster, Peter Hart, Michael Huggins, Kevin Kenny, Jack McGinley, Don MacRaild, Frank Neal, Paddy O'Sullivan, Colin Pooley, Richard Price, Roger Swift and John Walton.
Over the years, I have relied on the in-house knowledge and efficient service of librarians and archivists throughout the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The list includes: the British Library, St Pancras; the Newspaper Library, Colindale; the National Archives, Kew; Liverpool Record Office; the Athenaeum, Liverpool; Lancashire Record Office; the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland; Trinity College, Dublin; University College, Dublin; National Library of Ireland; National Archives, Dublin; Dublin Diocesan Archives; and Diocese of Clogher Archives, Monaghan. Special thanks to Maureen Watry and her staf in Special Collections and Archives, Sydney Jones Library, University of Liverpool, my bolthole in intervals between committee meetings.