The 64th Annual Irish History Students’ Association Conference Programme

Mary Immaculate College
28th February-2nd March 2014

Original PDF

The conference organisers would like to thank the following: the Irish History Students’ Association, Irish Historical Studies, the National Committee for Historical Sciences, the Department of History, the Research and Graduate School, the Students’ Union, the Corporate Communications Office and the President’s Office at Mary Immaculate College for supporting this conference.

Organising Committee
Paul O'Brien, Robert Hartigan, Marie Taylor, John Treacy, Úna Ryan, Julie McGrath, Justin Fitzgerald, Shane Hickey O’Mara, Niall Carmody, James Deegan, Tanya Higgins and Kitty Mellett.

Special thanks to Matthew Moran, James Deegan, Niall Carmody and Cillian McHugh for organising the music and to Ursula for organising the pens!

Conference Overview

Friday 28 February
Location: Mary Immaculate College, Students’ Union
19.00 Registration
19.30 Wine and cheese reception and welcome by the Associate Vice President of Mary Immaculate College, Dr Gary O’Brien
21.00 Music and refreshments in O’Dwyer’s Pub, Wolfe Tone Street

Saturday 1 March
Location: Tara Building, rooms T201, T207, T208 and T211
8.00-9.00 Registration
9.00-10.15 First round of panels
10.15-11.30 Second round of panels
11.30-11.45 Tea and Coffee
11.45-13.00 Third round of panels
13.00-13.20 Lunch and presentation of prizes from last year’s conference
13.20-14.15 Workshop entitled: ‘Getting your work published in a peer reviewed journal’ by Professor Marian Lyons (Tara Building: Room T118)
14.15-15.30 Fourth round of panels
15.30-15.45 Tea and Coffee
15.45-17.00 Fifth round of panels
17.15-17.45 IHSA AGM at the SU meeting room
19.30 Arrival at Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, for conference dinner
20.00 Keynote speech by Mr Liam Irwin, entitled: ‘Limerick and the Tribe of Levi’.

Sunday 2 March
11.30 Walking tour of Medieval Limerick led by Liam Irwin. Meet at Hunt Museum on Rutland Street. (Weather permitting)

Overview of Panels

Location: Tara, Room T201
- Aislinn McCabe (UCC),
Crowning a poet in fourteenth-century Padua: the case of Albertino Mussato
- Alma O’Donnell (UCC),
Spiritual leadership in Adomnán's Vita Columba
- Marie Taylor (MIC)
The Initial Anglo-Norman Settlement of County Limerick
Location: Tara, Room T207
- Emma McCarthy (UCC),
The self-perception of spiritual Europe during the Reformation
- Ciarán McCabe (NUIM),
The virtuous silent suffering of the poor in the language of charity in nineteenth century Ireland
- Declan O’Brien (MIC),
David Low: Cartoons in conflict: David Low and the War of Independence
Location: Tara, Room T208
- Sinead Byrne (NUIM),
Hyde and his work need money: Douglas Hyde in America 1905-06
- John O’Donovan (UCC),
“It was almost impossible to see what was taking place”: The ‘Baton Commission’, 9-10 February 1909
- Martin O’Donoghue (NUIG),
‘Remarkable Revelation’? The significance of Redmondite commemorations in the Free State, 1922-6
Location: Tara, Room T211
- AnneMarie Brosnan (MIC),
Freedmen’s education throughout the American Reconstruction, 1861-1877
- Kayte O’Malley (NUIG),
Child Welfare in the State in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular focus on life in the Industrial Schools and legislative foundations of these institutions
- Michael Dwyer (UCC), ‘Battle of the Bacilli’: the Ring College immunisation disaster

Location: Tara, Room T201
- Robert Hartigan (MIC),
“Good fences make good neighbours”: Fabricated crime and sectarian tension in provincial pre-famine Ireland
- Robert Rock (University of Hertfordshire)
The ‘Criminal Community’: Irish Counterfeiting Operations in Eighteenth Century London
- Kerron O’Luain (QUB),
Ribbonism and Fenianism; conflict and conformity within working-class Irish nationaliam
- John Devlin (NUIG),
To War? Canada’s debate over participation in the South African War
(Chair: Professor David Hayton)
Location: Tara, Room T207
- John Treacy (MIC),
The development of an Irish Flower: HMS Oxlip to LE Maev
- Jerome Devitt (TCD),
“Irish naval history” or “a naval history of Ireland”? – Ireland and the sea in the 1860s
- Phyl Guerin (LSAD),
A drowned world? The Limerick Sailors’ Home
Location: Tara, Room T208
- Julie McGrath (MIC)
Sir Stephen Edward DeVere and a case of Murder in Limerick Lunatic Asylum
- John O’Neill (MIC),
A monomaniac heiress; Marianne Nevill and madness among the ascendancy in pre-famine Ireland
- Triona Waters (MIC),
The Irish Lunatic Asylum: St. Brigid's Hospital
Location: Tara, Room T211
- Joseph Curran (University of Edinburgh),
‘Without parallel in any other part of the United Kingdom’? The State, Civil Society and the Financing of Dublin’s Hospitals c. 1847-1880
- Stuart Irwin (QUB),
Belfast Corporation and the management of public health during the late nineteenth century
- Peter Connell (TCD),
Housing conditions in Irish provincial towns in the first public house initiatives, 1890-1926

Location: Tara, Room T201
- Elspeth Payne (TCD),
‘Thank God we have the “Morning Post”! It is the only encouraging paper to read’: The Morning Post and Ireland, 1919-1921
- Stephen McQuillan (TCD),
Irish diplomatic-fraternal relations in the late revolutionary period, 1919-1921
- Pat McMahon (UL),
Brendan Bracken: From Templemore to the House of Commons, the role of family and rejection in the creation of an Irish arch imperialist
(Chair: Dr Deirdre McMahon)
Location: Tara, Room T207
- Eamonn T. Gardiner (NUIG),
Rise of the footsoldier: a social history of the temporary gentlemen in the auxiliary division
- Paul Lavery (UU),
War in the Shadows: The Evolution of the Squad from July 1919 to March 1920
- Tomás Mac Conmara (UL),
‘Whenever we walk past, we should take off our caps and say a prayer.’
The effect of War of Independence monuments on social memory in County Clare
PANEL 11: NURSES AND AGITATORS (Chair: Dr Andrew Holmes)
Location: Tara, Room T208
- Shannon Brady (NUIM),
The women of the Anglo-Russian Hospital
- Mary Hawkins (NUIG),
The nurses protest: the curious case of the Merlin Park Strike
- Mark Loughrey (UCD),
‘If we had Florence Nightingale here, we’d hang her’: Trade union militancy among general nurses and midwives in Ireland, 1919-1999
PANEL 12: AFTER THE WAR (Chair: Dr Gary O’Brien)
Location: Tara, Room T211
- Anne Marie Mc Inerney (TCD),
The politics of internment: Irish Republican prisoners in Northern Ireland, 1922-25
- David Gahan (NUIM),
The early agitation around land annuities
- Dr Martin Duffy (MIC),
The Irish Boundary Commission

PANEL 13: THE VIOLENT BEAR IT AWAY (Chair: Dr Matthew Potter)
Location: Tara, Room T201
- Nina Andersen (UCD),
“I’ll lead the people myself!” Fr. Anthony Mulvey and the start of the Troubles in Derry, 1965-1969
- Rory Milhench (TCD),
Irish government and the character of Loyalist violence, 1970-1980
Cian Moran (NUIG),
- Shadowboxing: the Rwandan genocide and military intervention
Location: Tara, Room T207
- Shane Hickey O’Mara (MIC),
‘Under the umbrella of a shared culture’: an analysis of the grand opening of the National Gallery of Ireland, 30 January 1864
- Mai Yatani (TCD),
Women, places and the revival movement at the fin-de- siècle Ireland
- Sam Manning (QUB),
From silent to sound: audience preferences at the Midland Picture House, Belfast, 1929-31
PANEL 15: THE CAUSE OF LABOUR (Chair: Dr Gavin Wilk)
Location: Tara, Room T208
- John McGrath (MIC),
Organised labour in nineteenth century Limerick: violence and the struggle for legitimacy
- James Curry (NUIG),
Rosie Hackett: the little woman who became the big bridge
- Gerard Watts (NUIG),
The struggle for Liberty Hall, 1923-1924
PANEL 16: VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WOMEN (Chair: Dr Ursula Callaghan)
Location: Tara, Room T211
- Martin Walsh (UL),
The campaigns to protect the moral character of Irish women emigrants to England, 1885-1922
- Lorraine Grimes (NUIG),
The historiography of women in the New Irish State, 1922-1937
- Niamh Lenahan (UL),
The Little Company of Mary: a case study of the Limerick House, 1888-1980
- Kathleen O’Sullivan (UL) ‘Fashion with an Irish brogue’: Celtic couturier Sybil Connolly and the perception of Irish culture through the media in the 1950s

