Prof. Richard Clogg (Emeritus Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford), "Parallel Histories: Greece 1821, Ireland 1921"
As an historian, mainly studying the modern history of Greece, I have from time to time been struck by the parallels in the history of Ireland and Greece. Both are members on the periphery of the EU. Both experienced approximately four centuries of rule by much larger and more powerful neighbours, namely the Ottoman and British Empires. Both were subject to various forms of discrimination by their imperial masters. What Greeks call the Tourkokratia, the period of Turkish rule, is matched by the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland, when between the 17thcentury and the early 20thcentury, a small group of members of the Protestant Church of Ireland, including many large landowners, lorded it over the overwhelmingly Catholic majority. Both the Greeks and the Irish made attempts, often violent, to overthrow alien rule. In 2021 the Greeks will celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the War of Independence which culminated in the establishment of the independent Kingdom of Greece in 1832. 2021 will see the one hundredth anniversary of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which concluded the Irish War of Independence and led to the establishment of the Irish Free State, the precursor of the Republic of Ireland. In both countries, the struggle for independence was marked by civil war. Although Greece and Ireland gained independence, Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom, and Cyprus emerged as an independent country and not part of the Greek State. Both Ireland and Greece in the 19thand early 20thcenturies were poor countries, and poverty led to large scale emigration and the establishment of large diaspora communities in the United States, Australia, Europe and elsewhere. In the post-World War II period, thanks in part to membership of the EEC/EU, both countries experienced a remarkable rate of economic growth but both were caught up in the Eurozone crisis.
hosted by the Embassy of Ireland and the Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens