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Centenaries 1912-1923 News

Dublin Castle, Ulysses & apartheid South Africa

One hundred years ago this week the British handed over Dublin Castle to the Provisional Government. There have been many events and features to mark this including interesting pieces from The Irish Story written by John Dorney here and by John Gibney on the RTE website entitled “The Castle has fallen”. History Ireland’s podcast on the handover of power – which includes Festival contributor Edward Madigan – is definitely worth a listen and can be heard on their website. Our featured image shows Michael Collins and others at the Castle after the handover and is courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.

There’s a hugely significant literary anniversary this year – 100 years since the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses. This week Festival contributor Ambassador Dan Mulhall took part in a discussion about Joyce’s great work on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book programme, along with novelist Colm Toibin. There is also the newly launched Ulysses 100 digital platform developed by the Museum of Literature in Dublin (MoLI), in partnership with the Irish government which will promote and collect information on events relating to the centenary.

Moving to a completely different period of time and a very different location, the Irish Times profiled Michael Harmel. Harmel was born in South Africa to Irish parents and became a leading anti-apartheid activist. He eventually fled into exile, dying in Prague in 1974.

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Centenaries 1912-1923 News

There’s no escaping…

It was the centenary of the Anglo-Irish Treaty this week. There was so much excellent content, we can’t begin to summarise it all here but there were a few things which caught our eye (and ear). RTE Radio 1 reported from outside Hans Place in London’s Knightsbridge, the headquarters of the the Irish delegates, with historians Heather Jones and Maurice Walsh, at about two hours into the programme. The always excellent Creative Centenaries website has an article by Festival contributor Dr Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid on the road to the Treaty, while the Treaty itself has gone on public display for the first time since it was signed, at Dublin Castle in a National Archives exhibition entitled The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives.

Meanwhile, lots of other interesting content that’s not connected to the Decade of Centenaries…

The Irish Story featured this fascinating post by Barry Sheppard on Che Guevara and the Irish. Guevara had Irish ancestry, descended from one Patrick Lynch from Galway, but his image has become very significant particularly in Northern Ireland where he is associated with Irish republicanism. Sheppard explores how Guevara has been represented in Irish newspapers over the decades since his execution in 1967.

I was lucky enough to recently visit the Rembrandt In Print exhibition at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork where you can see 50 of the artist’s etchings and drypoints on loan from the Ashmolean. If you can’t visit the Crawford, you can see a virtual tour of the exhibition here. The exhibition closes on 9 January.

The Irish archaeologist George Eogan died recently. Best known for his 40 years of excavation at the Neolithic passage tomb of Knowth in Co Meath, his obituary in the Irish Times tells of a life in archaeology.

And finally, the Examiner had an interview recently with Lindsay Earner-Byrne, the country’s first Professor of Irish Gender History, at UCC in which she observes: “Women’s history has demonstrated that silence makes a noise all of its own and that we should be trained to hear it.”

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Centenaries 1912-1923 News

Eithne Coyle, Eileen Gray & Knockdrum Stone Fort

Leading Irish republican Eithne Coyle was featured recently on the BBC website. She was one of the few women who used a gun during the War of Independence, speaking about her experiences to the Bureau of Military History – read more here. The image above shows Eithne (centre) at rifle practice at an IRA training camp in Carlow in 1922.

The wonderful designer Eileen Gray was included in an article in the Guardian about house museums this week. Her villa E-1027 in the south of France was featured alongside the houses of photographer Lee Miller (Sussex), architect Luis Barragán (Mexico City), Kawai Kanjirō (Kyoto) and sculptor JB Blunk (California).

The Irish Aesthete’s blog featured the sad story of Drum Manor in Co Tyrone, rebuilt from an earlier house in 1829 and demolished in 1975. The image below from the blog and further information about the house can be found on the Archiseek website.

Yesterday was International Archaeology Day and to mark this, we were re-reading some of the excellent posts on archaeology on the Roaringwater Journal blog, including two about Knockdrum Stone Fort near us in West Cork: one on the Fort itself and another on the man who excavated it, Henry Boyle Somerville, younger brother of writer Edith Somerville.

And finally, as part of the Decade of Centenaries commemorative programme Cork County Council is undertaking a project to audit commemorative memorials across Cork, including memorials relating to the Irish revolutionary period. The public is asked to submit details of sites in their locality to commemorations@corkcoco.ie. Click here to see the Project Statement. Click here for the Survey Form.

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Centenaries 1912-1923 News

The Anglo-Irish Treaty

This week we’re highlighting a number of events coming up focused on the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed in December 1921, and the negotiations leading up to it.

There’s an interesting series of talks at the National Archives, many online, relating to events 100 years ago in the lead up to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. These include Festival contributor Marie Coleman in conversation with Michael Portillo, former British politician who has presented programmes for RTÉ on the centenaries of the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the creation of Northern Ireland. Tickets can be booked here.

If you are in London, the Irish Embassy is hosting an exhibition and talks focused on the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921. The exhibition is called The Art Of Negotiation: John Lavery’s Anglo Irish Treaty Portraits and shows portraits of 14 Irish and British political figures who were involved in the negotiations, on loan to the Embassy from Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery, National Gallery of Ireland and Áras an Uachtaráin.

John Lavery, The Ratification of the Irish Treaty in the English House of Lords, 1921. National Gallery of Ireland

The National Museum has a good online feature about the Truce & the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations here with some interesting photos.

Finally, and not in any way related to the Decade of Centenaries, a new website has been launched dedicated to architecture & design events all over Ireland – Ireland Architecture Diary.

