June 2021

June 2021 
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 (some require registration)  
Northern Ireland Centenary Talks Programme 2021 NI Centenary Talks Programme 2021 
As part of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Centenary Programme, marking 100 years since the foundation of Northern Ireland, the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum have announced a new series of talks. The programme reflects on a range of Centenary-related themes, including history, sports, industry, the arts and identity, and features Dr Éamon Phoenix, Dr Cormac Moore, Roy Greer, Professor Steve Royle, Paula McFetridge and Professor Fearghal McGarry. Other speakers or events will be announced. The talks are free to attend, and will be hosted online at 7pm each evening. The remaining line-up includes: 17 June 2021 – Roy Greer – ‘What’s yours is mine, what’s mine is yours’: Ulster-Scots-Irish 23 June 2021 – Dr Steve Royle – ‘From the clanging of metal to the clinking of coin’: industry in Ulster 16 September 2021 – Paula McFetridge – ‘One Hundred Years of Northern Irish Arts’ 11 October 2021 – Professor Fearghal McGarry – The killing of Sir Henry Wilson: an Irish Tragedy 18 November 2021 – Stephen Watson and guests (tbc) – An evening with Stephen Watson: 100 years of sport in Northern Ireland 

To Register: You will need to register via Eventbrite to view the talks. An email with a link to the livestream will be sent out to attendees 24hrs prior to the talks taking place. Alternatively, if you are having difficulties with the booking process, or need assistance, then you can book the talks directly through reception. Please telephone 02892663377 or email [email protected] 
GDPR: The museum will use your contact details only to communicate with you via email about the talks.

Irish Military Seminar                
5th annual Irish Military Seminar The Kildare Decade of Commemorations Committee present the 5th annual Irish Military Seminar. The 2021 programme of free events is taking place online.  
The War of Independence, World War I, Strongbow and the extensive collections of the Military Archives are among the topics that feature in the 2021 programme which includes Zoom talks (see links below for free
registration) and some pre-recorded interviews with local County Kildare historians.
Please email [email protected] or phone 0873611439 if you require any further information. 
 Tuesday 8th June – 7.30pm (via Zoom)
‘The Military Archives Pensions Collections’ – Michael Keane (Military Archives)
Michael Keane is a civilian archivist with the Military Archives and has worked on the Military Archives Pensions Project since 2008. This talk will highlight the Military Services Pensions Collections, including many of the County Kildare men and women who feature.
 Thursday 10th June – 7.30pm (via Zoom)
‘Representing the Last Moments of Irish Revolutionaries in Museums’ – Dr Siobhán Doyle (National Museum of Ireland)
Siobhán Doyle works in the National Museum of Ireland, having previously worked in the GAA Museum and Glasnevin Cemetery Museum. She has a PhD in Museum Studies, concerning the material and visual culture of modern Ireland with particular focus on the role
of exhibition display in commemoration.
 Saturday 12th June – 7.30pm (Premiere of Pre-Recorded Interview)
‘The Life and Work of The War Cartoonist Bill Mauldin’ – Raphael Ryan in conversation with Margaret Rowe
Raphael Ryan, from Newbridge Local History Group, will detail the interesting life and work of the cartoonist Bill Mauldin, in conversation with Margaret Rowe.
This video will be available on Kildare Decade of Commemorations YouTube Channel and
Facebook page from 7.30PM on Saturday 12th June  
Tuesday 15th June – 7.30pm (Premiere of Pre-Recorded Interview)
‘Irish Servicewomen in the Great War: From Western Front to the Roaring Twenties’ – Dr Barbara Walsh in conversation with Margaret Scott
Kildangan based historian Barbara Walsh will highlight some of the interesting stories from her book on Irish Servicewomen in World War I in this pre-recorded conversation with Margaret Scott.
This video will be available on Kildare Decade of Commemorations YouTube Channel and
Facebook page from 7.30PM on Tuesday 15th June.  
Thursday 17th June – 7.30pm
Book Launch & Talk Remembrance: The World War I Dead of Co. Kildare & Talk by Ronan McGreevy (The Irish Times)
This important new publication from Kildare Decade of Commemorations (compiled and edited by Karel Kiely, James Durney and Mario Corrigan of Kildare Library& Arts Service) lists the over 750 men and three women from County Kildare who died in World War I.The book will be launched by the Cathaoirleach of Kildare County Council, Cllr. Mark Stafford.
The launch will be followed by a talk by journalist and author Ronan McGreevy, author of Wherever The Firing Line Extends: Ireland and the Western Front.
 Friday 18th June – 7.30pm
‘The Military Archives Oral History Collection’ – Noelle Grothier
Noelle Grothier is head of Private and Oral History Collections and has worked as a civilian
archivist in Military Archives since May 2008. She has responsibility for collections of private papers deposited in Military Archives by veterans and their families.
Saturday 19th June – 10.00am  ‘Strongbow and the Normans’ – Dr Conor Kostick
Conor Kostick teaches on the subject of crusades in Trinity College Dublin and is author of many books including Strongbow: The Norman Invasion of Ireland. This talk is based on his best-selling book, which explores colourful personalities and political twists and turns of this
tumultuous period in Irish history. Saturday 19th June – 11.00am
‘Rows and Ructions: military-civilian violence in Irish garrison towns’ – Dr Aoife Bhreathnach
Aoife Bhreatnach blogs on military barracks and the towns around them on http://irishgarrisontowns.com/. She is also author of Becoming Conspicuous: Irish Travellers, Society and the State, 1922-70 & hosts the podcast Censored Podcast @CensoredPod where she explores censored books in twentieth century Ireland.   
Saturday 19th June – 12.00pm
‘Guerilla Warfare During The War of Independence’ – Lorcan Collins
Lorcan Collins is founder of the 1916 Rising Walking Tour of Dublin, host of the ‘Revolutionary Ireland’ podcast and is author of several books on Ireland in the 1912-23
period including Ireland’s War of Independence 1919-1921The IRA’s Guerilla Campaign.
In this talk, Lorcan will highlight some of the key aspects of the IRA guerrilla campaign against Crown Forces during the War of Independence.

Conference: The Diaspora and the Irish Revolution, 1916-1923 Carlow College, St Patrick’s Research Hub will host a one-day conference on the theme of ‘The Diaspora and the Irish Revolution, 1916-1923’ which will take place on Friday, 11 June 2021 virtually via Zoom. As the Decade of Centenaries draws to a close, it is fitting to consider the role played by the Irish Diaspora during the Irish Revolutionary period and examine the impact that Irish emigrants and/or their descendants had on events in Ireland during this time.
REGISTER HERE                      

Talk at Crawford Art Gallery            
For those that tell no TalesThrough 60 photographic works, Dara McGrath explores the powerful living histories of those who lost their lives directly due to the Irish War of Independence. On June 17th he will be in conversation with Tanya Kiang, available *here*
AVAILABLE HERE                   

2. Exhibitions   
Kilmainham Gaol The Forgotten Ten The Forgotten Ten: The story of the War of Independence executions in Mountjoy Prison A War of Independence centenary exhibition at Kilmainham Gaol Museum As the War of Independence progressed throughout 1920 and 1921, twenty-four men were executed in Ireland by the British Administration. Fourteen were shot by military firing squad in counties Cork and Limerick, as both counties were under martial law at the time. In Dublin, however, where martial law did not apply, ten men were hanged in Mountjoy, which was a civilian prison. A new exhibition in Kilmainham Gaol Museum looks at these latter executions and the men who would become known as ‘The Forgotten Ten’ and was launched on 7 June, the centenary of the final two executions. Among the items on display are poignant last letters to loved ones, historic photographs and deeply personal items connected with the executed men. ‘The Forgotten Ten’ were: Kevin Barry (executed 1 November 1920), Patrick Moran, Thomas Whelan, Francis Flood, Bernard Ryan, Thomas Bryan and Patrick Doyle (executed 14 March 1921), Thomas Traynor (executed 25 April 1921) and Patrick Maher and Edmond Foley (executed 7 June 1921). Ranging in age from 18 to 40 years old, ‘The Forgotten Ten’ came from all over Ireland and from all sections of Irish society. Some had wives and children, while others were young men starting out in life. All had been court-martialled by the British military, charged with crimes such as murder, treason and levying war, and were sentenced to death. Their executions made international news and some would become household names. The description of them as ‘The Forgotten Ten’ did not refer to how they were remembered, but rather that they remained buried behind the high walls of Mountjoy Prison until their reinternment in Glasnevin Cemetery in 2001.  Among the items featured in the exhibition is a statue of the Virgin Mary held by Frank Flood at his execution [see above], and a shirt and collar returned to Thomas Traynor’s family by the prison authorities along with a box containing sixteen unsmoked cigarettes. One of the most moving artefacts is a box of chocolates originally given to Thomas Whelan by Lester Collins, one of the Black and Tans guarding him in Mountjoy. Whelan in turn gave them to 8-year-old Alicia Mann, his landlady’s daughter. He said that they would eat them together if he was reprieved, but if he was not, she was to eat them all herself. Alicia Mann kept the unopened box of chocolates for the rest of her life. The exhibition also includes many of the letters and poems written by the men in the run-up to their execution. Writing to his father-in-law, Dick Glynn, on 25 February 1921, Thomas Bryan expressed his worry about how his wife, who was pregnant with their first child, would take the news of his upcoming execution. He wrote “its [sic] our women who suffer the most.” Bryan had been held in Kilmainham Gaol prior to being transferred to Mountjoy, as had some of the other men, including Patrick Moran. Moran was part of the group who planned the famous escape from Kilmainham on 14 February 1921, but decided to stay behind at the last minute and face his trial. Included in the exhibition is the razor he used in Kilmainham and Mountjoy. He gave it to a fellow prisoner before he was hanged, saying “I don’t want this where I am going.” 
Speaking about the exhibition, the Kilmainham Gaol Museum Collections Curator, Brian Crowley, said: “This exhibition on ‘The Forgotten Ten’ features some of the most poignant and moving objects in the Kilmainham Gaol Museum collection. Set against the wider background of the War of Independence, these artefacts tell personal stories of unbearable loss and sadness. Some of them also reveal how, even in the midst of a bitter conflict, acts of kindness and human connection can still occur.”  
History Ireland article about Frank Flood *here*
EXHIBITION DETAILS HERE                           