(Chair: Mr Liam Irwin)
Location: Tara, Room T201
- Kenneth Sheehy (UCC),
Heroes, villains and scapegoats: understanding Goulding’s IRA, 1963-1972
- James O’Connor (UL),
The causes and consequences of the 1969-70 split in the Irish Republican Army
- Seán McKillen (UL),
Changing the narrative of the Troubles: John Hume in the United States
PANEL 18: MUNSTER LIVES AND DEATHS (Chair: Dr Kevin O’Sullivan)
Location: Tara, Room T207
- Tom Keane (MIC),
Beware of cul-de-sacs and dead ends- the death of Michael “Goggin” Hickey
- Liam Culliane (UCC),
Men, women and the memory of work: gender and labour in the life-histories of Cork manufacturing workers, 1940-90.
- John Phayer (UL),
The Phayer family and their association with Goodwin’s earthenware business in Limerick City
(Chair: Dr Ruan O’Donnell)
Location: Tara, Room T208
- Dónal Ó Catháin (NUIG),
The Family of Maurice Fitzgerald, 1st Earl of Desmond
- Jeffrey Cox (UCD),
Preachers, parishes and community: the pastoral ministry of the established church in County Kildare, c. 1591 to 1640
- Declan Mills (UL),
Forward Protestant politics, Puritan faith and the Angevin marriage crisis in Edmund Spenser’s: The Shepheardes Calendar


Aislinn McCabe, (UCC), 'Crowning a poet in fourteenth-century Padua: the case of Albertino Mussato'
This paper examines the appearance of the first drama in the late Medieval Ages to be modelled on a classical tragedy. The Ecerinis (1314) by Albertino Mussato was the first tragedy in centuries to have the themes and traits of an ancient classical drama, and the work of Ronald G. Witt has given the Ecerinis a central place in his account of the early Renaissance. The play is concerned with the rise of the tyrant Ezzelino da Romana and his vicious reign of terror until his eventual defeat and death. The work of Mussato and his revival of the classical themes of ancient authors such as Seneca, led to his coronation in Padua in 1315. This paper therefore discusses the crowning of a poet laureate in fourteenth century Padua. It involves an analysis of the coronation of Albertino Mussato as the first poet laureate since antiquity, looking at how the celebration of this poet came about, what the sources tell us, and lastly how to interpret this event.
Alma O’Donnell (UCC), Spiritual leadership in Adomnán's Vita Columba
My proposed paper is a study of how Adomnán’s portrayal of St Columba as a spiritual leader in the Vita Columba was influenced by the Easter controversy. While the Vita Columba is first and foremost a depiction of Columba’s spirituality, the Easter controversy is an underlying issue which permeates the text. Adomnán’s accounts of the miracles attributed to Iona’s founder are not simply a declaration of Columba’s holiness; they all show how Columba excels at each of the different qualities that a spiritual leader needs. The miraculous account of Columba’s life is also an answer to the criticism that Iona faced over the refusal of the monastery to officially change their method of dating Easter. Adomnán depicts a feeling of unity and tolerance within the monastery, although during this time the Easter dating had divided opinion in Iona. My paper would take key miracles from the Vita Columba and discuss Adomnán’s depiction of Columba’s spirituality and the sources that Adomnán works from, including Gregory the Great’s depiction of St Benedict and the Vita Martini by Sulpicious Severus. My paper would also discuss how this shows Adomnán’s keenness at portraying Columba as a figure of highest spiritual authority and orthodoxy, and also at reaffirming the status of Iona as one of the greatest insular ecclesiastical centres, as an answer to the opposition expressed towards Columba and Iona at the Synod of Whitby in 664.
Marie Taylor (MIC), The Initial Anglo-Norman Settlement of County Limerick
This paper examines the impact of the initial Anglo-Norman arrival in county Limerick and the evidence for the colonisation of Limerick being a three stage process. The territorial organisation within the framework of the different stages of land grants will be outlined. The impact of feudalism on the micro-scale will be investigated and an analysis given of the subinfeudation process within the framework of the cantred and manor. At the core of the manor, a manorial centre emerged where manorial functions, including the administrative, judicial and economic functions, were concentrated. Many of these locations developed into nucleated settlements some of which were granted borough status indicating their importance on the Anglo-Norman landscape. While the granting of borough status did not guarantee the success of a settlement, many Anglo-Norman boroughs have survived onto the present landscape as important settlements. The primary objective of this paper is to examine the impact feudalism had on the territorial organisation of Anglo-Norman rural settlement landscape in county Limerick in the early stages of Anglo-Norman colonisation.

Emma McCarthy (UCC),
The self-perception of spiritual Europe during the Reformation
There are documents from the time that demonise witches but those documents were not very persuasive. The strangest and most interesting documents, though misleading, the hammer of witches, it might give us a clue. It’s basic demonology is derived from earlier documents but it has some emphasis that is worth noting, including gender and the weakness of women. That is not its most influential property though. Later writers did not expand on those points. Most people who theorised about witchcraft did not spend as much time talking about enquiring into the sex lives of the suspects. It was a peculiar characteristic of the hammer which makes it still widely read. If that’s not interesting, what is? Two things, it was written by an inquisitor, someone who was engaged in trying to root out witchcraft but somebody who faced lots of opposition. There are repeated hints that the reason he’s writing the way he is because he feels it isn’t taken seriously despite the innovations in fifteenth century witchcraft theory, not just by the general public but also the Bishops weren’t willing to take it seriously. Secondly, the number of times it was re-printed. If we combine those two things,
we have an odd pairing. Who is reading it and buying it if no one is taking it seriously? Maybe it was an entertaining side line, we don’t know. There is no immediate impact in the number of trials. It did not lead to the persecution of witches. It is 75 years before we see a big increase in the number of witch trials and the reformation happens in between. Some people argue that there is a slight increase but the reformation stopped it because the church had a more immediate, bigger problem to deal with, heresy instead of witchcraft.
Ciarán McCabe (NUIM),
The virtuous silent suffering of the poor in the language of charity in nineteenth century Ireland
An analysis of the language of charity in nineteenth-century Ireland reveals a widespread emphasis on the virtuous silent suffering of the poor. Those destitute individuals who did not resort to public begging but, instead, retired to their wretched abodes to suffer in silence were acclaimed as the truly ‘deserving poor’. Their suffering was held as mirroring that of Christ, marking out such individuals as worthy recipients of charitable assistance. The silent suffering of the poor set such individuals apart from the ‘swarms’ of habitual mendicants who ‘infested’ city streets. This silent suffering demonstrated a courageous resignation to one’s fate. Accounts from throughout this period refer to the ‘heroic, uncomplaining submission of the people’; the poor were promised an eternal reward for their ‘patience and submission to poverty’. In a period when the moral and temporal condition of the lower classes attracted unprecedented levels of interest and zeal, silent suffering demonstrated personal restraint and responsibility among the poor, thus meeting the expectations of middle-class philanthropists.
On a simpler level, silent suffering was seen as sparing the public from the persistent and bothersome solicitations of street beggars. The cries of beggars were part of the noise of modern cities and one which many preferred to live without. Public revulsion of social problems such as beggary and prostitution was concerned largely with the visibility of such practices. By confining themselves to the unseen dens of city slums, the poor who suffered in ‘unobtrusive silence’ shielded the public from the sight of their wretchedness.
This paper will consider how the silent suffering of the poor was lauded as representing true, Christ-like endurance, distinguishing the ‘deserving’ from the ‘undeserving’ poor. This sentiment prevailed across all the major Christian denominations in nineteenth-century Ireland, as shown in the primary sources, which include pamphlets, sermons, and the minute books of charitable societies.
Declan O’Brien (MIC), Cartoons in conflict -- David Low and the War of Independence
This paper will look at the manner in which the Anglo-Irish War was covered in visual terms by David Low, one of the leading British-based cartoonists of the first half of the twentieth century. A fierce opponent of fascism, his cartoons lampooning both Hitler and Mussolini won him international recognition during the 1930s, as well as the ire of the two dictators and resulted in his work being banned in both Italy and Germany. During the same period he also created one of his most famous characters, Colonel Blimp, a fat, moustached, Victorian-era figure ‘mouthing pompous nonsense.’ However, though he is best remembered for his anti-fascist material, his work on the War of Independence and the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations is fascinating from an Irish perspective.
Low was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1891, the son of a Scottish-born journalist. After working for a number of local publications through his teens, he moved to Australia in 1911 and to the Sydney Bulletin. His talents soon came to the attention of the London press and he emigrated to Britain in August 1919 to start work for the liberal evening paper The Star. In his book ‘Low and the Dictators’ Timothy Benson states that ‘Low’s humanitarian instincts and Liberal leaning gave him a strong determination to oppose Hitler and everything he stood for.’ These same instincts appear to have informed his cartoons on Ireland. Avowedly anti-imperialist, Low’s cartoons provided a radical and original visual perspective on the violence and political turmoil that engulfed Ireland between 1919 and 1921. However, he was not an unquestioning nationalist sympathiser and this paper will discuss how the tone of Low’s work changed as the Anglo-Irish War intensified through late 1920 and into 1921. It will discuss how Low’s own background and political sympathies influenced the content of his cartoons, as well as looking at the various devices and styles that characterised his work.

