Tuesday 9 November, 7pm
Speaker: Professor Colum Kenny, Professor Emeritus Dublin City University
Join Professor Colum Kenny as he looks at the remarkable relationship between Arthur Griffith and W.B. Yeats, in the context of Griffith’s reputation.
Founder of Sinn Féin, Chairman of the Treaty delegation and President of Dáil Éireann, Arthur Griffith was a moving force in Irish culture and politics. But, after his sudden death in 1922, his reputation suffered at the hands of Frank Pakenham (later Lord Longford) and W.B. Yeats, among others. Griffith’s objections to Synge’s Playboy of the Western World have been mocked, while Yeats’s accusation of ‘hysterical pride’ concealed an earlier relationship with Griffith that benefited Yeats. A biographer of Griffith, Kenny suggests that in the theatre of politics Griffith’s early demise meant that the man whom Michael Collins reportedly dubbed ‘father of us all’ could be conveniently cast as foil or even villain.