The Social History of Modern Ireland

Photo of girl on swing in Cabra, 1949

Chaired by David Dickson with contributors Sarah-Anne Buckley, Ciaran O’Neill & Patricia Lysaght

Covering three centuries of unprecedented demographic and economic changes and setting Irish developments in a wider European and global context, the Cambridge Social History of Modern Ireland makes an invaluable contribution to Irish history and Irish studies. Moderator David Dickson will discuss key topics with three contributors in the areas of childhood, literacy and education, and old age, death and mourning.

David Dickson is a Professor of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin,

Sarah-Anne Buckley is a lecturer in history at the National University of Ireland, Galway,

Ciaran O’Neill is an Assistant Professor in Nineteenth-Century History at Trinity College Dublin,

Patricia Lysaght is em. Professor of European Ethnology, University College Dublin.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 1 October 2017.


Chris Patten: First Confession: A Sort of Memoir

Chris PattonChris Patten in conversation with John Bowman

In a long and distinguished career, Chris Patten has been a Westminster MP, a UK Cabinet minister, the last Governor of Hong Kong, Chairman of the BBC and Chancellor of Oxford University. In this frank memoir he uses each phase of his life as a spur to reflect upon education, America, conservatism, Ireland, China, Europe and finally the question of links between violence and religion. Of particular interest to an Irish audience will be his stewardship of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland.

Chris Patten is currently Chancellor of Oxford University. Holding several high-ranking posts throughout his career, he has been at the centre of political life and world affairs for most of his life.

John Bowman is a historian and broadcaster.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 30 September 2017.


The Darkening Age: the Christian destruction of the Classical world – Catherine Nixey

Catherine NixeyCatherine Nixey in conversation with Hugh Linehan

The Darkening Age tells the story of how between the 2nd and 6th centuries AD the Christians of the late Roman Empire set out deliberately to destroy all the books, knowledge and temples of the ancient Roman and Greek worlds, killing pagan priests, burning libraries and erasing the wisdom of ages. All the great works that survived and prompted the Renaissance, had to be translated back into European languages many centuries later from Arabic libraries. The Darkening Age brilliantly illuminates a dark and murky period of ancient history.

Catherine Nixey is a critic and commissioning editor on the arts desk at The Times of London.

Hugh Linehan is Culture Editor of The Irish Times.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 30 September 2017.


Janina Ramirez: The blending of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Christianity

Janina RamirezBased on her recent book, The Private Lives of Saints: Power, Passion and Politics in Anglo-Saxon England, Dr Janina Ramirez, Oxford Art Historian and BBC broadcaster, will explore the incredible intellectual, artistic and spiritual results of the influence of Celtic and Roman Christianity on the newly converted Anglo-Saxons in the seventh century. With stunning artworks like the Lindisfarne Gospels, Ruthwell Cross and Cuthbert Coffin emerging out of this cultural exchange, the talk will explore the ideas, individuals and artworks associated with this important time.

Janina Ramirez is a British art and cultural historian and TV presenter.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 30 September 2017.


James Holland: The War in The West – The Allies Fight Back, 1941-1943

James HollandIn the latest volume of his ground-breaking World War 2 trilogy, James Holland describes how the tide of war began to turn against the Axis. Looking at the war from the battle front to the factories and shipyards, he tells the story of how, in the Battle of the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean, and in the escalating bombing campaign of Nazi Germany, the Allies finally gained the upper hand. Here is an epic account of one of the most dramatic periods in history.

James Holland is a historian, writer, and broadcaster. He is also co-founder and Programme Director of the hugely successful Chalke Valley History Festival.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 30 September 2017.


Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet

Lyndal RoperWhen Martin Luther nailed a sheet of paper to the church door of a small university town in 1517, he set off a process that changed the Western world for ever. His attempts to reform Christianity by returning it to its biblical roots split the Western Church, divided Europe and polarised people’s beliefs, leading to religious persecution, social unrest and war; and in the long run his ideas would help break the grip of religion on every sphere of life.

Lyndal Roper is Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford and author of the acclaimed biography Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 30 September 2017.


Munich – Robert Harris

Robert HarrisRobert Harris in conversation with James Holland

September 1938. Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace. The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there – Munich. Robert Harris’s new spy thriller, set over the four days of the 1938 Munich Conference, confirms him as the pre-eminent historical novelist of our time.

Robert Harris is the author of eleven best-selling novels including the Cicero Trilogy, Fatherland, and An Officer and a Spy, which won four prizes including the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

James Holland is a writer, broadcaster and Second World War historian.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 29 September 2017.