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2021 Centenaries 1912-1923 Free Event Friday West Cork Histories

Sean Boyne: The Execution of Bridget Noble

Fri Aug 6

The Execution of Bridget Noble – Sean Boyne

Sean is a retired journalist and a former political correspondent with The Sunday World. His book explores what happened to Bridget Noble, one of only two women known to have been disappeared by the IRA during the 1920s.

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2021 Centenaries 1912-1923 empire Free Event Saturday

Donal Lowry: Everything that Touches Ireland….

Sat Aug 7

"Everything that touches Ireland finds an echo in the remotest parts of the Empire": The Dominion Dimensions of the Anglo-Irish Settlement, c. 1916-1922 ​- Dr Donal Lowry

Donal Lowry is a Senior Member of Regent’s Park College in the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has been an editor of the Journal of Southern African Studies and has published on the history of southern Africa, the Commonwealth, and Ireland’s relationship with the British Empire.

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2021 Centenaries 1912-1923 Free Event Friday West Cork Histories

Flor MacCarthy: A family on both sides

Fri Aug 6

A family on both sides of the 1921 Rosscarbery RIC barracks attack – Flor MacCarthy.

Mark Hennessy, News Editor of the Irish Times, joins Flor to discuss her family’s experiences and the wider context.

Flor comments: “One hundred years ago, (March 30th 1921), two of my granduncles’ paths crossed in the famous attack which obliterated the RIC Barracks in Rosscarbery, Co. Cork. Sgt Ambrose (O’)Shea (46), my mother’s uncle, a father of 3 young sons, was killed instantly in the 400lb bomb blast. Jer Mac (24), my father’s uncle, known as ‘The Dauntless Man’ had quit his medical studies at UCC to join Tom Barry’s Flying Column, old IRA. He became Vice-Commandant of the 4th Battalion, 3rd West Cork Brigade and was one of those involved in the attack. Fierce fighting raged until dawn, when the garrison surrendered, the barracks ablaze.

The RIC lost two men that night, Sgt Ambrose (O’) Shea and twenty-two year old Constable Charles Bowles from Kent. It’s believed a third man, Constable Kinsella died of his injuries some time later, and 9 other RIC officers were injured. The death toll rose again the morning after the attack when a grenade exploded accidentally killing twenty-seven year old George Allen Wilson, a 60 year old local farmer, Patrick Collins from Derryduff, and a four year old child, Cornelius Francis Fitzpatrick from The Square, Rosscarbery.  The IRA suffered no casualties.

Ambrose was buried in secret in Baltimore where he’d been living; his wife & children left West Cork. Jer Mac left too, for the USA, never to return. Three decades later, just before a visit ‘home’ he was killed in Trenton, New Jersey. The two men had never met; they didn’t know eachother. With my parents’ marriage in the ‘50s, the families united; we’re the link between Ambrose & Jer – our granduncles…”.

Flor MacCarthy is a broadcast journalist who presents political debates on Oireachtas TV (Irish parliamentary TV) interviewing politicians and academics in Ireland and abroad. A former news reporter and presenter with RTÉ, she contributed to a variety of current affairs and arts programming across the RTÉ schedule. Freelancing these days and with a passion for history, she has worked on several events in the Decade of Centenaries. Flor is from Skibbereen and lives in Dun Laoghaire.

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2021 Centenaries 1912-1923 Free Event

Partition: Panel Discussion

Sat, Aug 7 2021 4.00pm Panel Discussion: When did Partition happen? with Professor Paul Bew, Dr Niamh Gallagher and Dr Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid

Lord Bew (Paul) is Emeritus Professor of Politics in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University Belfast.  He has served as an independent Crossbench Life Peer since 2007, currently as Chair of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. He has previously acted as historical advisor to the Bloody Sunday Tribunals, served as advisor to David Trimble and made extensive contributions to the Good Friday Agreement process.  He is an honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge and Member of Royal Irish Academy (MRIA).

Dr Niamh Gallagher is University Lecturer in Modern British and Irish History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St Catharine’s College. She is the author of Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History (Bloomsbury, 2020), which won the Royal Historical Society’s 2020 Whitfield Prize.  She lectures in the history of modern Britain and Ireland and convenes a range of courses across the undergraduate and postgraduate year groups. She is the co-editor of The Political Thought of the Irish Revolution with Professor Richard Bourke (forthcoming, CUP) and has written widely on the cultural and social history of the First World War. Her next major research project will be on the history of Ireland and the end of the British Empire. Niamh is currently a member of the Independent Historical Advisory Panel for Northern Ireland and leads The Mether Initiative at St Catharine’s College with Des Browne (The Rt Hon. the Lord Browne of Ladyton).

Dr Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Sheffield. She studied History and French at University College Cork, before undertaking an M.A. and Ph.D. at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2009-10 she was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast, and from 2010-2012 Rutherford Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. She works primarily on Irish history, in particular the Irish Revolution, and the history of political violence and terrorism since the nineteenth century. Currently she is turning her attention towards a cultural history of the Irish Revolution, focusing particularly on the history of emotions.

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2021 Centenaries 1912-1923 Free Event

Let’s talk about the Black and Tans: Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion: Let’s talk about the Black and Tans. How should the actions of Crown Forces be remembered and understood in Ireland and in the UK? with Professor Marie Coleman, Dr David Leeson, Dr Edward Madigan and Professor John Horne (Chair)

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2021 Centenaries 1912-1923 Free Event

Fergal Keane: What we choose to remember & how

Sun, Aug 8 6:00pm Closing Talk: What we choose to remember and how – Fergal Keane

Fergal Keane is a distinguished BBC foreign correspondent and writer. His 2017 book Wounds: A Memoir of Love & War looks at the experiences of his family in Kerry during the revolutionary period.