Remembrance Conferences

The next decade will see a series of centenaries of key events in the history of modern Ireland, ranging from the Ulster Covenant, through the First World War and the 1916 Rising, to the foundation of the Irish and Northern Irish states.

Propaganda and Mobilisation

On 18 Novemer 2017, Universities Ireland, the all-island coordinating body for Ireland’s ten universities north and south, hosted the 6th annual conference in its Decade of Centenaries series. Following on from last year’s ‘Historians on 1916’ conference, the focus of this year’s session was propaganda and mobilisation. Following the 1916 Rising, Irish politics underwent a period of profound transformation between the summer of 1916 and the winter of 1918. A major element of this was the metamorphosis of the 1916 Rising from a military failure into a successful foundation narrative of a reconstituted, republicanised, and revolutionised Sinn Féin. Much of this work was undertaken by female activists within Cuman na mBan and the wider republican movement and subsequently by released republican prisoners.

Transformative Irish by-elections punctuated the period under consideration but there is much more to the transformation of Irish politics than elections in a phase which witnessed martial law, food scares, moral panics, and the constant spectre of conscription being extended to Ireland.

A propaganda war was fought between advocates of constitutional and physical force nationalism as well as between recruiters for the Crown Forces and the Irish Republican Army during this period. The efforts of Irish republican activists between the capitulation of the Easter 1916 rebels and the General Election of 1918 can be viewed through the prism of mobilisation. Likewise, British wartime propaganda in the same period intensified. This was a time when Ireland was unique within the United Kingdom by virtue of its exemption from conscription. By taking the themes of mobilisation and propaganda, this conference sought to explore the shifting dynamics of Irish society and politics during a period that is often eclipsed by the prominence of the Rising at one end and the War of Independence at the other. In between these two major military events was a battle for hearts and minds, a clash of ideology, and the daily struggle of life in wartime. Socially, politically, and culturally, this year’s Universities Ireland Conference explored the complexities of this often-overlooked yet highly significant transitional phase in the long history of Ireland’s revolutionary decade.

Speakers included: Dr John Borgnovo, Lecturer, University College Cork; Dr William Murphy, Lecturer, Dublin City University;Dr Aidan Beatty, Lecturer, Wayne State University, Detroit; Dr Conor Mulvagh, University College Dublin; Prof Mary McAuliffe, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies,  University College Dublin; Dr Leanne Blaney, Lecturer, History, University College Dublin; Dr Daithí Ó Corráin, Lecturer, History and Geography, Dublin City University; Dr Ida Milne, IRC Marie Curie Elevate Fellow, Maynooth University and Dr Margaret Ward.

All of the presentations as well as the recordings of the speakers are available below.

To View PROGRAMME please click here

Presentations:

Aidan Beatty – Masculinity, Race and Nationalist Propaganda, 1916-1923

Ailbhe Rogers – The welfare of Irish political prisoners in Dundalk Gaol in the aftermath of Thomas Ashe’s death, Oct 1917 – Jul 1918

Conor Heffernan – From Bloom to Battle. Tracing Ireland’s Early Physical Culture Movement

Conor Mulvagh – Manufacturing Consensus. Polite society, policy and the Irish Convention

Daithi Ó Corráin – Dissension, defection and denouement, the National Volunteers 1916-17

Dara Folan – Town & Gown’ in post Rising Ireland

Gerri ONeill – How national aid made propaganda pay

Ida Milne – The German Plot and the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, a perfectly Propagandic disease

Leanne Blaney – Cars, canvassing and conveyance during the 1918 General Election

Margaret Ward – Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and the propaganda war in America 1917-1918

Mary McAuliffe – “Post-Rising Propaganda and Republican womanhood as the ‘heroic subordinate”

Shane Browne – The National Volunteers: the power of political notables in mobilising the masses?

William Murphy – Prisons, Prisoners and Mobilising Protest, 1916-1918

Recordings:

Intoduction

Dr Aidan Beatty

Dr Mary McAuliffe

Dr John Borgnovo

Questions

Dr Daithi O Corrain

Introduction & Shane Browne

Conor O’Neill

Gerri O’Neill

Ailbhe Rogers

Dara Folan

Dr Conor Mulvagh

Dr Ida Milne

Dr Margaret Ward

 

Courts martial records of 1916 leaders

THE official courts martial records of the leaders of the Easter Rising have been made available online to the public.

Papers relating to the 1916 courts martial have been acquired from the UK’s National Archives and will be published on several websites, including that of the National Archives of Ireland.

The records, which include the prisoners’ last letters to their loved ones, were officially launched by President Michael D. Higgins in Dublin on Thursday 22 September 2016.