War and the Death of News

Martin Bell

Martin Bell in conversation with Keelin Shanley

In an age of international terror, where journalists themselves have become targets, more and more reports are issued from the sidelines. The dominance of social media has ushered in a post-truth world: Twitter rumours and unverifiable videos abound, and TV news seeks to entertain rather than inform.
In this compelling account, one of the outstanding journalists of our time provides a moving, personal account of war and issues an impassioned call to put the substance back in our news.

Martin Bell is both a former BBC war correspondent and a former Westminster MP. His previous books include Through the Gates of Fire and An Accidental MP.

Keelin Shanley is a journalist and presenter on RTE radio and television.

Recorded at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on 29 September 2017.


The Russian Revolution Debate

The sheer apocalyptic scale of the Russian Revolution seems almost to defy comprehension. What began as a challenge to the decadence and complacency of the Romanov dynasty ended up in the slaughter and immiseration an entire people.

History has consigned the revolution to the tomb and celebrated its death but what, if anything, remains of the elevated goals and ideals which inspired it? Was the poison of Stalinism in Bolshevism from the beginning?

Can it teach us anything one hundred years on and if so what? Our panel of experts examine these and other questions.

Geoffrey Roberts is Professor of History at University College Cork. He has written widely on Russian history.
Maria Falina is a DCU historian of modern and contemporary Europe specialising in Eastern Europe.
David Aaronovitch is a Times of London columnist, broadcaster, and author. His most recent book is Party Animals: My Family and Other Communists.
Judith Devlin  is Professor of History at University College Dublin.
Hugh Linehan is Culture Editor of The Irish Times.

Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 29 September 2017.


A City Divided: Dublin in the Civil War

Ferguson RaidIn 1922-23, over 200 people were killed and 3,500 imprisoned in Dublin as rival pro and anti-Treaty factions of the nationalist movement came to blows. John Dorney will talk about urban guerrilla warfare, prisons, executions and assassination during this tumultuous period.

Image: Ferguson Raid, from ‘Ireland’s Tragic Week’ a special supplement to the Irish Life newspaper, published on 14 July 1922

John Dorney is a historian and editor of the Irish Story website. His forthcoming book on the Irish Civil War in Dublin will be published by Merrion Press in 2017.

Recorded at Inchicore Library on 5 October 2016.


The other Connolly of 1916: Seán Connolly

Sean ConnollySeán Connolly was in command of the City Hall garrison on Easter Monday 1916. Hear the story of this Dublin Corporation employee, Irish Citizen Army captain and the first rebel to die in the Rising.

Donal Fallon is a historian with a particular interest in the history of Dublin. He is one of the founders and contributors to the “Come Here To Me” blog and has published widely on Irish history.

Recorded at Drumcondra Library on 29 September 2016.


The ’emergence’ of children and childhood in modern history

childrenOur modern conception of childhood as a time of education and innocence began to emerge in the eighteenth century, but it wasn’t until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that such ideas influenced the lives of children of all classes in the western world.  How and why did this happen?

Marnie Hay is a historian and the author of Bulmer Hobson and the Nationalist Movement in Twentieth-Century Ireland (2009). Her current research relates to the history of Irish nationalist children and youth in the early twentieth century

Recorded at Terenure Library on 26 September 2016.


Richard O’Carroll: Labour and 1916

Richard O'CarrollRichard O’Carroll was a trade unionist and Labour Party councillor on Dublin Corporation, first elected in 1907. He was killed by Captain Bowen-Colthurst during the 1916 Rising and was the only elected member of Dublin City Council to be killed while on active service during the Rising.

Brian Hanley holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin and has taught and  published widely on twentieth-century Irish history.

Recorded at Finglas Library on 26 September 2016.


Furnace of Futility: The Enigma of World War I

Somme &  Too Important for the GeneralsAllan Mallinson & Hugh Sebag-Montefiore in conversation with Jennifer Wellington
Historical debate about World War I now boils down to views: the “Blackadder”, Lions-led-by-Donkeys view of senseless carnage orchestrated by blimpish generals; or the view that the generals have been much maligned and actually achieved a stunning victory despite the enormous human cost. Here, in the Centenary year of The Somme, two eminent military historians offer their interpretations of the “war to end all wars”

Hugh Sebag-Montefiore is a journalist and historian. His best-selling books include Enigma: The Battle for the Code and Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man. Published on the centenary of the battle, his new book, Somme: Into the Breach, has received unanimously laudatory reviews.
Allan Mallinson is a former infantry and cavalry officer. He is the author of the Matthew Hervey series of novels and writes on defence matters for The Times and the Daily Telegraph. His latest offering, Too Important for the Generals, has been praised as powerfully-argued and polemical in its analysis of WW1.
Dr Jennifer Wellington is a lecturer in modern global history at UCD.

Recorded at Printworks, Dublin Castle on 25 September 2016.