August 2023

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August 2023  
NOTICE Some email browsers ‘clip’ the newsletter, making it shorter.  If you click ‘View entire message‘ it will open the full newsletter News and updates on the programme of commemorations relating to the events in Irish history that took place between 1912 and 1923.  
If you would like to inform us of any suitable material for future newsletters – anything related to the Decade of Centenaries – please feel free to email [email protected].   

1. Events/Lectures/Schemes (keep an eye out for registration & dates)            

Museum of Literature Ireland First Fridays      
Buy Tickets – MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland

West Cork History Festival        
(11-13 August)       
The 2023 West Cork History Festival (11-13 August) will be the first fully in-person Festival since 2019.   We’ll have the same fantastic history – local, national and international – and the same informal atmosphere but in a new venue, the beautiful and historic Inish Beg estate.  Our 2023 Festival has two main themes, firstly a focus on the Irish Civil War and the Decade of Centenaries and secondly Munster and Ireland’s mercantile connections in the 18th century, notably the trade and consumption of wine but also the Atlantic slave trade.  We will have our customary Festival concert, and Field Trips to locations of historic interest in West Cork – some of these will be walking tours but we will also have a kayaking trip to locations along the coast. On the Irish Civil War & Decade of Centenaries we’ll have, amongst others, Professor Robert Gerwarth on ‘Europe’s Age of Civil Wars, 1917-1949’, Professor Caitríona Beaumont on her project ‘Afterlives of Activist Women’ looking at Ireland, Germany and Finland and Dr Eve Morrison on ‘Trauma, Democracy and the Irish Civil War’ as well as Dr Edward Burke on ‘Echoes of the violence of the 1920s in the 1970s’  Taking a comparative perspective with the English Civil War will be Dr Nicholas McDowell who will speak on ‘The Poetry of Civil War: from Milton to Yeats’.  We’ll also have two panel discussions on the Decade of Centenaries, one with academic historians and the other with writers, civil society leaders and heritage professionals.  

Féile an Phobail 
(3-13 August)
Féile an Phobail is a Community Arts Festival.  Féile provides a programme of inclusive arts, cultural and community-based activities throughout the year.  The August Féile is its flagship festival.  One event of particular interest to those in the history community:  Eamon Phoenix, his impact and enduring legacy.  St Mary’s University College, Falls Road3rd August @1pm   This talk will reflect on the remarkable contribution made by Eamon Phoenix to the public understanding of modern Irish history, in particular the turbulent period of the decade of centenaries.  The panel will discuss his influence and highlight some of the most significant themes and topics he explored in his research.  With historians Margaret Ward, Jason Burke and Marie Coleman.  Chaired by Noel Doran.  
Free event. No booking required.   

National Heritage Week       
(12-20 August) National Heritage Week celebrates Ireland’s cultural, built and natural heritage.  It brings together volunteers, community groups and heritage enthusiasts to share their experience, knowledge, culture and practices.  

Poetry as Commemmoration Poetry Reading  An evening of poetry inspired by the Decade of Centenaries featuring poets Carole Farnan, Angela Graham, Maria McManus, Julie Morrissy, Stephen Sexton, and Dominic J. Sweeney. Stephen Sexton will join Julie Morrissy to discuss ‘The Head of a Man’, a commemorative poem commissioned by UCD Library in partnership with Poetry Ireland and Arts Council Northern Ireland.
Poetry as Commemoration an initiative of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive at UCD supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme. 

Irish Labour History Society Conference     
(14-17 September) 
Ireland’s Entry Into The International Labour Organisation in 1923 – Irish Labour History Society Conference The Irish Labour History Society are organising a major four day ‘Visions of Labour and Class in Ireland and Europe’ Conference taking place across a number of venues from 14th to 17th September 2023. The conference programme includes a special session on Thursday afternoon 14th September on the admission of the new State to the League of Nations and joining the International Labour Organisation in 1923.  Other sessions include talks on Soviets in Ireland during the 1917-23 period, gender and class in the revolutionary decade, oral history and voices of experience sessions, along with discussion on class and labour history in recent decades and going forward.  The conference is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-23 initiative.   

Dublin Festival of History      
(25 Sept-15 Oct) Over 150 FREE in-person & online events 25 September – 15 October 2023

Richmond Barracks to Kilmainham Gaol Walking Tour Walk in the footsteps of the 1916 leaders as they went to their deaths in Kilmainham Gaol following a cursory court-martial at Richmond Barracks. Along the way you will hear of local poets and poetry. 
 Learn about the police and military riot on Emmet Road during the 1913 lock-out and how six young lads from Inchicore fought for democracy in the Spanish Civil War.  