Sinead Byrne (NUIM),
Hyde and his work need money: Douglas Hyde in America 1905-06
Douglas Hyde travelled to North America on two occasions, he helped to establish the Gaelic League, he created a link between Irish organisations in North America and those in Ireland, and he raised vital funds that guaranteed the survival of the spoken Irish language at a time when it was under greatest threat of extinction. This paper will show how his trip to Canada in 1890 lead to the creation of the Gaelic League in 1893. Funds were required and in 1905 he travelled to North America on a Gaelic League fundraising tour. The funds raised lead to a decade of successful Gaelic League campaigns and as a result of these, the spoken Irish language saw a revival. Such an important event in the history of the Irish language has all but been forgotten. Hyde’s time as President of the Gaelic League was vital to its survival and when he resigned its support and significance declined. Without Hyde’s contribution to both the written and spoken Irish language it would not hold the strong position within society that it does today.
John O’Donovan (UCC),
“It was almost impossible to see what was taking place”: The ‘Baton Commission’, 9-10 February 1909
The National Convention of the United Irish League (UIL) and Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) held in the Mansion House Dublin in February 1909 has entered historical lore as being one of the most turbulent ever held in the building. For some nationalists, it was the culmination of years of tension and conflict within the Party and the UIL. For others, it was the first public example of the firm grip which the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) now had on the political machinery of Irish constitutional nationalism. This paper will outline the narrative of the build-up, conduct and reaction to the Convention and its turbulent sessions. It will demonstrate the extent to which the leadership of the IPP and the UIL had become in thrall to the militant AOH, and how this would inform subsequent Irish history.
Martin O’Donoghue (NUIG),
‘Remarkable Revelation’? The significance of Redmondite commemorations in the Free State, 1922-6
In March 1918, John Redmond passed away an unpopular leader who had never achieved his goal of leading a self-governed Ireland.
However, from the first anniversary of his death, the Redmondite strongholds of Waterford and Wexford began to hold local tributes to the former Irish Party leader. Such occasions highlighted the persistence of loyalty to the Redmond family and the defeated Party. This presentation aims to examine the expansion of Redmondite anniversaries into national events in 1924 and 1925 drawing thousands of people to attend. By no mean the only nationalist memorial to former leaders, the Redmond anniversaries were distinctive in paying tribute to a man and a party which had been lambasted and rejected only a few years previously.
The symbolism and ritual of such commemorations along with the presence of individuals and organisations associated with the old Irish Party are analysed to estimate the extent and character of support for Redmond which persisted in the Free State. The extent to which such memorials served a social function by allowing some old supporters to replace political action with remembrance is also explored as well as the desire shown by participants to preserve their account of recent history.
Such events diminished in size and became more localised in character after 1925. Nevertheless, it is argued that the Redmond anniversaries had a national as well as local significance as the events themselves and the speeches given by those present can be used to trace the development of attempts to revive the ‘old nationalist’ political support base in the form of the National League party launched by Captain William Redmond in Waterford in 1926.

AnneMarie Brosnan (MIC),
Freedmen’s education throughout the American Reconstruction, 1861-1877
Slaves were denied an education in the antebellum Southern United States. As emancipation dawned, the former bondsmen demanded access to education and freedmen’s education grew in strength and support throughout the Reconstruction era, 1861-1877. Although the schooling of the freed people was initiated by the former slaves, three groups of teachers actively participated in the construction of freedmen’s education: northern white teachers,
southern white teachers and black teachers from both the north and south. Notwithstanding, the dominant image of the freedmen’s teacher in historical scholarship is that of a northern female missionary teacher.
This paper is focused on developing the life and work of freedmen’s teacher Rev. Willis L. Miller. Miller, a former slave-owner, was a native of North Carolina who also fought in the Confederate army. He additionally co-founded Biddle Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1867. This historically black college, now known as Johnson C. Smith University, was first established with the aim of training black men and women to become teachers and preachers for the African American race.
This paper will examine the life and work of Miller using a database of all known freedmen’s teachers from 1861-1866, known as the Freedmen’s Teacher Project, as well as personal correspondence, newspaper editorials written by him and historical texts about Biddle Institute.
The results of this study will clearly demonstrate that many southern whites actively engaged in the construction of freedmen’s education. Furthermore it will reveal that many white North Carolinians were genuinely sympathetic towards freedmen’s education and actively engaged in it for the betterment of the freed slaves. Because of its regional and cultural diversity, North Carolina can appear as a microcosm of the South. Consequently, this study will provide the basis for studying freedmen’s education in other southern states.
Kayte O’Malley (NUIG),
Child Welfare in the State in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular focus on life in the Industrial Schools and legislative foundations of these institutions
For over 130,000 children in Ireland between 1868 and 1969, Child Welfare was synonymous with Industrial Schools. This paper will first give a chronological overview of the development of these Industrial Schools in Ireland, from their inception to their subsequent closure in the wake of the Kennedy Report in 1970. Originally founded on a British Parliamentary Act, it will also chart the legislative basis for and development of these institutions within Ireland, pre and post-Independence with a brief nod to the current legislation in place with regard to the placement of children in the care of the state. The case study of St Joseph’s Industrial School in Letterfrack will be presented as a lens through which to explore the appalling conditions and life for “inmates” within one of these many
schools before briefly drawing international comparisons to the Irish system and discussing the scheme’s eventual dismantling and the historic apology issued by then-Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, on behalf of the Government in 1999.
Michael Dwyer (UCC),
‘Battle of the Bacailli’: the Ring College immunisation disaster
Among the greatest victories of modern medical science has been the conquest of diphtheria. During the nineteenth and early twentieth-century diphtheria levied a heavy toll on infant and child life, and until the conquest of its ravages it had proved fatal in a high percentage of cases. In the Irish Free State, the Department of Local Government and Public Health encouraged Medical Officers to adopt active immunisation as a ‘safe and simple’ method to ‘control and effectively wipe-out this dreaded disease of childhood’.
In 1936, an immunisation scheme undertaken at Ring College in County Waterford resulted in the death of a twelve year old girl, and a further twenty-three children contracted a tubercular infection. The Irish government refused to hold an inquiry into the matter on the basis that they could not intervene in a case regarding the treatment of private patients by a medical practitioner. At a subsequent Coroner’s inquest, the jury were asked to consider ways in which the tubercular infection could have been introduced. The jury exonerated the attending physician Dr. Daniel McCarthy and the finger of blame pointed to Burroughs & Wellcome, manufacturers of the anti-diphtheria antigen.
In February 1939, a High Court civil action was taken by the parents of the deceased child against the Wellcome Foundation Ltd claiming damages in respect of the death of their daughter. This case, the first of its kind to ever reach the courts, drew huge media attention and reports of the case were ‘greatly canvassed wherever doctors meet in the English speaking world and indeed, all over the world’. While, an inconclusive ruling brought little consolation to the grieving patients, the incident and the subsequent court case impacted negatively on the roll out of anti-diphtheria immunisation schemes in both Ireland and Britain.
This paper will challenge the existing historiography relating to the Ring incident and the concensus that the immunisation accident was a result of laboratory error. It will present
evidence which suggests that the incident escalated into an elaborate criminal conspiracy designed to maintain the professional integrity of one physician.

Robert Rock (University of Hertfordshire)
The ‘Criminal Community’: Irish Counterfeiting Operations in Eighteenth Century London
Counterfeiting the coin is a phenomenon essentially immune to thorough historical investigation. Between the ‘Great Silver Re-Coinage’ of 1696 and the coin reform of 1816, the Old Bailey heard over 1000 accusations of crimes committed against the coin, with just over 400 guilty verdicts; as counterfeiting was considered high treason, those found guilty were subject to the harsh penalty of being drawn and quartered (if male) or strangled and burned (if female). The on-going research has uncovered two coining operations during the mid-eighteenth century involving a community of London notorious throughout criminal history: the Irish. This paper will discuss the operations in detail, examining the skill that was needed in order to counterfeit, how an individual would become involved in such a crime, and its impact on London life during the period. Reactions of both legal and Mint authorities, alongside the actions of the accused during the proceedings, will be examined in order to portray the risks involved when caught in the act. This paper draws upon eighteenth century manuscript evidence, trial records, and a history of material culture through an examination of some of the objects – authentic and counterfeit coin and tools used in their manufacture.
Robert Hartigan (MIC), “Good fences make good neighbours”: Fabricated crime and sectarian tension in provincial pre-famine Ireland
In post emancipation Ireland, the rise of Catholics in civil society and the continued politicization of Catholic led causes (Temperance, Repeal of Union) threatened to alter the established balance of power in many provincial towns. In response to this, and mainly out of fear, many Protestant communities, particularly in more isolated pockets in the south of the island familiar with agrarian outrage, began to respond to this threat by employing subversive tactics to quell this Catholic march. The following paper focuses on one such town, Shinrone, in King’s County, in 1844. In doing so, this paper will highlight two coinciding events that
capture the fraught relations within such communities during this period and more importantly the mechanisms in place that allowed such tension to be manipulated for personal and political gain.
Kerron O’Luain (QUB),
Ribbonism and Fenianism; conflict and conformity within working-class Irish nationaliam
Drawing on a detailed examination of both the Outrage Reports and the Chief Secretary’s Registered Papers this proposed paper will address post-Famine survivals of Ribbonism in Ulster and elsewhere. Tom Garvin alluded to the Fenian Michael Davitt’s hypothesis that Mid-Victorian Ribbonism informed the development of Fenianism in his seminal work Defenders, Ribbonmen and Others in the 1980s. Despite this, little has been done since then to understand the processes by which this may have come about. One explanation has been the dearth of work carried out on Ribbonism into the 1850s.
Ribbonism had certainly had its heyday by the time the Famine had ended. But its continued survival in the immediate post-Famine period meant that it played a role in both agrarian protest (1849-1852) and sectarian clashes (1848-1850) in the province.
General economic stability due to the Crimean War and a dampening of communal strife due to the enforcement of the Party Processions Act during the mid-1850s deprived Ribbonism of two of its primary social functions, agrarian redress and Orange defence. But the Ribbon Lodges were broken up intermittently by the constabulary throughout the 1850s and into the early 1860s point to a tradition that, although weakened, still had some traction amongst lower-class Catholics in places from Sligo and Donegal to Belfast. What was the nature of Ribbonism in the 1850s and 1860s? Did it maintain the same social and economic functions it had in pre-Famine times? Was it in a strong enough position to have either a positive or negative effect on the development of the emerging Fenian movement?
John Devlin (NUIG),
To War? Canada’s debate over participation in the South African War
This paper will examine why the Canadian government took the decision to sanction the dispatch of Canadian troops to fight in South African war (1899-1902), and the impact that
the debate around this had on Canadian society. This issue is a useful paradigm in which to view Canadian history and in the context of the British Empire. The two societies and cultures of Canada came into conflict over the possible participation and dispatch of Canadian troops. French Canada was opposed to any involvement in the far flung wars of the empire, while much (though not all) of English Canada embraced its place as part of the British Empire at this juncture when it seemed at its zenith. The national argument ripped open the divisions of Canadian Society.

THE SHIPS AND ALL WHO SAILED IN THEM (Chair: Professor David Hayton)
John Treacy (MIC),
The development of an Irish Flower: HMS Oxlip to LE Maev
LE Maev served the Irish State for almost a quarter of a century, during some of the darkest periods of Irish naval policy. Suffering from a chronic lack of economic resources, flagging political support and a comical social perception, the Maev and her sisters struggled to provide the maritime security envisaged after the Emergency.
Hastily built in 1941, to make up a shortfall in Royal Navy coastal convoy escort vessels, HMS Oxlip served valiantly in some of the worst conditions seen, across a variety of theatres. Bearing many scars from the numerous battles in which she participated; Oxlip was placed on the disposal list in September 1945. By early 1946, the Irish Government had decided to form a Naval Service and had a pressing desire to acquire ships rapidly. Acting on Admiralty advice, Oxlip was one of a trio of vessels selected for the transaction. However her scarred past would result in a succession of engineering failures under the tricolour, with many of these associated with her wartime experience.
This paper seeks to outline the wartime contribution of HMS Oxlip and her subsequent service life in the Republic. It will draw on administrative and engineering records which were thought to be fragmentary or destroyed. Ultimately this paper seeks to critique the procurement process that led to her acquisition, in addition to evaluating the relationship between the Royal Navy and the Irish Naval Service, at this early juncture.
Jerome Devitt (TCD),
“Irish naval history” or “a naval history of Ireland”? – Ireland and the sea in the 1860s
By necessity, to gain an understanding of Ireland in its transnational context it to look beyond the limitations of its island boundaries, but it remains startling how few chose to look directly over those boundaries to the sea. The aim of this paper is to examine how the naval history of this island impacted upon both its internal workings and its international standing in the 1860s.
Ireland of the nineteenth century has only really one maritime historian, John DeCourcey Ireland, and he only fleetingly considered the relationship between the Admiralty and Ireland as a source of insight. By examining the relationship between Ireland, the Admiralty, the Fenians, and the sea, we gain enormous insight both into how Ireland viewed itself and how it was viewed from the outside.
In this period, at a moment of profound technological change, the strategic position of Ireland changed dramatically, but more importantly, the nature of the change was widely debated at every level of society. The upper tiers of the Irish Executive and the landed gentry as well as the constitutional and revolutionary nationalist press both on the island and among its diaspora debated its significance. Naval preparations to defend against an anticipated descent of “Fenian Steamers” from the United States, numerous invasion scares, interactions with foreign navies, and a feared infiltration of the Royal Navy by the Irish Republican brotherhood all place Ireland in a broader transnational context worthy of exploration.
Although the research underpinning this paper is still a work in progress, it draws on extensive examination of the national and international press, the correspondence of landed gentry, the Irish Executive, and a partial record of the Admiralty’s view of Ireland.
Phyl Guerin (LSAD), A drowned world? The Limerick Sailors’ Home
With subscribers such as the Rothschild’s, and William Inman, one of the foremost transatlantic ship owners of 1856 contributing to its foundation, the allure and intrigue that surrounds a standing memorial to a once active seafaring community is investigated using the multi-disciplinary skills of a Fine Art practice. A position of meditation and emotive response is sought to draw attention and create greater awareness of the house, raised through public subscription, an area that still retains buildings of maritime use and historical importance, and the inherent qualities of philanthropy and altruism that still exist within the city today.
Investigating this ‘secret history’ espouses an alternative identity of place and a revisionist approach that values this body of knowledge, as opposed to the ‘purposeful forgetting’ of individuals and buildings associated with British occupation. Altered perception and a sensitized consciousness are pursued in establishing a contextual background to the house’s founding which affirms Limerick as a major port of southern emigrant embarkation up to 1853, supports its recognition as an outward and individual city, while establishing its strong legacy of philanthropy and altruism.

Julie McGrath (MIC) Sir Stephen Edward De Vere and a case of murder in the Limerick District Lunatic Asylum
Sir Stephen Edward De Vere was a member of the Board of Governors of Limerick Asylum. The Governors were responsible for many aspects of the asylum’s administration, and a medical superintendent was appointed to oversee the running of the institution. Throughout the 1860s the Board was involved in a series of disputes with the Government regarding the increasing power of the asylum inspectorate, as their own authority was reduced.
In 1871, an event occurred which drew national attention to this quarrel. De Vere discovered that a patient in the asylum had died in suspicious circumstances. It was asserted that the records relating to the deceased were then tampered with. The inspector of asylums held a sworn investigation. But in his findings he appeared to absolve the staff of any culpability. This paper will investigate the Board’s response to this case, and consider whether they were justified in expressing their anger at the extent of the inspectorate’s power, or if their motives were based on dissatisfaction with their changing place in the hierarchy of power in Ireland.The correspondence between the Governors of Limerick District Lunatic Asylum and the Irish Government, the minutes of the Board’s meetings, De Vere’s private correspondence and coverage in local and national newspapers will form the main primary sources used in this paper.
John O’Neill (MIC), A monomaniac heiress; Marianne Nevill and madness among the ascendancy in pre-famine Ireland
On 9 November 2008 the Irish Independent noted that a historical piece of Irish tapestry was due to go under the hammer in the famous London auction house, Christie’s. This sampler had been stitched by Miss Marianne Nevill while she was under house-arrest as a lunatic at No. 33 Rutland Street, Dublin, in 1846.
Known for this wonderful piece of needlework, Marianne Nevill’s story deserves to be rescued from obscurity. Nevill was a fashionably educated protestant Irish heiress, a member of the protestant ascendancy in Ireland. She had been pronounced a lunatic by the Commission de lunatico inquirendo in July 1837 and was deemed to be suffering from religious monomania, apparently demonstrated in her views regarding the conversion of Jews to Christianity. Yet, as this paper will show, the principal difficulty for Nevill arose not from her religious opinions but from her apparent carelessness with her money.
Nevill was a prolific writer of letters, corresponding with powerful and respected people, and she produced pamphlets and prayer books prior to and during her period of internment. This paper focuses on Nevill’s writings during her time under house arrest. These works are of major historical importance and are among a handful of unearthed sources produced by certified lunatics in Ireland during the nineteenth century. Nevill’s writings display an inner-looking and emotional approach, revealing insights into how madness was classified and categorised in pre-famine Ireland. They give a snapshot into elite dealings with madness; something Alice Mauger has recently noted is missing from Irish studies on madness. Nevill’s situation reveals that irrespective of wealth, background or the methods and setting of confinement a categorisation as a lunatic was discriminatory. Furthermore this paper will consider representations of Nevill’s story in the pre-famine newspapers and Nevill’s case will be used to discuss religious madness in early nineteenth century Ireland.
Nevill’s writings and her struggles with her categorisation as a lunatic should be of interest to feminist, Jewish, medical and social historians.
Triona Waters (MIC), The Irish Lunatic Asylum: St. Brigid's Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway
‘A...madhouse can be defined as a ... establishment for the reception and care of insane persons.’ In Great Britain, the economic and social changes illuminated this care needed as well as a necessity for new establishments that would ‘contain’ the ‘mad people.’ Throughout the eighteenth century, ‘institutions for the insane’ were erected with the aid of voluntary subscription and due to demand of a constantly rising population, the building of asylums
thrived in Great Britain. However, this did not occur until the nineteenth century in Ireland. It is believed that ‘the insane were, after all, but part of a large population of beggars and vagrants in pre-Famine Ireland, a class which lived on the generosity of the cottiers and labourers.’ Therefore, to differentiate between the two groups of vagrants and lunatics, it soon came to be recognised in Ireland that treatment was needed. The origins of the official lunatic system in Ireland can be dated back to only 1804. Sir John Newport proposed this idea but it was not until 1817 that legislation was initiated. It mainly focused on how to differentiate between the ‘insane, the insane poor and the poor.’ Under the Lunacy (Ireland) Act 1821, a committee, which was under Newport’s control, discussed the possible ‘future care of lunatics and idiots.’ Eventually, Ballinasloe’s lunatic asylum was established in 1833 and dubbed to support Connaught throughout. However, the necessity for expansion was observed as the facility was holding 150 patients in its first year and by 1856, the number increased to 316 patients.
This presentation will elaborate on the information presented above whilst going into detail, the hospitals progression regarding the themes previously mentioned. With the aid of photographs and oral history interviews which have been already conducted, the presentation will conclude that although there was a lack of proper facilities and during the nineteenth century, noteworthy changes have occurred with regard to the Ballinasloe Psychiatric Hospital as well as asylum system in Ireland itself.

