Ireland and the League of Nations

Sunday, 10 September, marks the centenary of the admission of the Irish Free State into the League of Nations. This event is of particular significance as the new State took its place on the world stage and it was highlighted by the EAG as being a fitting and uplifting conclusion to the Decade of Centenaries Programme. The following events have been planned to mark this significant centenary.

Irish Labour History Society: Visions of Labour and Class in Ireland and Europe Conference

14-17 September: Organised by the Irish Labour History Society the programme will include a focus on two key centenary moments relevant to this year’s Decade of Centenaries Programme – the admission of the Irish Free State into the League of Nations and membership of the International Labour Organisation. 

Tickets are available through the following link: https://www.irishlabourhistorysociety.com/conference-23/conference-23-tickets/

Or to view online: Visions of Labour and Class in Ireland and Europe Conference, September 23 Tickets, Thu 14 Sep 2023 at 14:30 | Eventbrite

The National Archives of Ireland and Department of Foreign Affairs: Publication and Exhibition

In conjunction with the DFA and the RIA, the National Archives has prepared an international travelling exhibition, two panel discussions and an accompanying book to mark the centenary.

The exhibition will be shown in multiple locations to facilitate full public engagement including the National Ploughing Championships (19-21 September), Dublin Festival of History (29 September- 1 October), the United Nations Office in Geneva (25 September-6 October 2023) and in the Visitors’ Lobby, United Nations Headquarters in New York (20 November-1 December 2023). There will also be a Culture Night Exhibition in the National Archives, Bishop Street, on Friday, 22 September, more information can be found here.

The first panel discussion; An international gift that was never presented – The Geneva Window, is on Saturday, 30 September at 1.00pm, Dublin Festival of History, Printworks, Poddle Room. The Cosgrave administration officially asked renowned stained glass artist Harry Clarke to design a window as Ireland’s present to the International Labour Office building in Geneva in 1927. Dr. John Gibney and Dr. Roisin Kennedy will join Aoife Bhreathach in a discussion about the work of Harry Clarke, the commissioning of the window and how the censorship of literature impacted on the visual content and the attitudes of the people who commissioned the window’s creation.

On an Equal Footing with All, Ireland at the League of Nations 1923-1946, the second panel discussion, will take place on Tuesday, 3 October at 7.00pm in the Royal Irish Academy. Chaired by Rory Montgomery, with historians Dr. Michael Kennedy and Dr. John Gibney, RIA, this panel discussion is on Ireland’s entry to the League of Nations, its presence in Geneva from its early beginnings to the final years leading up to the League’s dissolution in 1946.

The publication, On an Equal Footing with All, Ireland at the League of Nations 1923-1946, can be purchased through the RIA website here from October and will be officially launched in September in the United Nations Offices in New York and in the RIA on 03 October at 7.00pm.

An Post Stamp Programme

An Post will release a new national stamp on Thursday, 07 September, marking the centenary of Ireland’s admittance to the League of Nations. The stamp will be available at all main post offices, Dublin’s GPO or online at irishstamps.ie.

Hedge School: www.historyireland.com/hedge-schools/

The Department has supported History Ireland in producing an annual programme of Hedge Schools. The popular podcast will conclude its 2023 programme in September. ‘Taking her place amongst the nations of the earth?’ will explore the extent to which the Irish Free State’s membership of the League of Nations realises Robert Emmet’s ambition. 

New Mná 100 Podcast:

A new podcast will be launch early next week on Mná 100, to mark the centenary. The webpage can be found here: www.mna100.ie.

This podcast will look at Ireland, the League of Nations, and the International Labour Organization. Professor Mary Daly will discuss how these and other international organisations advanced women in the labour force and explore how these organisations were the most important international space for Irish Ministers and Civil Servants in the 1920s and 1930s.  The podcast will discuss the Irish Trade Union Congress and the International Labour Organisation, with a special focus on the Irish Women’s Workers Union in the same period. A balanced approach will be taken, featuring an interview with Robert Emmet’s descendants who will reflect on Ireland taking her place among the nations of the world, as the Decade of Centenaries ends.

Community-Led Initiatives:

Under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries Programme the following initiatives are being supported with funding from our Department.

Westmeath County Council is planning to mark this significant centenary with a number of events.  This weeks’ blog by guest author, Dr John Gibney, can be found here: https://bit.ly/44zGIpn. Dr Gibney will also give two talks in Westmeath Library, Athlone one on Tuesday, 17 October, at 11.00am for schools groups and another to the general public on Thursday, 19 October, at 6.30pm. Westmeath Libraries advertise their events on this link here.

Longford County Council will host a lecture in Longford Library at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 19 September, by Professor Michael Kennedy to close their county’s Decade of Centenaries Programme.

Limerick City and County Council are planning an online exhibition titled, The League of Nations – Ireland Takes Her Place Among the Nations of the World, to be launched in mid-October.  This project is being managed by Limerick Museum https://www.limerick.ie/limerick-museum.

Leave a Comment