February 2023

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February 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. Lectures and Events (some require registration)                

Talks at the Mess: Éamonn Bulfin: The Bulfin of Bulfin Estate, Inchicore           TOMORROW Wednesday 1 February @ 7pm 
Éamonn Bulfin was born in Argentina in 1892 into an Irish family with close ties to home. Bulfin would return to Ireland as a youngster and was educated at Patrick Pearse’s Scoil Éanna, before going on to take part in the Easter Rising. 
 During the Rising, Bulfin was stationed in the GPO and claimed to have hoisted the Irish Republic flag above the building. Bulfin Estate in Inchicore is named in his honour.  In this talk, Dr John Gibney of the Royal Irish Academy will explore the life of Éamonn Bulfin.  John is the author of Bulfin’s entry in the Dictionary of Irish Biography.

Cork Public Museum       
Saturday Lecture Series              
A new series of talks between January and May 2023. They will be held on Saturdays at Cork Public Museum at 1pm. All are welcome but booking is essential. 
FULL DETAILS HERE                         

Cork City Commemoration Fund 
Cork City Council are seeking applications to fund projects that reflect the pride in Cork and its people and the roles they played in the events of 100 years ago. 
Closing date: 4pm, Friday 10 February.  FULL DETAILS HERE      

Markievicz Award  The Markievicz Award was established to honour Constance de Markievicz – herself an artist – as the first woman to be elected to Parliament and appointed to Cabinet and is intended to:provide support for artists from all backgrounds and genres to buy time and space in order to develop new work that reflects on the role of women in the period covered by the decade of centenaries 2012–2023 and beyond.Markievicz Award recipients will receive €25,000, and awards will be made to up to ten applicants this year. Joint applications are welcomed.
Applications OPEN on 17 January 2023 and CLOSE on 16 February 2023 

Kildare County Council              
Decade of Commemorations                                                        
Public Talk by John Dorney:  The IRA War on Entertainments, 1923 Maynooth Community Library, Main Street, Maynooth, Co Kildare, W23 ND79. Thursday 16 February at 7pm Prior booking required for this free event. In March 1923 the anti-Treaty IRA, in response to the ongoing execution of their prisoners, anti-Treaty IRA Chief of Staff Liam Lynch declared a ban on public entertainments including sports, theatre and cinema during a period of ‘national mourning’.  This resulted in a concerted campaign which involved stopping sports and burning theatres and cinemas, only ended by the close of the Civil War. John Dorney is an independent historian, editor of The Irish Story website and author of ‘Peace After the Final Battle the Story of the Irish Revolution’ (2014) and ‘The Civil War in Dublin, the Fight for the Irish Capital’ (2017).   This talk is supported by the County Kildare Decade of Commemorations Committee and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-23 initiative.  BOOK HERE                

Kerry Civil War Conference 
Kerry Civil Way Conference             
History, Memory and Legacy                  
Civil War in Kerry and Beyond: A Centenary Conference Siamsa Tíre Theatre, Tralee, County Kerry23/24/25 February 2023 

Royal Irish Academy              
The crossover book: writing research for the general public  
Thursday, 23 February, 2.30-5.30pm, RIA, Dawson St.  
In an age of misinformation and fake news, more and more readers are turning to experts for reliable information, while academia is increasingly committing to engage with society and to publish research excellence that impacts on the general public. But how do you make expert knowledge accessible to a lay audience? What makes a good crossover book?   
FULL DETAILS HERE                     

2. Exhibitions/Projects 

“Mary M. and Sexual Violence: Ordinary Voices and the Irish Civil War” – a new film by Mná100 – with Professor Lindsey Earner-Byrne                   
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin welcomes a new short film by Mná100 and Professor Lindsey Earner-Byrne, titled ‘Mary M. and Sexual Violence: Ordinary Voices and the Irish Civil War’, as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023.  As we begin the final year of the Decade of Centenaries Programme, Lindsey Earner-Byrne, Professor of Gender at University College Cork, looks at the topic of violence against women, in January 1923, during the dark days of the Irish Civil War. In this specially created centenary short film, she focuses on a first-hand account – an eight page letter, which she discovered in the Dublin Diocesan Archives in the 1990s.  
Minister Martin said: As Mná100 examines women’s experiences during the Decade of Centenaries, the Civil War has emerged as a particularly important part of that history. This new short film builds on that important scholarship by focusing on a powerful and harrowing first-hand account written by Mary M. about her personal experience of sexual violence during the Civil War. The film and the transcription of Mary M.’s letter, can be found on Mná100.ie, together with a range of source material that has been created by other scholars on this topic. These additional readings and sources can be explored to deepen our understanding of this difficult and challenging subject matter. I encourage the discourse on this important topic to continue beyond the centenary period. I would like to acknowledge the important work of Professor Earner-Byrne and all of the historians, and custodians of material who help us understand more fully the lives of people who lived during this conflict – civilians, as well as military leaders and politicians. This approach has been a cornerstone of our exploration of the period 1912-1923.  
As Lindsey Earner-Byrne states in the film, this is a ‘very unusual first-hand account’. The letter which gives us this unique insight, was, in fact, written ‘to silence an account of what had happened to her.’  Using Mary’s own words, Lindsey Earner-Byrne skilfully examines the deeply moving contents of this letter which reveal that Mary M. was raped. The birth of Mary’s son was a result of that rape. These events led her to write this letter the following year to the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Edward Joseph Byrne, requesting the money she needed to have her son adopted, as official adoption was not in place in Ireland until the 1950s. Personal accounts such as letters and diaries detailing rape are rare.  As Lindsey Earner-Byrne describes: ‘when we encounter rape it is usually in the official records’. The testimony of Mary M., combined with, Lindsey Earner-Byrne’s thoughtful historical analysis, makes this a very compelling piece. The context of the Irish Civil War and how the new State’s justice system and policing force were not yet in place are explained.  Morality and religious beliefs are also described, in a masterclass format, which respectfully looks at this most intimate and difficult of subject matters.  As Lindsey Earner-Byrne brings us through the ‘detailed reading of one person,’ we hear the unfiltered words of Mary M, so eloquent in her own testimony. Her account is overlaid by Lindsey Earner-Byrne, explaining the context… that Mary did not write the letter to seek ‘justice or an understanding of the consequences of the rape’. In this piece, through the words of Mary M., we gain an understanding of how male sexuality was perceived through the Catholic teaching of that time. Lindsey Earner-Byrne documents how this view on male sexuality lasted well into the 20th century, as she gives an understanding of the context of the events of 1923 and the decades that followed. 

