Wednesday, 29th November 2017

7.30pm – 9.30pm

Luton Irish Forum hosts the return of its popular Cultural Seminars with an address and book launch by the well-known lecturer and historian Dr Ivan Gibbons.

In the period immediately after the First World War, both the British Labour Party and Irish Nationalism were in a state of transition.  This book examines the rapidly evolving relationship between the British Labour Party and the emerging Irish nationalist forces, from which was formed the first government of the Irish Free State as both metamorphosed from opposition towards becoming the governments of their respective states.

A drinks reception and Q&A session will follow.

Tom Scanlon, Chair of Luton Irish Forum said ‘Ivan’s book is a timely addition and insight into the relationships between the peoples of those Islands and a welcome addition to our shared history.

Signed copies will be on sale at a much-reduced price to attendees so please join us on the 29th for what promises to be another great night of discussion and recollection.’

Luton Irish Forum, 102 Hitchin Road, Luton LU2 0ES

Advance booking is essential / Doors open at 7.00pm/ Free parking onsite and in adjacent public car park

To reserve your place:

Email: or Tel: 01582 720 447

For further information on the services of Luton Irish Forum, please visit our website at,


Ivan Gibbons is a former Senior Lecturer in Irish Studies at St Mary’s University, London, UK and a member of the Board of Directors of Hammersmith Irish Cultural Centre in London. He was awarded the Irish Post Community Award for his contribution to education and Irish Studies in the UK. He has taught and written on the relationship between the British Labour Party and Irish nationalism and was awarded his PhD from Birkbeck, University of London, UK on this subject.

The book includes chapters on the evolution of the British Labour Party and Irish Nationalism 1914-1921; Labour Policy on Ireland 1918-21; Partition Established: The Government of Ireland Act 1920; the Establishment of the Irish Free State and Labour in Opposition 1921-23; Labour in Government 1924 and the Boundary Commission 1925.

“Ivan Gibbons’ book is the first dedicated to the subject of the British Labour Party and Ireland during the current decade of centenaries…A much-needed addition to the historiography and will appeal to scholars of the labour movement in both Britain and Ireland”

David Convery Saothar: Journal of the Irish Labour History Society

 “Gibbons’ research makes an important contribution not just to Labour’s Irish policy, but to the development of the party from a formative movement in industrial areas to a party capable of governing…In this regard it should be held in high esteem amongst the expansive literature on the party…Gibbons’ book is likely to be recognised as a significant contribution to both Labour and Anglo-Irish studies, field that looks likely to expand in the coming years.”

Keith Mcloughlin, Australasian Journal of Irish Studies

PRESS RELEASE: Book Launch: The British Labour Party and the Establishment of the Irish Free State, 1918-1924