Joseph Curran (University of Edinburgh),
‘Without parallel in any other part of the United Kingdom’? The State, Civil Society and the Financing of Dublin’s Hospitals c. 1847-1880
Religious tensions and central government intervention are key themes in Irish historiography, yet much remains to be discovered about their effects on the everyday interactions of Irish urban elites. Similarly, few studies have considered how the concept of civil society, often employed in urban history, might be applied in Ireland. Examining attempts by Dublin’s voluntary hospitals to gain or retain funding provides a particularly good way of investigating social interactions in the post-Famine city. These hospitals faced many of the same financial and medical challenges as their British counterparts, yet these
problems often produced very different ‘solutions’. For example, several Dublin hospitals received annual parliamentary grants, a situation unique in the United Kingdom. Dublin, like many British cities established a Hospital Sunday Fund, a centralised initiative which distributed voluntary donations among participating medical charities, but Dublin’s Fund was much more controversial than those operating elsewhere. This paper will contrast hospital finance in Dublin with hospital funding elsewhere in the contemporary British Isles in order to shed light on Dublin society more generally. It will draw on rich source material including newspapers, hospitals’ administrative records, and parliamentary publications, to reveal the wider significance of this seemingly specialised concern. The paper will also apply civil society theory to consider the implications of its findings for Irish social history more generally. By introducing a comparative angle, and by shedding light on the ‘everyday’ effects of religious tensions and of government intervention, the project will provide new perspectives on significant themes in nineteenth-century Irish history.
Stuart Irwin (QUB),
Belfast Corporation and the management of public health during the late nineteenth century
The late nineteenth century saw a spirit of municipal activism taking hold in British cities that led local councils to expand their areas of responsibility, with public health and sanitation arguably the greatest challenge for local government. The existing historiography suggests that Belfast Corporation was not performing as well as its counterparts in other British cities during this period, with health and sanitation identified as the area where it most notably failed to meet its responsibilities. Indeed, in 1896 a special committee was appointed by the Council to investigate the perceived high death rate in Belfast. Accordingly, this paper explores the Corporation’s standard of performance on public health issues. What were the main problems facing it, and how did they respond? The paper argues that the evidence from the 1896 enquiry revealed serious deficiencies in the Corporation’s efforts to tackle health and sanitary matters. An examination of various public health issues the Council was responsible for, such as adopting infectious diseases legislation, overseeing an efficient sewerage and waste disposal system, and regulating housing and building standards etc., confirms that there were problems. The paper argues that there was reluctance from some on the Council to deal with health matters; another major difficulty was the lack of coordination between different departments in the Corporation and the municipal authority and external
bodies. Despite these apparent shortcomings, the situation could have been much worse; the death rate was problematic, but it was not as bad as the record would lead us to expect. In summary, this paper adds to understandings of local government and health matters in the late nineteenth century.
Peter Connell (TCD),
Housing conditions in Irish provincial towns in the first public house initiatives, 1890-1926
While there have been a number of substantial studies of housing conditions in Irish cities in the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries, conditions in smaller provincial towns have been largely ignored, apart from a few isolated local studies. This paper seeks to address this gap by presenting data on housing conditions and levels of overcrowding in over 80 towns with a more detailed portrayal of housing in fifteen of these towns. What emerges is a picture of wide variations across these towns in both the quality of the housing stock and in levels of overcrowding reflecting underlying patterns of property ownership and management, urban growth and decline and wider regional patterns in the country’s urban history.
The passing of the Housing of the Working Classes Act in 1890 provided municipal local authorities with a framework, if not substantial resources, for addressing issues of sub-standard housing and overcrowding. The Clancy Act of 1908 offered modest subsidies to urban council in the provision of public housing. As a result over 3,000 houses were built by local authorities in provincial towns up to 1922. Some towns such as Navan and Fermoy were quite proactive while others such as Listowel and Kilrush failed to build any houses. The data suggests a weak relationship between housing need and houses built. Some of the towns with the worst housing conditions did little to address them. As part of the ‘Homes for Heroes’ programme the post-World War I period promised substantial funding for urban housing and surveys carried out in 1919 identified the huge scale of what was required in provincial towns. The limited scale of the new Free State government’s response to the housing crisis must be set in that context.

Elspeth Payne (TCD),
‘Thank God we have the “Morning Post”! It is the only encouraging paper to read’: The Morning Post and Ireland, 1919-1921
My paper explores the events in Ireland between 1919 and 1921 as interpreted by the ultra-conservative British newspaper, the Morning Post. The chronological paradigms applied by the publication and the terminology it used to depict the Irish situation are first explicated. The overarching frameworks of analysis, and the prejudices, fears, and stereotypes underpinning these are then considered. In recovering the Morning Post’s conceptualisation of this period, this paper highlights the disparity between its understanding of events, and the coherent narrative of the ‘War of Independence’ or ‘Anglo-Irish War’ that has since been projected back.
The articles in the Morning Post did not just report the news from Ireland; they propounded an interpretation of the Irish situation that was intended to mould public opinion. The publication’s desired readership included a political element. However, through extensive written correspondence the editor of the Morning Post sought a private audience with this component. In this manner, its editor, Howell Arthur Gwynne endeavoured to directly influence the actions of politicians. This desire to intervene in political affairs reflects the overlap between the spheres of journalism and politics in the early twentieth century. Although the intervention of the “Press Barons” in this period has been well documented, the place of the ultra-conservative newspaper editor has been overshadowed by these magnates. My paper examines the surviving press-politician exchanges to offer a glimpse into a world of journalistic influence and intrigue.
I argue that as Gwynne was a close confidant to a clique of Ulster Unionist and Unionist ‘diehard’ politicians, analysing the Morning Post’s discourse on Ireland provides insight into the Conservative-Unionist mentality, and thus the rationale behind political manoeuvrings of this period. In doing so, I hope to demonstrate the potential newspapers offer for a revaluation of our understanding of this controversial phase of Irish history.
Stephen McQuillan (TCD),
Irish diplomatic-fraternal relations in the late revolutionary period, 1919-1921
My research paper centres on the development and consolidation of Irish fraternal-diplomatic relations in the late revolutionary period between 1919 and 1922. It begins with the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and the materialization of revolutionary contacts between Irish
nationalist diplomatic envoys such as Sean T. O’Kelly and George Gavan Duffy with other emerging nation states and nationalist-secessionist movements such as the Egyptian, Indian, South African and Burmese delegations among others. My research seeks to contradict the prevailing literature on this subject by arguing that Irish nationalists did indeed fraternize with other movements from outside the British Empire such as Montenegrin, Vietnamese and Lithuanian revolutionaries including the extensive contacts with movements from within the British Empire. The paper adds to the ongoing theoretical debate as to what extent the Dáil Éireann republican government initiated in January 1919 really was revolutionary by evaluating the quite extensive depth of radical connections with other movements and bodies. The thesis postulates that revolutions can be evaluated not only by an analysis of events in terms of their internal domesticities but also in an external and extraterritorial sense. Revolutions also happen on the outside. How did Irish nationalists perceive other movements and peoples? What did these movements and peoples think and say about each other? I have adopted a prosopographical methodological approach by which I have compiled a database of the various characters involved in revolutionary circles. Also pertinent is how and to what extent British surveillance authorities knew about and perceived the development of what they considered to ‘ostentatious fraternizing’. My research places the development of these cross-cultural affiliations in a transnational comparative framework by detailing the materialization of these relations in the United States, Britain and elsewhere.
Pat McMahon (UL),
Brendan Bracken: From Templemore to the House of Commons, the role of family and rejection in the creation of an Irish arch imperialist
The life and career of Brendan Bracken withstands evaluation from many critical and theoretical perspectives. He defied personification, created many different versions of himself, and ensured the truth about his heritage was left to swim in a sea of misinformation and untruths. He fabricated complete sections of his past to suit the circumstance, to facilitate the persona he wished others to see at that particular time. He adjusted details and facts about his private life to validate his political ambitions and in doing so alienated himself from his past heritage. He not only adapted the role of arch imperialist, but gloried in this character, in doing so becoming more imperialist than the imperialists themselves. It would be untrue to suggest that Bracken reinvented himself by adopting a single new identity. It is more accurate
to say that he changed and assumed the role best suited to the requirements of a given situation.
Yet certain elements may be assumed about his character without fear of contradiction. His desire to conceal elements of his life remained steadfast until his death, upon which he ordered the destruction of his personal papers. This final act was Bracken’s own inimitable stroke to ensure many elements of his life remained a mystery. This of course presents a serious problem when researching his career. However, much information can be gleaned from examination of the available primary sources pertaining to Bracken, including the recollections of some of his cohorts and acquaintances. This final act reaffirmed Bracken’s desire to conceal many elements of his private and public life. It is this uncertainty that facilitates a fresh theoretical evaluation of Bracken’s life and career. The notion of multiple personalities, performance in gender and nationality, and the fervent desire to distance himself from his Irish roots, all suggest a deeper and more structured reasoning behind the characteristics of the man.
When evaluating Bracken all contributing factors need to be examined in order to reveal a complete picture of how the man functioned, in his career and personal life. But perhaps the most important, and character shaping relationship was with his immediate family. How the premature death of his father, J.K. Bracken, removed a powerful patriarchal influence from his life, and when one considers that J.K. was a prominent Fenian, whose wife was left embittered by what she viewed to be the cost of her husband’s political activities to the family business, the confusion that must have been felt by the child Brendan becomes more apparent. When the young Brendan’s devotion to his mother was disrupted by her developing relationship with Patrick Laffan, he again felt a sense of displacement and loss. This coupled with the movement of the family to Dublin and the subsequent despatching of Brendan to a boarding school in Mungret, County Limerick, ensured that Brendan had been removed from the family unit. When he ran away from boarding school, his mother took the drastic decision to send him to Australia in an effort to calm his misbehaviours. He had been forcibly removed from all he held dear, exiled from his family and his native home, and this sense of rejection may be viewed as the embryonic seeds of the creation of the arch imperialist he was to become.

(Chair: Dr Deirdre McMahon)
Eamonn T. Gardiner (NUIG),
Rise of the footsoldier: a social history of the temporary gentlemen in the auxiliary division
When the British government announced they were sending the Auxiliary Division to Ireland they described them as ‘corps d’élite.’ They were to be recruited from the ranks of ex-officers demobilized after the Great War, to end the ‘murderous reign’ of the IRA; each cadet was to possess impeccable references coupled with ‘courage, discretion, tact and judgement.’ However their introduction only served to exacerbate the conflict, escalating it to unprecedented levels and bringing widespread condemnation on the government of David Lloyd George and the mercurial policies of his ministers.
This paper explores the past lives and personal histories of those auxiliary cadets, by focusing on both their military service during the Great War and their experiences after being demobilized into the promised ‘land fit for heroes.’ By cross-referencing extensive primary source material from the national archives of the United Kingdom, with the Auxiliary Division nominal roll, as well as published biographical manuscripts this paper is able to provide Christian names, promotion pathways and explore the personal histories of the auxiliaries. The paper provides a holistic view of the subalterns which other authors have not fully engaged in up to this point, including those who had been written out of history. Other source material includes recently released unit war diaries, Bureau of Military History Witness Statements, contemporary periodicals as well as a wide variety of secondary material.
Paul Lavery (UU),
War in the Shadows: The Evolution of the Squad from July 1919 to March 1920
The specific theme of this talk is to concentrate on the operations of the Squad from the evidence provided by the witness statements made to the Bureau of Military History. The aim of trawling through these statements is to ascertain the significance of the Squad’s actions in the Irish War of Independence and how it evolved from an inexperienced, part time unit into a ruthless, lethal, efficient machine.
While the statements provide an important primary source from people who participated during this period and essentially are a form of oral history, it is important to be aware of their shortcomings.
Significantly recognising that the key to IRA success was to overcome the vice-like grip G-Division- the detective branch of the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) - had on information, Michael Collins strove to create his own fully-functioning, effective intelligence network. Based in the heart of the British control- Dublin- this organisation would attempt to replicate and eradicate their British counterpart.
Fuelled by a chain of spies that wove into every facet of Irish life, and into G-Division itself, IRA intelligence began to build up a treasure trove of information on both the strengths and fallibilities of British rule in Ireland. Yet while this intelligence was acquired, an armed unit of fearless, ruthless, domiciled Dubliners was required to carry out the planned, targeted assassinations of G-Division detectives.
How the Squad was formed, its missions, its successes and failures and its importance in the eventual outcome of the war are discussed.
Tomás Mac Conmara (UL),
‘Whenever we walk past, we should take off our caps and say a prayer.’
The effect of War of Independence monuments on social memory in County Clare
This paper is based on doctoral research into the social memory, oral history and tradition surrounding the Irish War of Independence in County Clare. Over 150 oral history interviews have been conducted with interviewees connected to the period through family, geography or experience. For the generation who were the first to grow up in the legacy of the war, the period is a key temporal reference point for their life. The observation of this dynamic over three years of fieldwork and interpretation, gradually presented patterns of recollection.
Expanding on Nora’s Lieu de mémoire (Place of Memory), in a vernacular context, this paper delineates and examines the physical mnemonic landscape in Clare, with regard to the revolutionary period in the county. The decades following the Irish War of Independence are punctuated by local areas across the country marking the landscape with crosses, monuments, and plaques, honouring the deaths of men who had died during the revolutionary period. The latter created what Halbwach’s characterised as a living mnemonic system, repeatedly empowered by formal and informal acts of commemoration. Over forty physical
‘sites of memory’ have been identified in Clare for this research. The paper will examine the epistemological effect of these monuments and determine whether they are part of a carefully placed and cultivated mnemonic endeavour. Central to this research is the identification and exploration of registered silences in memory. Therefore, gaps in the physical landscape can be revealing regarding mnemonic selectivity and narrative construction. In measuring same against existing epistemology, the paper will further reveal the influence of such mnemonic endeavours and also generate new knowledge and perspectives on period itself.