The launch took place at Richmond Barracks in Inchicore, where the proceedings of the courts martial were recorded.

The barracks were also where many of those involved in the Rising spent the final days of their lives.

President Higgins said for many years the key documents were “kept secret and were inaccessible to the general public”.

He said the papers “provide moving and valuable insights into the proceedings; imparting a human dimension that can so often be missed from conventional factual historical accounts”.

“Thomas MacDonagh’s statement that he fully co-operated with British soldiers after the surrender, or the image of Seán McDiarmada unable to walk after surrender because of polio contracted five years before, indicate a dignified sadness that echoes across the years,” he said.

“They, and the many other images captured in these records, remind us that the leaders of 1916 were human and wounded agents of our freedom, not abstract or mythical characters; and they enable us to have a profound appreciation of the real and human sacrifices that they and their families made in order that future generations might inhabit a free and independent state.”

The documents can be viewed on www.nationalarchives.ie

Historians on 1916

On Saturday 22 October 2016, Universities Ireland, the all-island coordinating body for Ireland’s ten universities north and south, organised a major conference at the Conference and Events Venue at Dublin’s Mansion House entitled ‘Historians on 1916.

Following the wave of commemorations on Ireland’s two great foundation narratives, the Easter Rising and the Somme, this conference brought together historians as practitioners to reflect on what has passed in this monumental year of commemoration.

The event featured keynote addresses from leading historians from across Ireland and Britain and with panels specifically addressing class and gender.

 

 

 

Life and Death in 1915

Universities Ireland sponsored the fourth in a series of conferences to commemorate the centenary of Irish History between the years of 1912-1923 at the Thomas Davis Theatre in Trinity College Dublin on Saturday 27th June 2015.

The conference reflected on ‘Life And Death In 1915’ with 13 speakers and panellists addressing the audience throughout the day’s activity.

Reflecting on a decade of War and Revolution in Ireland 1912-1923: The Road To War.

The keynote speakers included

  • Professor Eunan O’Halpin, Professor of Contemporary Irish History, Trinity College Dublin
  • Dr Caitriona Clear, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, NUI Galway

The Road To War

Universities Ireland sponsored the third in a series of conferences to commemorate the centenary of key events in the history of modern Ireland ranging from the Ulster Covenant, through the First World War and the 1916 Rising, to the foundation of the Irish and Northern Irish States in Belfast City Hall on Saturday 14th June 2014 under the title.

Reflecting on a decade of War and Revolution in Ireland 1912-1923: The Road To War.

The keynote speakers included

  • Professor Thomas Otte, Professor of Diplomatic History, University of East Anglia who delivered an address entitled July 1914: Reflections on an Inadvertent war
  • Professor Keith Jeffery, Professor of British History, Queen’s University Belfast will delivered an address entitled Reflections on Ireland and the First World War.

The Cause of Labour

President Higgins keynote speaker Universities IrelandThe President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, was the keynote speaker at the second in the series of all-island 1912-1923 conferences organised by Universities Ireland in Dublin’s Liberty Hall on 15th June.

The conference was entitled ‘1912-1923: Reflecting on a decade of War and Revolution – The Cause of Labour’ and was attended by 150 people.

Among the other speakers and session chairs were the General Secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady; Professor Ralph Darlington of the University of Salford; Professor Karen Hunt of Keele University; the author of Lockout:Dublin 1913, Padraig Yeates; the General Secretary of the ICTU, David Begg; and the general president of SIPTU, Jack O’Connor.

 

Historians and Public History

The next decade will see a series of centenaries of key events in the history of modern Ireland, ranging from the Ulster Covenant, through the First World War and the 1916 Rising, to the foundation of the Irish and Northern Irish states.

To begin the commemoration of these events, Universities Ireland – the network of university presidents on the island of Ireland managed by the Centre for Cross Border Studies – organised a major one-day conference (co-sponsored by The Irish Times)in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin on Saturday 23rd June under the title Reflecting on a decade of War and Revolution in Ireland 1912-1923: Historians and Public History. Over 300 academics, teachers, students, civil servants and interested members of the public attended this event.
The keynote speakers was Professor Jay Winter, Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University, an international authority on the First World War and its impact on the 20th century; Professor  Paul Bew, Professor of Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, a noted authority on Irish and Northern Irish politics and history in the late 19th and 20th centuries; and Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern History at University College Dublin, one of the country’s outstanding younger historians, noted for his extensive new insights  into 20th century Irish history.
There was also a session on accessing new material from the archives on the 1912-1923 period, with speakers from the Imperial War Museum in London, the National Archives of Ireland and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland; and a panel discussion on ‘The Challenges of Commemoration in Public History’ with inputs from historians from five Irish and Northern Irish universities (and contributions from the audience).