Archives and Records Association 2023 Annual Conference   
The 2023 theme is ‘Communities’.    
Over three days we will talk about communities of users, stakeholders, colleagues, and collaborators. Revisiting and rebuilding relationships and connections, addressing issues prevalent within and between us, whilst, all the time, enriching our professional community with learning and inspiration. 30 Aug – 1 Sept 2023   / Europa Hotel Belfast 

2023 IMA Annual Conference 
The 2023 IMA Annual Conference, Influencing Museums, will be held at Ulster University Magee Campus, Derry, on Friday 8 September and Saturday 9 September.  This conference will focus on the vital role museums play in shaping public conversations and driving positive change in our society. Join us as we collectively explore how museums can effectively speak truth to power, navigate external pressures, and lead with integrity in challenging times. 
DETAILS & BOOKING HERE                    

2. Exhibitions/Projects        

‘Oral History of the Royal Irish Constabulary’    

Call for Participants
The ‘Oral History of the Royal Irish Constabulary’ project, funded by a Royal Irish Academy Decade of Centenaries Bursary, is seeking to contact children, nephews/nieces, or
grandchildren of members of the Royal Irish Constabulary who served anywhere on the island of Ireland at any time between 1912 and 1922.
Participants with any family knowledge of their relative’s service in the RIC (and, if applicable, other organizations such as the IRA, RUC, or An Garda Síochána) and/or their lives and careers after their time in the RIC are encouraged to contact the researchers, Dr Brian Hughes and Dr Seán Gannon, on the email addresses below.  Participants will be invited to take part in a semi-structured, recorded interview with one of the researchers at a
pre-arranged time and location.
We are also interested in viewing documents or other relevant ephemera held in family possession.
This research study has received Ethics approval from the Mary Immaculate College Research Ethics Committee (MIREC), ref: A23-014.
Dr Brian Hughes ([email protected])
Dr Seán William Gannon ([email protected])              

Royal Irish Academy Decade of Centenaries Bursary scheme awardees
The Royal Irish Academy has announced the twenty Decade of Centenaries Bursary scheme awardees, as part of the final year of the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
This year, the scheme is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Éamon Phoenix, Historian and Head of Lifelong Learning at Stranmillis University College in Belfast, who was a valued
member of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations, which supported and encouraged the development of this scheme.
The Decade of Centenaries bursary scheme was established to encourage and support new local research and local history studies in meaningful examination of local, regional, and
national events during the Struggle for Independence and Civil War period.
This scheme acknowledges the important role that local historians often have in communities, as informed and trusted researchers whether, amateur or professional.
 Alan Noonan for ‘Mapping Cork safe houses during the war of independence’.
 Angus Mitchell for ‘The hill of Uisneach and the struggle for Irish independence (1906-1928)’.
 Brian Hughes for ‘Oral history of the Royal Irish Constabulary’.
 Dawn-Miranda Sherratt Bado for ‘’The war has caught us up’ – a cultural history of the Irish Revolution through women’s writing’.
 Fiona Brennan for ‘Upstaging a revolution the amateur dramatic movement in Co. Kerry 1923-1936, deflecting from and reflecting upon the revolutionary period’.
 Istvan Laszlo for ‘Interactive monuments in the digitally mediated city’.
 John Biggins for ‘Life in the Dáil Courts’.
 Liam Heffron for ‘The local unionist experience of the Irish Civil War in North Mayo’.
 Máire McCafferty for ‘Language beyond borders – the relationship between Coláiste Bhríde, Ranafast, and the Irish language movement in Northern Ireland during the
 Marie Lynch for ‘A decade of disturbance – the impact of revolution and civil war on presentations of mental illness to Ireland’s oldest psychiatric hospital’.
 Michael Doorley for ‘Dr Patrick McCartan: a revolutionary envoy’.
 Michael Loughman for ‘A Wexford family sundered: the Ryans of Tomcoole and the Irish Civil War’.
 Noel Carolan for ‘’Dread story of famine-ghastly state of Connemara’ The early Irish Free State and food supply crisis in 1922 and 1925’.
 Patrick Mulroe for ‘A profile of border internees in Northern Ireland, 1922’.
 Patrick O’Brien for ‘The Irish tax man cometh: building the tax system in the Irish Free State, 1923-1925’.
 Peter Connell for ‘Housing conditions in provincial towns and the 1922 million pound housing scheme’.
 Richard McElligott for ‘Echoes of war -the everyday legacy of the Civil War in North Kerry 1923-1934’.
 Ruth McManus for ‘Housing the people, building the state – the community legacy of 1920s Free State housing policy’.
 Shane Ryan for ‘Similar beginnings, alternative paths’.
 Terence Dunne for ‘Surviving the revolution’.           

