Professor Roy Foster lecture on Somerville & Ross at UCC

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.

Remembrance Sunday

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.

The Treaty of Limerick

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.

Long Strand

A beautiful day on Long Strand on Sunday …. nearby is Castle Freke and Rathbarry Church, closely associated with the Carberys.  Our 2017 Festival concert was a performance by Jessie Kennedy and Patsy Puttnam of The Carbery Songs, inspired by three women of the Carbery family.


Films of some of our Festival talks are now available on our website

Click through to our Programme page to watch films of some of our Festival talks, with John Bruton, Ambassador Dan Mulhall, Professors Brendan Simms, Mary Murphy and Brian Walker, Dr Ida Milne and Ian d’Alton and Daisy Goodwin. There are also films of our two panel discussions reflecting two of the themes of the 2019 Festival, the Decade of Centenaries and the triangular relationship between Ireland, Britain and continental Europe.

All the other talks will be available as audio files soon.


Professor Roy Foster on the effect of Brexit on Anglo-Irish relations

A very insightful interview with Professor Roy Foster, one of Ireland’s most distinguished historians (and former WCHF contributor), on RTE 1’s Drivetime. It was broadcast on 30 August – click here and listen from about 1:40. Foster refers in the interview to Cambridge historian Brendan Sims, who spoke at our 2019 Festival.

Foster, who lives in Britain, is particularly critical of British Conservative politicians and their ignorance of Ireland and Irish history. In the interview he comments:  “… from the 1980s on …. the atttiude of British politicians towards Ireland has been in the main thoughtful and well-meaning…. All that has now gone into reverse…. Anglo-Irish relations are now at a worse point than they have been since the early 1970s and for completely unnecessary reasons.”

Ida Milne and Ian d’Alton podcast

A short podcast by Festival contributors Ida Milne and Ian d’Alton, in which they reflect on the Decade of Centenaries as well as their co-edited book Protestant and Irish: The minority’s search for place in independent Ireland about which they spoke at our 2019 Festival (pictured below).

Ireland in the European Eye

Today’s Irish Times has a very positive review here of Ireland in the European Eye, edited by Bettina Migge and Gisela Holfter and published by the Royal Irish Academy. The article by Professor Thomas O’Connor entitled ‘Prequels: The Irish European diaspora’ prompted us to ask him to speak on the same subject at the West Cork History Festival this year, which he did to much acclaim. The audio of his talk will be available on our website soon.

Sunday: the West Cork History Festival

Saturday: the 2019 West Cork History Festival

Festival contributor Daisy Goodwin on The Ryan Tubridy Show this week

Daisy Goodwin, closing speaker at our 2019 Festival, was interviewed on The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTE 1 on Wednesday 21st August. She spoke about writing the hit TV series ‘Victoria’, her West Cork connections and the lack of understanding in Britain about Irish history, particularly the Famine. Click here to listen to the interview again:

Here is Daisy with Festival co-founder Victoria Kingston: