Death of Professor David Fitzpatrick

We were saddened to learn of the death of Professor David Fitzpatrick. David was a gifted, wide-ranging, and fearless historian. He brought rigour and a cool eye to the study of contentious subjects, too often clouded by the mythmaking of others. He transformed our understanding of the Irish Revolutionary period and the generations of his students who continue to work in this area are part of his legacy.

The West Cork History Festival owes David a particular debt. He delivered a fascinating paper on Protestant depopulation in Ireland at the first Festival in 2017. His analysis of events in West Cork, in particular, was enormously valuable. It also typified the man. Insightful, relentlessly focussed on the evidence, and with a wry sense of humour, he shed fresh light and opened up the subject. Characteristically modest and judicious, he, nevertheless, revealed the inadequacies and evasions of some treatment of the period. He was never uncritical, but also never unkind, he remains a model for other historians.

We remember him with gratitude and extend our sympathy to his family and many friends.


The ‘Fish Palaces’ of West Cork

A fascinating post from our friends at the Roaringwater Journal about what remains of the ‘Fish Palaces’, or fish curing stations, of West Cork – the full article can be read here:

The map is courtesy of the blog, and combines information from the National Monuments database and Arthur E J Went’s Pilchards in the South of Ireland (1949).


Six months until WCHF 2019 …

….. and most of the talks from our 2018 Festival can be heard on our Playback page, while the photos below give a flavour of our 2018 Festival too.

Professor John Horne of TCD, with Simon Kingston, co-founder of the WCHF, and Gus, the Festival dog

Micheál Martin, who introduced our Saturday afternoon session on the events of 1918

Dr Andy Bielenberg of UCC with Simon Kingston

Professor Louise Ryan of the University of Sheffield

Terri Kearney of the Skibbereen Heritage Centre

Ronan McGreevy of the Irish Times introducing his film ‘United Ireland: How Nationalists and Unionists fought together in Flanders’

Victoria Kingston, Festival co-founder, introduces Katie Childs from London’s Imperial War Museum

Niamh MacNally from the National Gallery of Ireland

Our Festival Concert with Patsy Puttnam (left) and Jessie Kennedy, performing songs inspired by the diaries of Lady Mary Carbery in the early 1900s

One of our very successful Festival Field Trips (this one to Drombeg Stone Circle), which we will be running again in 2019

Marc Kingston of The Golden Bean, coffee-suppliers to the Festival


The Dublin Apocalypse goes online

The 14th century ‘Dublin Apocalypse’ has been digitised and goes online today. One of the finest illustrated volumes held in the Library at Trinity College Dublin, it is a handwritten version of the Book of Revelation accompanied by vivid and lavish illustrations. This last book of the Bible is one of its most complex, full of symbols and visions including the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
This page shows the Witnesses ascending into Heaven as a city falls. The full digitised version can be seen here.