Here are a few articles and films on historically-related subjects that caught our eye recently:
20 March was the 100th anniversary of the killing in Cork of Tomás Mac Curtain, Lord Mayor of Cork by the RIC – here are two accounts of his death, one from the Century Ireland website and the other from the Irish Examiner.
Damian Shiels’ You Tube film on Irish women who married US sailors during the First World War
The Church of Ireland Historical Society has put the proceedings of its 2017 Conference on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation online here
A list of the top ten Irish gothic novels in the Guardian
The Trinity Long Room Hub has put up a selection of lectures from its archives, chosen by Festival Honorary President Professor Roy Foster. He has included a lecture by the late Professor David Fitzpatrick, another Festival contributor.
BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time podcast on the 18th century gin craze – first broadcast in 2016, but really worth a listen
… why not listen to some historical context for our current troubles – Dr Ida Milne speaking about the 1918-19 flu pandemic at our 2018 Festival – click here to hear her talk.
We also have lots of other fascinating talks from our 2017, 2018 and 2019 Festivals, all available on our website, covering the Decade of Centenaries, the RIC, Templars, pirates (ooh-arr), Carson & Redmond, tower houses, duelling, Queen Victoria, Wolfe Tone, Florence MacCarthy, Agnes Clerke, US & Irish independence, Sam Maguire, Spanish treasure ships, the Great Earl of Cork, Bishop Lucey’s Cork churches, early Fenianism in Skibbereen and much more.
A really interesting listen from Amplify Archaeology, hosted by Neil Jackman, in which he discusses Ireland’s Neolithic passage tombs with Dr Jessica Smyth from UCD. There are at least 230 known passage tombs in this country, of which Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth in Co Meath are amongst the best known. These monuments can also be found along Western Europe’s Atlantic coast in Spain and Portugal, Brittany and the western parts of Britain.
Dr Smyth leads the Passage Tomb People project, which uses a multi-disciplinary approach to look at the societies which built passage tombs. Find out more about the project here.
Festival co-founder Victoria Kingston helped develop the content for the new exhibition at the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre which interprets the passage tombs of the area, including Knowth and Newgrange. Dr Smyth was on the academic advisory board for that project.
Lough Abisdealy is part of the Liss Ard estate, which neighbours Rosebank where the West Cork History Festival takes place. The Lough is up to 20 metres deep in places and writer Edith Somerville, who lived in nearby Castletownshend, is alleged to have spotted a mysterious long black creature in its waters.
Listen to Festival contributor Professor Eunan O’Halpin on Newstalk discussing the recent controversy over plans to commemorate the RIC and DMP. Professor O’Halpin is a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations.
And here is another Festival contributor, retired Garda Jim Herlihy, interviewed in the Irish Times about his recent experiences in relation to this controversy. Jim is a member of the Harp Society which campaigns for a memorial for the RIC and the DMP.
Both their contributions to our 2019 Festival – Jim Herlihy’s specifically about the RIC – can be heard on our 2019 Podcasts and Playback page.
A Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year from all of us at the West Cork History Festival. We’re looking forward to our 2020 Festival (6-9 August) but in the meantime, if Christmas gets too much for you, you can listen to all our 2019 talks here.
The RTE Archives website includes this footage of Ballydehob, part of an episode of RTE’s ‘We Live Here’ in 1977. This clip focuses on the typography of the shop fronts, many of which are the same or similar today. To see the footage click here.
The West Cork History Festival attended this History Ireland Hedge School in Dublin on 26 November, on an interesting and very important topic. History Ireland’s editor Tommy Graham was joined by 2018 Festival contributor Professor Linda Connolly, as well as Professor Lindsey Earner-Byrne and Dr Brian Hanley. You can hear the discussion via the History Ireland website.
The West Cork History Festival recently had a trip to Dublin, including a visit to the National Museum of Ireland’s Archaeology displays. Here are details of some beautiful gold collars in their collection. Both date from around 800-700 BC, one from Tipperary, the other from Clare. Read more about the Museum’s collections of prehistoric gold artefacts here.
On 28 November Professor Roy Foster, who opened our first Festival and has been a supporter ever since, will give a lecture at UCC entitled ‘Humour, Humors, Negotiations: the Secret Languages of Somerville and Ross’. This will mark 70 years since Edith Somerville’s death. More information about the lecture can be found here.
Roy Foster’s lecture at our 2017 Festival, ‘ “A Fair People” antagonism and conflict in Irish history’ can be heard here.
A selection of interesting articles related to Irishmen and women who served in the First and Second World Wars, posted on and around Remembrance Sunday:
Festival contributor Ronan McGreevy on the largest execution by the Germans of Allied soldiers on the Western Front during the First World War, including of six Irish soldiers, in the Irish Times
An article from 2014, which we’ve only just come across, looking at Irish women’s contribution to the First World War, published in the Independent.
Information about a new exhibition about Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin, which contains over 600 Irish casualties of two world wars. The exhibition is in the neighbouring Phoenix Park Visitor Centre.
The story of the three Sheehan brothers, from Fermoy, who lost their lives in separate bombing missions while serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. This was originally posted by historian Damien Shiels in 2017 on his website, but re-issued via Twitter last week. All three were remembered at a ceremony in Heverlee War Cemetery in Belgium this weekend, which was covered in the Irish Times. Shiels remarks that this family’s experience “must surely represent one of the worst, if not the worst, loss of life suffered in a single southern Irish family due to Allied combat operations.“
Great to hear 2019 Festival contributor Professor Thomas O’Connor from Maynooth University on BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time, discussing the 1691 Treaty of Limerick which ended the Williamite Wars. He was joined by Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the Irish Research Council and Professor of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin and Dr Clare Jackson from the University of Cambridge.
A really interesting post from Robert Harris at the Roaringwater Journal about the festival of Halloween, based around the goings on in Ballydehob….. The pumpkin shown below was one of the best we saw, outside the Church Restaurant in Skibbereen.