Contacts and Comparisons in History and Culture
Edited By Gerald Power and Ondrej Pilny
Lili Zách Irish Intellectuals and Independent Czechoslovakia in the Interwar Period: Reflections i
Lili Zách Irish Intellectuals and Independent Czechoslovakia in the Interwar Period: Ref lections in Catholic Journals Despite the generally isolationist policies of the Free State government, the interwar period featured significant interest on the part of Irish intel- lectuals in the wider world, including newly independent Czechoslovakia. Amongst these were the staunch Catholic scholar and politician John Marcus O’Sullivan1 and the academic and politician Michael Tierney, who had both been educated on the Continent, and were particularly receptive to international news and inf luences.2 Furthermore, in addition to Catholic journals and diplomats, the Irish press in general indicated an Irish interest in Czechoslovakia.3 More generally, the Irish government itself was in the process of establishing links with various countries after 1 See, for instance, John Marcus O’Sullivan, ‘The League of Nations of a Century Ago’, Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review 8/32 (December 1919), 565–79. 2 Bryan Fanning has observed that the founders of Studies, for instance, had been educated outside Ireland. Bryan Fanning, The Quest for Modern Ireland: The Battle of Ideas, 1912–1986 (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2008), 67. 3 Significant interest was evident particularly in the Tuam Herald and the Irish Times, whose editors, Richard John Kelly and Robert M. Smyllie respectively, had personal interests in Czechoslovakia. R. M. Smyllie was on friendly terms with two Czechoslovak consuls, Pavel Růžička and Karel Košťál, both crucial figures in strengthening Czechoslovak-Irish ties between the two World Wars. On this issue, and regarding wider Irish-Czech cultural...
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