May 2020 Due to Covid-19 restrictions all commemorative events in Ireland have been either cancelled or postponed. Several summer schools have now also unfortunately announced that they will not be proceeding this summer.
But that hasn’t halted Ireland’s librarians, heritage officers, historians, archivists, museum curators, county councils and teachers from endeavoring to continue sharing their research.
Behind the closed doors of our libraries and museums, from the spare room and the kitchen table, people are working to continue telling the story of Ireland’s history.
In a short space of time everyone involved in heritage has had to adjust how they normally work, some without any physical access to their source material.
The current restrictions have demonstrated how much we rely on access to reliable information – informed medical updates are most crucial at the moment, but Ireland is also turning to its arts, culture and heritage sectors.
We need entertainment, fun and a chance to read and learn parts of our history that many felt they never had the time to do before the lockdown.
The aim of the newsletter again this month is to provide a sample of some of what is available for you to access at home – or books that you can order online.
When Ireland opens its doors again please try to support local booksellers, walking tours, heritage groups – all those who work to bring our history to you through their work.
The May/June History Ireland magazine is available online for subscribers.
In the May/June ’20 issue of History Ireland: Stephen McGarry revisits the Battle of Fontenoy, May 1745; Bruce Kelley reassesses the reputation of Isaac Butt; Martin Greene suggests a Joycean critique of Griffith’s The Resurrection of Hungary; Rory Sweetman on the Kiwis who defended Trinity College in 1916; Fiona Fitzsimons on the Registers of Successful Vaccinations; and Joe Connell on the 1920 Listowel Mutiny.
There is also a single subscription offer at the moment – for €5 you can receive a digital edition of the current issue and access to the archive for two months.
To subscribe to receive a digital edition of the History Ireland magazine every month, click *here* to see the available options.
This also gives access to the archive of articles.
A physical copy will be in the shops this weekend.
As always, if you would like to inform us of any suitable material – anything related to the Decade of Centenaries – please feel free to email centenaries@
Soviets, strikes and land seizures—class conflict & the Tan War
New History Ireland PODCAST
This Podcast is part of the History Ireland Hedge School programme supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Decade of Centenaries 2012- 2023 initiative.
Soviets, strikes and land seizures—class
In the midst of the War of Independence a parallel class war raged, with strikes, land-seizures and even the establishment of soviets.
What was its relationship to the national struggle?
And why did it seem to dissipate?
To answer these and related questions, listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Sarah-Anne Buckley (NUI Galway), John Cunningham (NUI Galway), Brian Hanley (TCD) and Mary Muldowny (Dublin City Council Historian-in-Residence).
This Hedge School, supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and in association with Galway Trades Council, was recorded and is available as a podcast *here*:
Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley, Department of History, NUIG, is an internationally recognised scholar in the field of modern Irish social history, particularly in the fields of Irish gender history, History of child welfare in Ireland and Britain, Women’s History, Institutional Histories and Youth Culture.
Dr John Cunningham is the Director of Taught MA, Department of History, NUIG and a former editor of Saothar: journal of Irish Labour History, John Cunningham’s research interests include Irish local history, the moral economy, and global syndicalism with a specialist interest in Labour Biography; Transnational Syndicalism; Social Protest and Moral Economy; Irish Local History; History of Urban Galway; History of Irish Education and Modern Ireland Labour Movements – Irish and Transnational.
Dr Brian Hanley (TCD), specialist interests include Irish republicanism, labour and radicalism, 1918 General Election, the 1916 Easter Rising, the Irish revolution and Civil War, trans-national aspects of the Irish revolution, 1969 and the birth of the ‘Troubles’, class in 20th century Ireland, the Great War and the Irish Revolution, Irish America, race and the Irish in America, the Northern Ireland conflict, the impact of the ‘Troubles’ and the Irish Republic.
Dr Mary Muldowney is the Dublin City Council Historian in Residence for Dublin Central. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, she is the author of books, journal articles, blogs and broadcasts on labour and public history, frequently using oral history interviews as a primary source in her research and publications. This includes the history of women workers; the pro-choice movement in Ireland; women and war and working-class history. In her role as Historian in Residence, she has been involved in promoting the study of history through engagement with the public in libraries, community centers, schools, and museums.
