The theme of identity forged in adversity has bulked large on the agenda of the founders of many small nation states, and the case of Ireland is no exception. The extent and nature of the Irish diaspora, in addition, has given this theme an added dimension: its propagation to the world at large. Bending the world's ear to the cause of righting . Ireland's wrongs has been a constant, if rarely successful, strand in Irish nationalist policy for over two centuries. It is only in more recent times, however, that it has become more formally associated with the official structures of the State, most notably in the seven-year experimental existence of the Irish News Agency (I.N.A.). The history of this institution, unique in the Irish administrative system, provides us with important perspectives on government ideology in relation to Northern Ireland and in relation to the news media themselves, as well as on the nature of professional journalism in Ireland in the 1950s.

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