‘Reduced to the Utmost Want’: the poor of Dublin in the post-Famine period

William Dickson letter to Mansion House Relief FundGeorgina Laragy’s talk looks at the various state and charitable provisions made for the poor of Dublin in the post-Famine period exploring the workhouses, the night shelters and the Mansion House Relief Committee who provided for the people of Dublin and beyond during the ‘Little Famine’ of 1880-1881.

Dr Georgina Laragy is Glasnevin Trust Assistant Professor in Public History and Cultural Heritage at Trinity College Dublin. Georgina’s main focus is on social history, in particular history of suicide, death and poverty in nineteenth and twentieth century Ireland. She is also interested in the history of institutions, including workhouses, psychiatric hospitals, prisons and Magdalen asylums.

The Archives of the Dublin Mansion House Relief Fund 1880 are held at Dublin Cit y Archives.  Edmund Dwyer Gray, Lord Mayor of Dublin, set up the Dublin Mansion House Relief Fund on 2 January 1880 for the relief of distress in Ireland. Successive failures of harvests from 1877 – 1879 led to widespread devastation and hunger, historically known as the “little famine” of 1880.

The above letter, dated January 19th 1881 from William Dickson to the Mansion House Relief Fund is mentioned by Georgina in her talk. (Click image to enlarge.)

Recorded at Dublin City Library and Archive on 12 October 2017 as part of Dublin Festival of History.

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Powering the Nation

Powering the NationVisions of the Shannon Scheme and electricity in Ireland with Sorcha O’Brien

Sorcha O’Brien talks about her book Powering the Nation, the visual story, not just of the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme, but of Ireland’s introduction to electricity in the early days of the Irish Free State. The ESB was set up to manage the power station and national grid in 1927,  which makes it the first Semi-State body in Ireland.

Sorcha O’Brien is a design historian with interest in technology and identity in both physical and digital forms. She teaches Design History and Theory to Product and Furniture Design students in Kingston University, UK. She is co-editor of the anthology Love Objects: Emotion, Design and Material Culture and subject editor for the Bloomsbury Encyclopaedia of Design.

Powering the Nation: Images of the Shannon Scheme and Electricity in Ireland is published by Irish Academic Press (2017). Powering the Nation is available to borrow from any public library in Ireland.

Recorded at Walkinstown Library on 11 October 2017 as part of Dublin Festival of History.

 

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The Rise of Éamon de Valera

De Valera Vol 1: Rise 1882 - 1932David McCullagh, historian and broadcaster looks at how De Valera’s early life shaped the most influential politician of 20th century Ireland. Eamon de Valera is arguably the most important Irish politician of the twentieth century. He was a leader of the Easter Rising, a prominent supporter the anti-treaty rebels during the Civil War, the founder of Fianna Fáil and laterPresident of Ireland.

From the host of RTÉ’s Primetime and author of The Reluctant Taoiseach, the widely acclaimed biography of John A. Costello, Rise 1882-1932 is the first volume of a major two-part reassessment of the man who shaped modern Ireland.

Recorded at Dublin City Library and Archive on 9 October 2017 as part of Dublin Festival of History.

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Writing the History of 20th Century Europe – Ian Kershaw

Ian KershawIan Kershaw in conversation with Robert Gerwarth

In 1914 a civilization that had blandly assumed itself to be a model for the rest of the world had collapsed into a savagery beyond any comparison. In 1939 Europeans initiated a second conflict that managed to be even worse, a war in which the killing of civilians was central and which culminated in the Holocaust. We are delighted to welcome one of Britain’s greatest historians to discuss what it meant for the Europeans who initiated and lived through such fearful times.

Sir Ian Kershaw’s work has chiefly focused on the social history of 20th century Germany. He is regarded by many as one of the world’s leading experts on the Third Reich, and is particularly noted for his biographies of Hitler.

Robert Gerwarth is Professor of Modern History at UCD.

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

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Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain

Clair Wills in conversation with Elaine Sisson

The battered and exhausted Britain of 1945 was desperate for workers – to rebuild, to fill the factories, to make the new NHS work. From all over the world, thousands of individuals – including many Irish emigrants – took the plunge. Most assumed they would spend just three or four years in the UK, sending much of their pay back home, but instead large numbers stayed and transformed the country.

Clair Wills teaches at Princeton University in the USA. Her books include Dublin 1916: The Siege of the GPO and The Best Are Leaving: Emigration and Post-War Irish Culture.

Elaine Sisson is a cultural historian, writer and lecturer at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology.

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

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The Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution – Robert Service

Last of the TsarsRobert Service in conversation with Patrick Geoghegan

The Last of the Tsars is a masterful study of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic and political foment in Russia in the aftermath of Alexander Kerensky’s February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin’s Soviet republic.

Robert Service is a Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford. He has written biographies of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin and several other books on Russia past and present.

Patrick Geoghegan is Professor of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin.

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

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Dublin Festival of History Question Time

Dublin Festival of History 2017Chaired by Joe Duffy with Catriona Crowe, Donal Fallon & Jennifer Wellington

All of those questions you’ve been dying to ask about twentieth century Irish history – bring ‘em on! Our panel of historians will be pleased to answer any question you care to throw at them. Please submit your question in no more than 50 words by Saturday 30th September to festivalofhistory@dublincity.ie

Joe Duffy is the presenter of RTE’s Liveline radio series. He is also the author of the bestselling Children of the Rising.

Catriona Crowe is former head of Special Collections at the National Archives of Ireland. In 2016 she presented the RTE documentary Life Before the Rising.

Donal Fallon is a Dublin-based historian, writer and co-founder of the popular historical website ‘Come Here To Me’ and is an Historian in Residence with Dublin City Council.

Jennifer Wellington is a lecturer in Modern History at University College Dublin.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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