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Sport has played a central role in modern Ireland’s history. Perhaps nowhere else has sport so infused the political, social and cultural development and identity of a nation. During this so-called ‘Decade of Centenaries’ in Ireland (2014 to 2024) recently there has been an exponential growth in interest and academic research on Ireland’s sporting heritage. This collection of chapters, contributed by some of Ireland’s most preeminent sport and social historians, showcases the richness and complexity of Ireland’s sporting legacy. Articles on topics as diverse as the role of native Gaelic games in emphasising the emerging cultural nationalism of pre-Revolutionary Ireland, the contribution of Irish rugby to the broader British war effort in World War 1, the emergence of Irish soccer on the international stage, and the long running battle to gain official recognition within international athletics for an independent Irish state, are presented. This work’s intention is to illustrate some of the latest and most vibrant research being conducted on Irish sports history.
This book was published as a special issue of Sport in Society.