NURSES AND AGITATORS (Chair: Dr Andrew Holmes)
Shannon Brady (NUIM),
The women of the Anglo-Russian Hospital
The First World War saw the creation of thousands of hospitals and field hospitals throughout the Russian Empire to provide medical treatment for soldiers, both private and public institutions, in which millions of wounded and medical cases received attention. One such institution was the Anglo-Russian hospital, for which planning began in 1915, with the hospital’s English staff severing ties in 1918 following the October Revolution. A creation emanating from the British Empire, the hospital was to be under the control of the Russian Red Cross Society while being completely financially dependent on British subscriptions, with administrative control falling to the English staff of the hospital. This paper will look at the role which the women who staffed the Anglo-Russian hospital played in its administration and day to day medical activities. This was a hospital to whom the daily administrative running and control fell to (at different times) Lady Muriel Paget and Lady Sybil Grey with nurses who hailed from the British Empire treating the Russian soldiers. It is with them that this paper is concerned. Based on primary source letters, diaries and contemporary newspapers and reports this paper will thus explore the following research questions:
• What motivated these women to go to Russia with the hospital?
• How did these women view themselves and their respective roles in the hospital?
• Does the role of caring nurturer so often prescribed to nurses fit with the experience of these women in the Anglo-Russian Hospital?
With the rise of scholarship on women’s experience of war in recent years the Anglo-Russian hospital offers the opportunity for a micro-study on how different women experienced war in one institution and what this can tell us about women and war.
Mary Hawkins (NUIG),
The nurses protest: the curious case of the Merlin Park Strike
In 1957, a Radio Éireann van made its way from Dublin, travelling over 100 miles to the grounds of the Western Regional Sanatorium, Merlin Park (more commonly known as Merlin Park Hospital). The Merlin Park nurses had invited the radio journalists to Galway to give their side of a dispute. This dispute was not centred on issues of pay or working hours, but over something else. Other groups involved in the dispute struggled to understand the nurses’ motives and actions over something which seemed to them to be a fairly simple matter. Nurses in Limerick, Cork and Dublin had not protested over this matter. This talk looks at the actions taken by the Galway nurses and the subsequent debate at local and national level, by different groups some of whom labelled the Galway nurses actions as a ‘strike’.
Mark Loughrey (UCD), ‘If we had Florence Nightingale here, we’d hang her’: Trade union militancy among general nurses and midwives in Ireland, 1919-1999
In 1970 the Irish Nurses’ Organisation, unhappy with nurses and midwives working conditions, convened a series of nationwide protest marches. At one such march in Dublin a nurse remarked to a journalist: ‘If we had Florence Nightingale here we’d hang her. She’s responsible for most of our bad conditions’. Nightingale was synonymous with a view of nursing as a vocation or calling. This view of nursing as a vocation, intertwined with the onus on nurses and midwives to care for patients, tempered their ability to take militant action in pursuit of better working conditions. However, by 1970 these axioms were increasingly being challenged.
The Irish Nurses’ Union, declared ‘the first Trade Union for Hospital Nurses in the world’, was founded by a group of twenty nurses and midwives in Dublin in 1919. Although it was founded as a small branch of the Irish Women Workers’ Union, it today has almost 40,000 members and is known as the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation. Using a range of documentary primary sources and oral history interviews with the Organisation’s members
and leaders, this paper explores the evolution of militancy in the Organisation. Culminating in the first ever national nurses’ strike in 1999, the paper draws particular attention to the dilemmas faced by the Organisation, and by its members, as they challenged the putative vocational underpinning of the profession and withdrew their labour for the first time.

AFTER THE WAR (Chair: Dr Gary O’Brien)
Anne Marie Mc Inerney (TCD),
The politics of internment: Irish Republican prisoners in Northern Ireland, 1922-25
I would like to present a paper on the above title which proposes to deal with the methods and conditions of internment for Irish Republican prisoners during the Irish Civil War up to 1925 (when most were released). This paper will explore two of the main aspects of internment during this period, the condition of the jails and the policy of the Stormont administration towards the internees. The first feature will discuss the general treatment, daily routine and issues which arose in three particular internment centres, Belfast Gaol, Londonderry prison and the prison ship Argenta, harboured in Larne. This will analyse the internal living conditions such as prison diet, visiting arrangements, exercise regimes and hunger strikes to name a few. The second aspect will discuss the politics of internment in Northern Ireland 1922-25. This will focus on the reaction of the Stormont administration in areas such as the financing of these prisons, overcrowding problems and the policy of releases that eventually followed in the years after the Irish Civil War. There will also be a brief comparison of how both governments in Northern Ireland and the Free State tackled the problems that arose from internment. This will shed light on how the prisons operated in these two separate districts, paying particular attention to the inherently different political orientation of each administration (nationalist/loyalist). It will focus on issues such as the availability of UK prisons to the Northern government, the higher levels of overcrowding in the South, the lack of executions in the North, hunger striking and the style of release policies adopted by each administration. Here, special attention will be given to the length of internment in the North (1922-26) and the South (1922-24) and discuss possible reasons for these different release dates by drawing on archival material from both districts.
David Gahan (NUIM),
The early agitation around land annuities
This paper will look at the early agitation and campaigns against the payment of land annuities in the new Irish Free State. It will deal particularly with attempts to organise resistance to payments in 1926. The significance of this campaign and what followed affected not only political but also social and economic concerns. Latter all political parties and groupings were affected, and forced to take a position on the issue even if some did so reluctantly and with a deal of ambiguity. The issue grew out of the payments of annuities for money advanced by the British government for land purchase in Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It was catapulted to national importance by the resumption of the collection of annuities by the Land Commission in 1925-6, after the disruption to payments during the revolutionary period 1919-23, in which considerable arrears had been accumulated. The resulting efforts to collect these arrears, involved court proceedings, seizures of property and evictions. Peadar O’ Donnell, then editor of An Phoblacht helped organise a campaign against payment. As this developed, so also would his efforts to persuade the IRA to support it and move that organisation to a more political position. He saw in this issue the potential for a national movement of small farmers and workers which could effect wider political change. The Land Commission and County Councils responded with increased use of the courts and bailiffs and in some counties the publishing of defaulters lists. The legality of annuities would be questioned inside and out of the Dáil, particularly concerning recent financial agreements with Britain. The legal issue would acquire greater significance latter, but the early agitation sought to gain republican and labour support for a more overall radical political outcome.
Dr Martin Duffy (MIC),
The Irish Boundary Commission
This paper describes the background to the setting up of the Boundary Commission which owes its origin to Article 12 of the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1921. After the Treaty, the nationalist claim for Ireland to be one country remained to be resolved. In Irish minds the Border issue was unresolved while from the British side it had been dealt with. The Boundary Commission’s objective was to adjust the Border between the Free State and Northern Ireland ‘in accordance with the wishes of its inhabitants’. Nationalist expectations were that vast areas of Northern would transfer to the Free State, thus leaving an area in Northern Ireland which would be ultimately unviable.
After delays arising from the Civil War in the South, changes in the British Government and difficulties in securing suitable members, the Commission was set up in 1924 and met in late 1925. The phrase ‘in accordance with the wishes of its inhabitants’ in Article 12 was given a minimalist meaning by Chairman Feetham: he also ruled out holding a plebiscite. Eoin MacNeill was the Free State representative, who looked upon the Commission as quasi-judicial, regarding his loyalty as being owed to his fellow commissioners rather than to his political colleagues. During deliberations his cabinet colleagues, including President Cosgrove, were ‘kept in the dark’ on the emerging outcome.
The Commission took evidence across Northern Ireland and in due course produced its draft report. A leak in an English newspaper created major political problems for the Free State Government when it emerged that only minimal changes would be made on the Border, against earlier expectations. MacNeill resigned from the Commission. All three governments suppressed the report. Partition was copper-fastened and Britain agreed to suspend so-called Irish debts to the British exchequer.

THE VIOLENT BEAR IT AWAY (Chair: Dr Matthew Potter)
Nina Andersen (UCD),
“I’ll lead the people myself!” Fr. Anthony Mulvey and the start of the Troubles in Derry, 1965-1969
A popular and influential priest in the Bogside area of Derry in the 1960s, Fr. Mulvey was a conservative activist who wanted to improve the dismal living conditions of his Derry parishioners with practical but non-political initiatives such as the Derry Credit Union and the Derry Housing Association. Mulvey was well aware of the challenges faced by his parishioners, on whom had been inflicted gerrymandered electoral wards, dismal housing conditions and discrimination in employment by what was perceived to be an intransigent and sectarian unionist local government. Mulvey’s initiatives were inspired by his conviction that ‘opting out of such [social] responsibilities, as a priest, was simply a coward's way out and a dereliction of duty.’ He regarded himself and his fellow priests as natural community leaders and spokesmen for the Catholic community in Derry city. Yet when the escalating conflict resulted into the Battle of the Bogside and the foundation of Free Derry in August 1969, Mulvey felt that his role had changed from community organization to riot intervention and peace-keeping. While very critical of the conduct of the RUC towards Civil Rights
marchers, Mulvey consistently condemned acts of rioting and vandalism and could be seen in the streets trying to disperse stone-throwing Catholic youths. How successful this transition in roles was will be discussed in this paper, and Mulvey’s motivations and actions will be examined as a case study of the response of the Derry clergy to civil unrest.
Rory Milhench (TCD),
Irish government and the character of Loyalist violence, 1970-1980
This paper examines the relationship between successive Irish Governments and Ulster Loyalists, with particular emphasis on the exegesis of Loyalist violence and the reputed partisanship of British security forces in Northern Ireland. This includes analysing the Irish response to the failure of the British Government to proscribe Loyalist paramilitary organisations. What was this indicative of; latent sympathy or hesitant confusion? To what extent did the British Government assume a permanence to the loyalist observance of the British rule of law, which translated to an unwillingness to move aggressively against them? Or, was it suggestive of a more sinister ideological dispensation which polluted the British security forces. Did the Irish Government misinterpret the defensive, reactive ethos of loyalist paramilitaries, and the formation of rifle clubs by members of the recently disbanded B-Specials, as the orchestrating of total war or demonstrative of a Protestant bloodlust? This paper contends it was an expression of fear; either at the rampaging violence of the I.R.A. or the brooding dread at abandonment by the British government.
The paper proceeds to analyse the volatile question of collusion. How concerned were Irish Governments at the explicit dual membership of men in both the U.D.R. and either the U.V.F. or U.D.A.? Did they believe the policing reforms of 1976, which installed the primacy of the police at the expense of the British Army, would intensify the practice of collusion? Does one fundamentally judge the R.U.C. as a dutiful ally of the Ulster Protestant? Finally, was it the instinct of the Irish State to embroider a cartoon of loyalist violence, because making loyalism appear too coherent as an ideology of thought, rather than war, or marvelling at its dissenting character would give Northern Protestants just cause for their resistance and threaten to provoke the Nationalist community North and South?
Cian Moran (NUIG),
Shadowboxing: the Rwandan genocide and military intervention
The Rwandan genocide is one of the most egregious episodes of the post-Cold War era. Following a brutal civil war, a peace agreement was signed in the small African republic of Rwanda. However, the peace agreement broke down, ushering in the systematic extermination of Rwanda's Tutsi population by the Hutu majority.
This paper will analyse the failures of the international community during the Rwandan genocide. In particular, this paper will highlight how despite the volatility of post-civil war Rwanda, the UN deployed a peacekeeping force that was entirely inadequate. In addition, I will address how strong and decisive action by the UN and the international community could have stymied or even halted the genocide.

