September 2019 This is a mini follow up newsletter to let you know about four Festivals of History taking place over the next few weeks.

The Clare County Library Decade of Centenaries Week was covered in the last newsletter but is also included below as there is such a variety of events taking place.

In addition the Louth County Council Festival of History has a very impressive line-up of speakers covering topics such as the War of Independence in Louth, Ballykinlar, Irish women and the Revolution.

Kilkenny is also hosting a wide variety of speakers in various venues, covering the rescue at Knocklong, the Kilkenny Flying Columns and Military Pension Records.

Finally, another reminder that the Dublin City Council Festival of History will take place in October (with a few events on Mon 30th Sept). There is a link below to the website – the variety of talks, walks and exhibitions (all free) is phenomenal.

Clare County Library Decade of Commemorations History Week

Clare County Library have curated a series of events commemorating 1919 and the War of Independence in Count Clare.

These will take place in September in various locations throughout Clare.

The poster above gives all the dates and locations.

This initiative is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries programme.

Here is a breakdown of each of the events.

Saturday, 14th September 2019 History Ireland Hedge School:

‘The War of Independence in Co Clare: reassessment of David Fitzpatrick’s Politics and Irish Life 1913-1921: Provincial Experience of War and Revolution’

Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis at 2pm to 3.15pm

Clare County Library presents a History Ireland Hedge School, a lively round-table discussion featuring some well-known historians. The theme of this event arose from the untimely passing of Prof David Fitzpatrick (TCD) earlier this year. This provides an opportunity to reassess his ground-breaking 1977 local study of Co Clare which was to become the template for many similar local studies of the War of Independence.

How does it measure up to the intervening 42 years of scholarship, in particular the release of primary sources such as the Bureau of Military History and the Military Service Pensions Collection?

To discuss this and related matters join History Ireland editor Tommy Graham and Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc, Eve Morrison, Cécile Gordon and Tomás Mac Con Mara for a lively debate on the subject.

Free event but capacity will be limited. Contact the library for more information on (065) 6899082.

Friday 13th September – Friday 4th October 2019

Exhibition and Film Screening: ‘The Limerick Soviet: the General Strike of 1919’ in Shannon Public Library.

In April 1919, a general strike took place in Limerick City where for two weeks, workers took over the city controlling food production, prices and even creating their own currency. The story began with the attempted rescue of Robert Byrnes who died in Meelick of injuries sustained in the attempt. Martial law was imposed after his funeral and the unions voted for a general strike in protest. This series of panels developed by Watch House Cross Library in Limerick tell the story of the Soviet.

A screening of the documentary ‘The Limerick Soviet’ will take place on Friday, 13 Sept at 6.30pm.

Free exhibition during library opening hours. Contact the library for more information on (061) 364266.

In April this year a festival marking the centenary of the Limerick Soviet took place, for more information visit here.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019

Lecture: ‘Guerrilla War in Clare’ by Dr. Joe Power
DeValera Public Library, Ennis at 6.30pm

Dr Joe Power is a historian who specialises in local history with many published titles to his name on various aspects of Clare history including World War One. His next book will be based on the War of Independence. This talk will explore the War of Independence in Co Clare and the guerrilla aspect of the conflict.

Free lecture. All are welcome. Contact the library for more information on (065) 6846353.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019

Drama: ‘Greyhound on a Train’ with Carnation Theatre
DeValera Library, Ennis at 1pm and Shannon Library at 6pm
A War of Independence story that no one has told. This play is a jolt back in time to a turbulent period in Irish history. Meet four women, not ordinary women, but fighters in a struggle to achieve Irish independence. Never mind your Countesses or your Maud Gonnes, it’s time to hear about these women – Elizabeth Bloxham, teacher, pamphleteer, rabble rouser, radicaliser, Peg Flanagan – waitress, gun runner, spy and witness to Bloody Sunday, Josephine Stallard – doctor, dispatcher, whirlwind romancer, Bridget Fitzpatrick – a central figure in the ambushes at Knocklong and Soloheadbeg. A telegram from her that read ‘Greyhound on Train’ was instrumental in securing the escape of Seán Hogan in the famous ambush at Knocklong.
This drama is based on the real testimonies of these four extraordinary women interspersed with songs and drama.

