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.
We acknowledge the generous funding support of the Australian Research Council and the period of collegial collaboration of Robert Reynolds. We also thank Jane Carey, Zoe Laidlaw, Hannah Robert and Christina Twomey for their valuable research assistance at various stages of the project, and the postgraduate and staff members of the Colonialism Reading Group. This work was greatly helped by the supportive atmosphere of the Department of History at the University of Melbourne and the School of Arts and Sciences (Victoria) at the Australian Catholic University. We are also indebted to the librarians and staff of the Public Record Office, Kew Gardens; the British Library and the Women’s Library (formerly the Fawcett Library), London; the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington; the National Archives of Canada and the Institute of Canadian Studies at the University of Ottawa; the State Library of Victoria, the Battye Library, Western Australia, and the Mitchell Library, New South Wales.
This book has been a collaborative endeavour by the four authors, who consulted each other on its major elements. Primary responsibility for individual chapters was distributed as follows: Julie Evans, the Introduction; David Philips and Patricia Grimshaw, chapter 1; Shurlee Swain, chapters 2 and 5; Patricia Grimshaw, chapters 3 and 6; Julie Evans and David Philips, chapters 4 and 7; David Philips, the Conclusion.