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Frank Aiken, time for reassessment?


JohnD66

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Bryce Evans has an article here calling for a fresh look at Frank Aiken.

Frank Aiken: Nationalist and Internationalist | The Irish Story

Evans argues that he deserves better than being remembered as sectarian killer (for the Altnaviegh affair) and that he deserves credit for his role pushing decolonisation in Africa in the 1950s and 60s.

I believe an upcoming conference of historians in Liverpool is going to examine his story.
 


Schomberg

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Not likely. The Altnaveigh "affair" (as you call it) and Creggan exposed him as a vicious sectarian nutjob.
 

JohnD66

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Henry Patterson - Ireland Since 1939 The Persistence of Conflict, Page 61.
I don't think he was 'pro-Nazi' so much as pro Irish neutrality to be fair.

The Altnaveigh thing is a stain on his reputation for sure - though it was an ugly situation he did not start. (I think I went into details in the thread above). But aside from hero or villain type assessments, he was one of the main builders of the southern Irish state and his role in this capacity does deserve historical examination.
 

Fr. Hank Tree

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I don't think he was 'pro-Nazi' so much as pro Irish neutrality to be fair.

The Altnaveigh thing is a stain on his reputation for sure - though it was an ugly situation he did not start. (I think I went into details in the thread above). But aside from hero or villain type assessments, he was one of the main builders of the southern Irish state and his role in this capacity does deserve historical examination.
And as there is concurrent thread at the moment on NATO membership, his importance in the development of a "positive neutrality" tradition is also quite relevant.
 

rapparree

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Not likely. The Altnaveigh "affair" (as you call it) and Creggan exposed him as a vicious sectarian nutjob.
a member of the orange order calls someone sectarian, how ironic

Aiken was an Irish hero, of course the loyalists don't like him.
 

Schomberg

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a member of the orange order calls someone sectarian, how ironic

Aiken was an Irish hero, of course the loyalists don't like him.
oink
 

Little_Korean

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The more quixotic of Aiken’s designs lent themselves to criticism by Todd Andrews, head of the Turf Development Board. To Andrews, he possessed a certain impracticality borne of his ‘easy’ farming background, meaning that he ‘had never the experience of earning a living’ and therefore ‘could not distinguish between poverty and frugal comfort’.
Doesn't surprise me that the two didn't get on - Todd Andrews had a slightly sarky bit on Aiken in his Dublin Made Me - the two were hiding out together in the Civil War, with Aiken being uncommunicative, when Andrews remarked on something in Irish, to Aiken's surprise as he didn't figure that Andrews, a Dub, would have much time for the Irish language. The two chatted in Irish for a while, leading Andrews to claim that his Irish was somewhat better than Aiken's.
 

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