The conclusion summarises the overall arguments presented in previous chapters about the importance of the co-operative movement to rural development in Ireland. The long-term perspective employed throughout the book highlights the way in which the Irish co-operative movement responded to, and shaped, key political events as Ireland moved towards independence. In the years after Irish independence, the IAOS and co-operative societies played a crucial part in delivering economic policies. Finally, a note is made about the state of co-operation in Ireland in recent years.
I would like to thank Dr Michael Hopkins of Liverpool Hope University College for supervising the PhD dissertation upon which this book is based and for commenting on some of the draft manuscript chapters. Professor John Young of Nottingham University suggested the original idea for the research. He and Dr Matthew Stibbe of Liverpool Hope were respectively the external and internal examiners of the dissertation and both made invaluable comments. Mr Michael O’Grady provided further constructive criticism of the PhD thesis and of the draft manuscript and has been a kind and encouraging mentor for a long time. Thanks are due to the departments of History and American Studies at Liverpool Hope for their help and encouragement over the years, especially to Dr Janet Hollinshead in the former department. At the University of Liverpool Dr Nigel Ashton and Dr Michael Hughes provided useful comments on the early stages of the PhD project. Dr Clive Jones and Professor Caroline Kennedy-Pipe were both very helpful and supportive when I was an MA student at the University of Leeds some years ago. More recently, the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales Aberystwyth has provided a wonderfully congenial and stimulating environment in which I could revise the draft manuscript. Professor Len Scott of this department kindly read and commented upon some of the early chapters.
The anonymous reviewers for Manchester University Press were meticulous and constructive in their evaluations of the book proposal and of the draft manuscript. Professor John Dumbrell’s expressions of support for the book have been much appreciated. I am also grateful to Liverpool Hope University College, the University of Liverpool and the Richard Stapeley Educational Trust for help with university fees and the cost of the research. The archivists at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas; US National Archives at College Park, Maryland; the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia; the Public Record Office (now the National Archives) at Kew; and the Bodleian Library, Oxford, were all efficient and helpful. Mrs Frieda Warman-Brown kindly granted me permission to examine the private papers of her father, George Brown, at the Bodleian. Thanks also to the interlibrary loans service at Burnley Central Library, of which I made extensive use over the years. My parents have from the beginning provided essential support for my academic career. Any limitations of this work are entirely my own responsibility.