The Irish Revolution Project  A new set of articles were released as part of this ongoing project.  

3. Podcasts                       

The American Room                    
A radio play               
A one-act radio play written and produced by Clones poet and author Ted McCarthy.  It is 1966, and Jimmy Finnegan is making the return journey across the Atlantic, almost fifty years after he left in a hurry and under a cloud.  Back to a town where commemoration and memory are uneasy bedfellows, and ghosts inhabit the past and present.  Starring Jerry Anselmo, Geraldine Zechner, Ciaran Morgan, Harry Cleary, Will Govan, Elizabeth Monahan, and David Welch. Edited by David Nicholl.  You can easily access ‘The American Room’ through Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Deezer, CastBox, PodChaser & iHeartRadio. This project was commissioned by Monaghan County Libraries, funded by The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under The Community Strand of the 2022 Decade of Centenaries Programme.
LISTEN HERE                 

The Irish Story  The Irish Story is a digital publisher of informed and accessible Irish history content that tackles important issues in Irish History and explains them for a general audience.The website features interesting articles, book reviews, audio interviews and pieces on topical events written by a range of authors and contributors, all for free. 

The Anti-Treaty strikes back  
In this podcast, author and historian Eoin Swithin Walsh recounts how anti-Treaty forces struck back in Kilkenny in late 1922.’December 1922 was a pivotal month in the Civil War. It looked like the Free State Army were fully in the driving seat. However, in the middle of December, the anti-Treaty IRA hit-back. It was in direct response to the executions of four anti-Treaty leaders in Dublin on 8 December. Free State HQ in Kilkenny, led by Commandant Prout, was hit by the capture of four barracks in the division; Carrick-on-Suir, Callan, Mullinavat and Thomastown; along with the capture of the Coon outpost barracks. The anti-Treaty forces were led by well-known names of the independence era; Tom Barry, Dinny Lacey, Bill Quirke and Ned Aylward. However, the captures were masterminded by Callan man, Ned Somers. He was in the Free State Army but defected to the anti-Treaty side. The three Kilkenny barracks, including all the weapons, were captured without a single shot being fired, which was a real embarrassment to the Free States authorities. Find out what happened during this dramatic month in this podcast.’            LISTEN HERE  

Marú in Íarthar Chorcaí (Murder in West Cork)  
Documentary shown on TG4, 9.30pm, Wednesday 7 December 2022 and History Ireland podcast discussing the documentary.  Over two nights in April 1922, thirteen Protestant men were shot dead in West Cork.  According to Peter Hart’s 1998 book The IRA and its enemies, they were shot because they were Protestants— sectarian killings carried out by members of the IRA—and ‘the nationalist revolution had also been a sectrian one’.  Hart’s controversial conclusions sparked a ‘history war’ that has raged ever since.  Prior to the programme being aired, History Ireland editor Tommy Graham discussed the documentary with Brian Hanley, Simon Kingston, Eve Morrison and Jerry O’Callaghan. 
Brian Hanley is Assistant Professor in Twentieth-Century Irish History at Trinity College, Dublin, and author of Republicanism, crime and paramilitary policing in Ireland, 1916–2020 (Cork University Press, 2022). 
Simon Kingston is co-founder of the West Cork History Festival. 
Eve Morrison is Visiting Research Fellow in the Centre for Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College, Dublin, and author of Kilmichael: the life and afterlife of an ambush (Irish Academic Press, 2022). 
Jerry O’Callaghan is the producer (with Michael Heney) and presenter of Marú in Íarthar Chorcaí

Roscommon a century ago: community, continuity and change As part of the Decade of Centenaries 2022 Roscommon Library hosted three exciting new online talks. Each of the talks focused on different aspects of the history and heritage of County Roscommon in the 1900-30 period. LISTEN BACK HERE                                               

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