Fingal 1900 – 1923: society, war and revolution

Balbriggan Library St. George's Square, Balbriggan, Dublin

Fingal County Council’s Research Historian, Dr Bernard Kelly, discusses the effect that war and revolution had on the lives of Fingallians during the tumultuous period from the turn of the century to the end of the civil war. Booking: Call Balbriggan Library at 01 870 4401 or email

Building a Free State: Fingal in the 1920s

Swords Castle Bridge Street Townparks, Swords, Dublin

This talk by Dr Declan F. Brady, examines political life in Fingal in the aftermath of the Civil War and the challenges of the 1920s. As the government sought to consolidate the Irish Free State, local politicians in Fingal dealt with continuing divisions, problems of poverty, unemployment, and agrarian unrest. Note: This event will be...

“Nothing but a bullet will stop me”: de Valera’s 1923

Swords Castle Bridge Street Townparks, Swords, Dublin

A talk by broadcaster and author Dr David McCullagh. De Valera began 1922 as President of the Irish Free State. By early 1923 he was a hunted man, in danger of execution if caught by Free State forces, politically side-lined among republicans and powerless to end the Civil War. But in those darkest of days,...

The Presidents’ Letters: Visitors’ Books at Áras an Uachtaráin

Swords Castle Bridge Street Townparks, Swords, Dublin

Flor MacCarthy will discuss her best-selling book, The Presidents’ Letters, which was shortlisted for Best Irish-Published Book 2021. Eighty-five years of signatures are contained in the huge leather-bound Visitors' Books, revealing how Ireland has changed since the 1930s. To book, please click here.

A Day in the Life

Swords Castle Bridge Street Townparks, Swords, Dublin

John O’Brien, author of Securing the Irish State: A century of policing 1922 – 2022, outlines the evolution of An Garda Síochána and how this new and unarmed police force was established in the midst of a bloody civil war. Note: This event will also be available online post-festival. To book, please click here.

British military deserters in the Irish Free State, 1922-1932

Rush Library Chapel Green, Rush, Dublin

Dr Bernard Kelly discusses the unique situation caused by deserters from the British military who either fled or found themselves in Ireland between 1922 and 1932, and how the Free State effectively became a safe haven for them. Booking: Call Rush Library at 01 870 8414 or email

The Big House and the Irish Civil War

Fingal Local Studies and Archives 46 North Street Townparks, Swords, Dublin

The ‘Big House’, the country mansion of the Anglo-Irish landed class, was a target of republicans throughout the Irish revolution 1919-23, with a total of 275 burned down or destroyed. Historian John Dorney explains how the anti-Treaty IRA took the opportunity to sweep away these symbols of the old order. Booking: Call Fingal Local Studies...

Countess Markievicz and Ukraine: the creation of an Irish Rebel

Blanchardstown Library The Civic Centre Blanchardstown Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin

Patrick Quigley, author of Borderland and the “Markievicz Trilogy” presents this talk on the radicalisation of Countess Markievicz as a result of her visits with relatives in Ukraine. Before her marriage to Casimir Markievicz she shared many beliefs of the Anglo-Irish but was made aware of Poland’s struggle for freedom on her visits, arousing a...