Spike Island ‘Imprisoning a Nation’ A new exhibition entitled ‘Imprisoning a Nation’, which tells the story of the 1921 prisoners held on Spike Island during Ireland’s War of Independence, has been opened by Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley. The exhibition, which is funded by Cork County Council’s Commemorations Committee and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and media, tells the story of the 1200 men held on the island for their Republican activities in 1921. Ireland was engaged in a bloody struggle for independence, and common law completely broke down in the 6 counties of Munster and Wexford and Kilkenny. The situation was so bad that the British authorities declared Martial Law, or Military Law, to restore order. Thousands were arrested and convicted of ‘levying war against the King’, while thousands more interred without trial.  Many would see the inside of Spike Islands notorious fortress, which had been used as a prison during the time of Oliver Cromwell, and again during the famine years, when the fort became the largest known prison in the world, with 2300 convicts. The exhibition contains a number of new artefacts donated by the families of the men held on the island. These include coins shaped into badges and pins, prisoner carved wooden artefacts, and there are several diaries and autograph books kept by the men. These detail what life was like for the prisoners and internees, and share their feelings towards the struggle, their incarceration and daily life. A stunning and fortunate new find was an old audio cassette recording, made in the 1980’s, of 1921 Spike Island internee Jeremiah Herlihy, who details daily life in the prison, and recalls the hunger strike and a prisoner shooting. The exhibition is the culmination of over a decade of research by the island heritage team, and in particular historian Tom O’Neill who has worked on the island since the 1990’s. Regular enquires about the lives of the men held on the island in 1921 led Mr O’Neill to begin researching the details of the men held on the island, which is kept in locations like Dublin and London. After ten years of research, the names and imprisonment details of 99% of the 1200 rebels are now available to see on the island, searchable by name, county, trial and other details. 
The exhibition ‘Imprisoning a Nation’ will run until the end of 2021 before it will join the island’s permanent ‘Independence’ exhibition, which details the road to Irish freedom from 1914 to 1922, and the islands role in that journey.  Spike Island was used to train British troops in the early years of World War one, and the crew of the gunrunning ship the Aud were held there during the failed attempt to arm the Easter Rising.  Organisers Austin Stack and Con Collins were also held on the island. The island’s use as a prison in 1921 is now well documented, and the island was an intrinsic part of the Treaty negotiations as one of three ‘Treaty Ports’, controversially retained by the British until 1938. Winston Churchill, who visited Cork Harbour in 1912, proclaimed the forts ‘the sentinel towers of the defences of Western Europe’, and fought tooth and nail to retain them in 1921, and again in 1938.  He was unsuccessful on the second occasion, and Spike Island returned to Irish control in a ceremony held on July 11th, 1938.  
EXHIBITION DETAILS HERE                                          

3. Podcasts   The burning of the Custom House,25 May 1921  On 25 May 1921, Dublin’s Custom House, headquarters of the Local Government Board of Ireland, was occupied and then burnt in an operation involving over 100 IRA volunteers. It has long been regarded as a propaganda coup but a military disaster for the IRA. But are either of these assumptions correct? Did it disrupt British administration? Did it disable Dublin’s IRA subsequently?
What does it tell us about how the IRA conducted operations in an urban environment?
Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham in discussion with Joe Connell, John Dorney, Liz Gillis and Bill Kautt.

For those currently watching ‘The Road to Partition’ these two podcasts will give some extra context:           

 1. A history of partition from the 1920 Government of Ireland Act to Brexit  While the constitutional outcomes of the revolutionary period have evolved over time, one has remained constant over the past century—partition. While a previous Hedge School in December 2020 examined how that came about in 1920/21 this discussion will focus on its effects over the following century, up to and including the uncertainly caused by Brexit and growing calls for a border poll on Irish unity. Tune in to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Paul Bew, Brian Hanley, Martin Mansergh, and Margaret O’Callaghan.
This Hedge School supported by the National Library.     

2.The Government of Ireland Act 1920 – 100 years of partition Originally conceived as a ‘temporary’ amendment to the Third Home Rule Act, on the statute book since 1914, the 1920 Government of Ireland Act was presciently derided by the Freeman’s Journal as ‘the Dismemberment of Ireland Bill’—partition was the only element of it to endure.  How did it come about and what were its effects over the following century?  Listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, discuss these questions with Dr Martin Mansergh, Cormac Moore, Dr Margaret O’Callaghan and Professor Brian Walker. This Hedge School is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Mediaunder the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative
AVAILABLE HERE                 

5. Publications New 
History Ireland issue out this month – available in newsagents or by subscription *hereHistorian Tom O’Neill has undertaken his latest publication; a look at Spike Island and the 1000 plus Republican prisoners and internees held there in 1921. ‘Spike Island’s Republican Prisoners, 1921’ describes the background to the prison, the escapes, hunger strike and the riots that took place, as well as the fatal shooting of two internees. This is the first comprehensive history of individuals and events on Spike Island during that turbulent year.  

 Grace O’Keeffe

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