Tommy Graham (History Ireland magazine) Tommy Graham, a history graduate of Trinity College, is one of the founders of History Ireland magazine and has been its editor since its beginning in 1993. He is an experienced broadcaster and lecturer, currently lecturing in history and politics at Griffith College. He also founded (1986) and continues to run, Historical Walking Tours of Dublin.
About History Ireland Hedge Schools
The History Ireland Hedge Schools, developed by Tommy Graham, are a public history format for making high quality research accessible to a general audience and are lively, unfettered debates on a range of historical topics.
For media interviews on History Ireland Hedge Schools contact Tommy Graham, editor History Ireland magazine and Hedge School ‘Master’.
About the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023
The objective of the State programme for the period 2020-2023 is to ensure a deeper understanding of a complex period in our history, including the Struggle for Independence, the Civil War, the Foundation of the State and Partition and that these events and others are marked appropriately.
Following on from last month’s publication recommendations here are a few more:
May 25 Burning of the Custom House 1921
Liz Gillis and Mícheál Ó Doibhilín
On May 25, 1921 the IRA launched one of its largest and most audacious operations when it attacked Dublin’s Custom House, the heart of the British administration in Ireland.
Many still view this as a military failure that destroyed the IRA’s Second Battalion in Dublin.
But, over the last number of years, historians Liz Gillis and Mícheál Ó Doibhilín have, based on their extensive research, challenged this view, arguing that the operation was, in fact, a success which possibly helped bring about a truce and the subsequent Treaty negotiations.
The First Seanad Éireann, women and the Senate Casket — Irishwomen appeal to a spirit of patriotism.
An interesting blog post from Royal Irish Academy Librarian, Siobhán Fitzpatrick.
‘…in 1924, Senator Stopford Green commissioned Mia Cranwill (1880-1972), an artist specialising in fine metalwork to design and execute a casket intended to hold a vellum roll containing the senators’ signatures. The casket was to be placed on the Chairman’s desk in the chamber for the duration of each session.’
Read the full post *here*
Dictionary of Irish Biography
The team in DIB have two new online initiatives which offer the public access to their incredible database of biographies.
The first is a series of biographies chosen by some of the DIB researchers themselves, others by Royal Irish Academy academics and historians. They have chosen favourites, people whose names might not be well known outside their field, but who deserve to be better known.
One example is the choice made by Dr Kate O’Malley, managing editor of the DIB; Róisín Walsh (1889–1949),
who was Dublin’s first chief librarian, as well as a feminist and republican.
The second initiative is aimed at Leaving Cert History students, but the forty biographies of major Irish figures would be of interest not only to anyone with an interest in Irish history, but by their very nature the biographies are so well researched that they are of huge cultural and social interest.
Available to download *here*
Irish Medicine in War and Revolution
The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland have an excellent and extensive Heritage Centre.
Their archive contains material covering many aspects of the history and development of medicine in Ireland.
Some examples include the diary of Dr Kathleen Lynn, the Chief Medical Officer for the Irish Citizen Army in 1916.
They also have a range of exhibitions now available to view online *here*, one of which is ‘Irish Medicine in War and Revolution’, described by RCPI as exploring
‘…the impact of the period from the outbreak of the First World War to the end of the Civil War on the medical profession in Ireland. Examining the experiences of medics on all sides of the conflict, it delves into the tensions between personal views, political opinions and professional obligations. It was originally held in our home at 6 Kildare Street in 2016 as part of the centenary of the 1916 Rising commemorations.’
RDS Library & Archives Digital Archive
Charting social, cultural and economic change in Dublin and Ireland through the changes in its own organisation, the online archive of the RDS contains material beginning in the 18th century.
The digitised records of the various RDS shows from 1831-1900 are available *here*.
If you need to know who had a Class I bull in 1831, this is the place to go.
Another example available are the digitised catalogues of fine art, manufactures and craft exhibitions organised by the RDS for the years 1843-1900.