Free event. All are welcome. Contact the library for more information – Ennis at (065) 6846353 and Shannon at (061) 364266.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019

Lecture: “By heavens, Joe, but there are great men in Ireland still”: Commandant Joseph Barrett (1888-1971)
by Dr Paul O’Brien
Kilrush Public Library at 6.30pm

A talk on the recently discovered Archive of Joe Barrett from Moore Street in Kilrush. Barrett was part of a well-known Clare family and a member of the IRB and Irish Volunteers and served as a leader of the Mid Clare Brigade’s Flying Column during the War of Independence.

Paul will bring some documents from the archive to the talk.
Free lecture. All are welcome. Contact the library for more information on (065) 9051504.

Friday, 20th September 2019

Mike Hanrahan’s Clare: Songs of Independence: The Beginning

Kilrush Public Library at 1.15pm.

This show from Mike Hanrahan of Stockton’s Wing is based on the events and stories that created Irish songs of Independence in Clare. The Beginning focuses on 1919 – the First Dáil, the early days of the War of Independence, mobilisation and the emerging leaders. Research, writing and performance by Mike Hanrahan.

Free Event. All welcome. Further information from Kilrush Public Library at 065 9051504.

The Kilkenny Festival of History takes place over various locations, listed here:





Home Rule Club

Wednesday, 18th September Lecture by author Jim Maher, historian.

‘The rescue of Seán Hogan at the station of Knocklong – a sequel to Soloheadbeg’

Admission €5. Refreshments supplied. Tickets at the door.

Home Rule Club, No. 3 John’s Quay, Kilkenny 8.30pm

South Kilkenny Historical Society

Thursday, 26th September Lecture by Senator Ivana Bacik

‘An Immigrant Family’s Memories of South Kilkenny who helped shape a Modern Ireland’

Free Admission

Mullinavat Parish Hall (opposite the church), Co. Kilkenny 8pm
Thursday, 24th October Lecture by Mr William Murphy

‘The War of Independence archive of Tom Ryan’

Free Admission

Mullinavat Parish Hall, Co Kilkenny. 8pm

Library Lecture Series

Saturday, 28th September Lecture by Eoin Swithin Walsh, author & historian.

‘Kilkenny during 1919; the first year of the War of Independence’

Free Admission

First-come first-served basis.

City Library, Johns Quay, Kilkenny 11am
Saturday, 5th October Lecture by Robert McEvoy, archivist.

‘County Kilkenny in the Military service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection’

Free Admission

First-come first-served basis.

City Library, Johns Quay, Kilkenny 11am
Tuesday, 15th October Lecture by Catherine Marshall, art historian & curator.

‘From Revolution to Free State: The Visual Arts Response’

Free Admission

First-come first-served basis

City library, Johns Quay, Kilkenny 6.30pm
Tuesday, 5th November Lecture by Jim Maher, author & historian.

‘The Flying Column West Kilkenny 1916-1921’

Free Admission – First-come first-served basis

City Library, Johns Quay,

With a diverse range of speakers from the top of their fields, this Festival promises to be an exciting exploration of Irish history.

With a focus on the social and the political, the local and the national; the Festival will have something for every lover of history.

Talks will take place in every branch library in the county and will culminate in two day-long events in Dundalk Library and Museum on Friday, September 27th and Drogheda Library on Saturday, September 28th.

All talks are free to attend however pre-booking is essential.

The Festival brochure is available to download here.

Dublin Festival of History

Although it doesn’t officially start until 1st October, Dublin City Council’s Festival of History is such an extensive event that you’ll need a few weeks to plan your attendance at all the (FREE) events that take your fancy. Some events need to be booked in advance so don’t delay.

The programme booklet is available in Dublin City libraries and participating cultural institutions.

Alternatively you can check the events on the Hist Fest [website], where you can also download a pdf of the programme.

There is a talk on Monday 30th September which may be of particular interest to Decade of Centenaries followers:

IRISH NATIONALISM IN LONDON DURING THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE, 1919–1921: PROPAGANDA, GUN-RUNNING AND DIPLOMACY with Mary MacDiarmada, in Blanchardstown Library @ 6.30pm. Details here.

History Ireland subscribers you can now log in online and access the digital edition of the new magazine which is in shops now.

Michael Kennedy and John Gibney (Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy) discuss Irish neutrality during the Second World War.

Did you know that Clarke Gable played Parnell in a film about his life?

Compare loyalist and republican murals.

Learn about the economic impact of the Bruce Invasion.

And the ‘lively’ letters page.

Just some of the MANY treats available for you in the new edition.

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