‘hearts ne’er waver’: The Women Prisoners of the Irish Civil War 
Voices, an exhibition of works by Margo McNulty OPW presents two new exhibitions in Kilmainham Gaol
Museum on the experiences of women prisoners duringthe Irish Civil War *30 May 2023 to 30 April 2024* The Office of Public Works (OPW) at Kilmainham Gaol Museum presents two special exhibitions to mark the centenary of the imprisonment of over 600 women during the Irish Civil War.  ‘hearts ne’er waver’ explores the experiences of women imprisoned between November 1922 and December 1923 in Mountjoy Prison, Kilmainham Gaol and a special female political prison camp set up in the former North Dublin Union in Grangegorman. The exhibition tells stories of hunger strikes, forced removals and escape attempts, as well as prison concerts, fancy dress parties and games of rounders played in the prison yards using a chair-leg as a bat.
Among the items on display are prison letters, diaries and autograph books, as well as items made by the women during their imprisonment such as a crocheted blouse, an embroidered pyjama case and a significant body of work created by the artist Grace Gifford Plunkett. She found herself a prisoner in Kilmainham Gaol in 1923, having previously married her husband Joseph Plunkett in the prison chapel the night before his execution in the Gaol following the 1916 Rising. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a tricolour featuring the emblem of Cumann na mBan which was made in Kilmainham Gaol by a group of women prisoners from Carlow. In the years that followed this flag was used to drape the coffins of these women as well as other veterans of the struggle for independence in Carlow. Following extensive conservation work, this flag is on display for the first time in over twenty-five years.
Running in parallel with ‘hearts ne’er waver’ is an exhibition of work by the artist Margo McNulty entitled ‘Voices’. This collection of paintings and prints hauntingly evokes the atmosphere of Kilmainham Gaol and offers glimpses of the personalities of the women prisoners incarcerated there
during the Civil War. Much of the work is inspired by personal items that once belonged to the women prisoners which now survive in both public and private collections. In 2022 Margo McNulty was a recipient of the Decade of Centenaries Markievicz Award which is given by the
Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to artists involved in the commemoration of the role of women during the Irish Revolutionary period.
The exhibition will be launched Tuesday 30 May at 6pm by Professor Laura McAtackney from the Radical Humanities Laboratory and School of Archaeology at University College, Cork. Among her many research projects, she undertook a close and systematic survey of the graffiti in Kilmainham Gaol, much of which relates to the women held there in 1923. 
MORE DETAILS HERE                                            

 3. Podcasts                                   

Dirty War in Dublin                        
Episode One: Kid gloves – Dirty War in Dublin | Podcast on Spotify

Change and continuity —the general elections of 1922 and 1923          

What do these two elections tell us about Ireland’s political landscape before and after the Civil War?
Join History Ireland editor Tommy Graham in discussion with Elaine CallinanMel FarrellMichael
Laffan and Martin O’Donoghue

Civil War on trains         
In this podcast, historian and author Eoin Swithin Walsh looks at how trains were targeted during the Civil War’One of the most ingrained memories for people who lived through the Civil War period was the near constant disruption to the rail network. If we could go back in time and ask our parents or grandparents about their experience of the troubled times, perhaps surprisingly, trains might be near the top of the list. The main objective of this policy by the anti-Treaty IRA was to block the movement of Free State troops, while also to near bankrupt the new Free State at birth, as they would have to pay out compensation. But it also upset the lives of many ordinary people, as most goods were transported by train in an era prior to trucks. From Glenmore to Gowran, find out how the upheaval of the civil war on trains affected County Kilkenny. ‘ 
 LISTEN HERE           

Photographs as historical sources         
Are historians visually illiterate? Does colourisation bring old photographs to life or is it just a passing
fad? ‘Coffee-table’ history books—good or bad?  In conjunction with the ongoing People & Places:
Ireland in the 19th & 20th centuries exhibition at the National Photographic Archive, these are some
of the questions that will be posed by editor, Tommy Graham, to Donal Fallon (historian, writer and
broadcaster), Emily Mark Fitzgerald (UCD), and Sara Smyth (exhibition curator, National Library of Ireland). This Hedge School is supported by the National Library of Ireland and was recorded live, 31 May 2023,@ National Photographic Archive, Temple Bar. 
 LISTEN HERE                                

Cavan Decade of Centenaries          
At the link below, you can watch some of the ‘webisodes’ and online lectures delivered by Cavan County Council Historian in Residence Dr Brendan Scott, and guest lecturers from across Ireland and the UK, discussing historical incidents of note that occurred in Cavan 100 years ago as part of the ongoing Decade of Centenaries Commemorations.  ALL EPISODES HERE                                             

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c. Decade of Centenaries 2023


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