John Lavery, some remarkable women & the sinking of RMS Leinster

December 17, 2021

The National Museum at Collins Barracks has just opened a new exhibition to mark that signing, called Studio & State. It features Sir John Lavery’s paintings of the Treaty signatories from the Hugh Lane Gallery next to contemporary artefacts from the Museum's collection. There's a video from the launch here and it definitely looks worth a visit. The portrait above is of Arthur Griffith, courtesy of the Hugh Lane Gallery.

The always excellent blog of the Military Service Pensions Collections had a post on Catherine English, a member of Wexford the Town Branch of Cumann na mBan from 1916 until the end of the Civil War in 1923.

On the subject of women's place in history, Clodagh Finn wrote powerfully recently in the Examiner about their voices still being excluded from the official narrative. Her piece marked 100 years since Mary MacSwiney, TD for Cork City, spoke in the Dáil for 2 hours and 40 minutes about her opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed a few weeks before.

Last month we visited Carlow and came across the sad story of the Adelaide Memorial Church in Myshall, built by a father to remember two women very important to him - his daughter Constance, who was killed in a riding accident, and also his wife Adelaide. The Irish Times covered the story back in 2013.

And finally, the sinking of RMS Leinster in the Irish Sea in October 1918 resulted in huge loss of life, as the First World War was nearing its end. Here is a fascinating article by Festival contributor Claire Connolly, along with two colleagues, about the environmental dimensions of the sinking. This includes 3-D modelling of the wreck of the ship on the seabed.

Image courtesy of CWGC