9 October: History Festival selection

October 9, 2020

So, our weekly round-up has become more of a fortnightly one - but hey, that just means more good material to watch, listen to and read.

We were shocked to see images of the fire at the former Convent of Mercy in Skibbereen - the roof was destroyed and much else besides. The Skibbereen Heritage Centre has an excellent article by Philip O'Regan on its website telling the history of the Convent up until the fire last week.

The website Atlas Obscura recently featured Festival-contributor Connie Kelleher in a fascinating article on an always intriguing theme - West Cork and pirates. Connie has just published a book on the subject (the cover is shown below) which we can highly recommend.

From piratical adventures to delayed ferries .....  the Ports Past & Present blog featured another Festival contributor, Claire Connolly of UCC, writing about Jonathan Swift's unhappy stay in Holyhead in 1727 which inspired him to write: "Lo here I sit at Holy Head, With muddy ale and mouldy bread"

An attention-grabbing title for this article on RTE Brainstorm - What has the British army ever done for us ? written by Jim Deery. Discuss.…. 

Another subject intimately connected with the Irish experience of empire was discussed on RTE Drivetime at the end of September - the repatriation of colonial-era artefacts from museums in Britain and Ireland. Hear it here.

Ireland, Empire and the Sea was the subject of the History Ireland Hedge School recorded especially for our 2020 Digital Festival. It has now had over 600 listens. Hear it, and many more Hedge Schools, via the History Ireland website.

Ambassador Dan Mulhall, who has spoken at two of our festivals, wrote this blog on the DFA website about the visit of Frederick Douglass to Ireland in 1845-6. Douglass was a notable campaigner against slavery and had himself been born into slavery.

Finally PRONI (the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland) hosts all sorts of interesting talks on its YouTube channel on many serious historical and archival topics, and some less serious. 'Samson and Banana: Circus Stories of Belfast and Ireland' was one that caught our eye!