Shane Hickey O’Mara (MIC),
‘Under the umbrella of a shared culture’: an analysis of the grand opening of the National Gallery of Ireland, 30 January 1864
2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the official opening of the National Gallery of Ireland to the general public. The foundation of Ireland’s National Gallery in 1864 remains one of the most decisive moments in the cultural and social history of the country. In the course of this presentation I intend to examine the effect that this event had on the development of civic spirit in Dublin city. I also aim to answer a selection of questions about Dublin society at this time: I hope to determine how successful the gallery proved with the people of Dublin city as well as its openness to visitors from different social classes. I will also examine how the grand opening and subsequent exhibition were reported in the print media of the day. A crucial aspect of this presentation is the identification of the original collection of paintings that were exhibited as I believe that this knowledge will lend a unique insight into late nineteenth century Dublin society.
Mai Yatani (TCD),
Women, places and the revival movement at the fin-de- siècle Ireland
The fin-de-siècle Irish society that produced the Irish revival movement also saw a significant increase in fiction publishing. Recent studies of English literature have started to shed light
upon popular reading habits and examine how national ideals are reflected not only in the literary canon, but also in popular fiction like girls’ novels. In nineteenth century Ireland, however, the importance of popular literature has been neglected, despite the considerable historiographical attention paid to the revival movement. Since the Catholic middle class in Ireland is regarded as the main force behind the radicalisation of the nationalist movement, it is necessary to look at what they were actually reading at that time. Especially in Ireland, the expansion of readership is the product of improvements in Catholic education and a growing middle class who could afford to indulge in pastime reading for pleasures.
This paper will especially focus on female reading habits and the representations of the place in girls’ novels. I will focus on the example of two girls’ novels which show us the vivid contrast of descriptions of the revival movement; Rosa Mulholland’s Cynthia’s Bonnet Shop (1900) and Katherine Tynan’s The House of Crickets (1908). From these novels, we can see how female writers regarded the revival movement as a means of women’s self-realisation. It is worth paying attention to the places these novels reference, and the role they play as symbols of female activities. In addition, I will explain how women connected reading with place, using descriptions from the diaries and memoirs of Mary Hayden and Katharine Tynan. This analysis of female reading habits illustrates the importance of counter-narratives obscured by the literary canon.
Sam Manning (QUB),
From silent to sound: audience preferences at the Midland Picture House, Belfast, 1929-31
This paper assesses the transition from silent to sound cinema at the Midland Picture House, a cinema with a working-class customer base located in the York Street area of North Belfast. It traces the introduction of the ‘talkies’ in Belfast from April 1929, before analysing the effects of this change on audience preferences and composition at the Midland from 1929–31. This study is based predominantly on the cinema’s Daily Return Books, Exhibition Diary and the correspondence of manager Joseph Craig. The paper utilises quantitative data to assess the provision of leisure, the nature of attendance and working-class audience preferences at the Midland. This case-study reveals that the ability to attract large numbers of patrons was based on the creation of a successful programme of films rather than the attraction of individual features. Given the price and the range of features suited working-class patrons, audience’s demonstrated surprisingly predictable behaviour. While exceptional films could gain large audiences, attendance was determined to a greater extent by price and the time and
date of exhibition. Changes in price, and the schism created by the introduction of sound, reveal the extent that attendance varied as a result of factors other than the films themselves. This paper also explores a number of long term trends and assesses how the increased preference for evening and Saturday screenings demonstrated changes in the use of working-class leisure time and willingness to frequent the cinema.

THE CAUSE OF LABOUR (Chair: Dr Gavin Wilk)
John McGrath (MIC),
Organised labour in nineteenth century Limerick: violence and the struggle for legitimacy
Marooned in an environment of unsympathetic capitalism, organised labour in 1820s Limerick faced a dilemma. The guild legacy that the ordinary artisan fiercely clung to had been rendered anachronistic as evolving economic philosophies – and corresponding changes in legislation – ceased to include many of the key principles that formed the bedrock of the guild system. Unwilling to embrace this new age, the artisans of Limerick formed the ‘United Trades of Limerick’, an illegal trades council which used violent methods and briefly commanded a degree of authority over the workmen of Limerick in the early 1820s. It was quickly replaced in 1824 by the ‘Congregated Trades of Limerick’, a pan-trade body which allied itself to O’Connell, interfaced with constitutional politics and relied on diplomacy rather than violence.
Despite the victory of the moderate Congregated Trades, the illegal and violent underbelly of the trades was never completely eradicated and this paper will explore:
1. The instances when violence re-erupted in the 1820-1899 period.
2. The manner of the violence.
3. The rationale behind the attacks.
4. The struggle of the trades’ hierarchy to portray a peaceful and law-abiding artisan populace as they sought to establish themselves as a legitimate part of the urban civic framework.
James Curry (NUIG),
Rosie Hackett: the little woman who became the big bridge
On 2 September 2013 the Marlborough Street Public Transport Priority Bridge, under construction over the River Liffey in Dublin since September 2011, was officially named the Rosie Hackett Bridge by Dublin City Council. In a weighted preferendum ballot, involving all fifty-one Dublin City Councillors, Hackett (1893-1976) finished ahead of eighty-four other names put forward for consideration by members of the public and different organisations. On 22 September 2013, three weeks after the announcement was made, an article published in the Sunday Independent declared that the Irish political left had ‘conspired to secure the naming of the new €15 bridge over the River Liffey after unknown trade union activist Rosie Hackett ahead of more famous historical figures’ such as W. B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Michael Collins and Constance Markievicz. The report went on to state that the left ‘hijacked the decision-making process’ in order to ensure that the ‘obscure’ Hackett triumphed over more obvious ‘big name’ candidates. Is there any substance to such claims? And is it fair to label Hackett as an ‘unknown’ and ‘obscure’ figure? These are questions which this paper will ultimately address. My aim will be to succinctly narrate the story of Hackett’s trade union career, clear up various myths surrounding her life that arose during the 2012-13 bridge naming campaign, outline the reasons for the outcome of Dublin City Council’s unprecedented naming competition, and discuss whether or not Hackett is a deserving recipient of such an historic honour.
Gerard Watts (NUIG),
The struggle for Liberty Hall, 1923-1924
When news came in 1923 that James Larkin was to be deported from America, where he had been incarcerated on a charge of criminal anarchy, the Executive Committee of the ITGWU closed ranks, dug a series of trenches, rolled out the barbed wire and festooned it with rule-changes. These rule changes were designed to consolidate the position of ‘Field Marshall von Wilhelm O’Brien’ and reduce greatly the power of the ‘would be dictator,’ James Larkin.
The opening volley was fired by Larkin in early June 1923. Accusing the Executive Committee of Tammany Hall politics, Larkin got the support of the rank and file at the numerically strong Nos. 1 and 3 Dublin branches and had O’Brien, Foran and others suspended from the union. The next day, Larkin and his followers seized the union offices at Parnell Square and Liberty Hall. O’Brien’s broadside was to use the apparatus of the Free State: an injunction and the arraignment of Larkin in court. Another attempt was made to seize Liberty Hall in May 1924. Forty-five Larkinites entered Liberty Hall and remained
there until police, soldiers and an armoured car arrived at 5am, and dragged them off to the Bridewell. This would seem to be an extraordinary use of State resources to intervene in what was an internal dispute within the union. This paper will look at documentary evidence which suggests that this was a pre-determined intervention, and that the Free State was willing to invest a lot of resources to ensure that James Larkin lost control of the ITGWU.

VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WOMEN (Chair: Dr Ursula Callaghan)
Martin Walsh (UL),
The campaigns to protect the moral character of Irish women emigrants to England, 1885-1922
At the end of the nineteenth century and the turn of the twentieth century, social purity groups in England and Ireland were worried about the increasing immorality evident on the streets in large towns and cities such as Liverpool in England. One of the principle concerns of these groups was the double standard which underpinned this behaviour and condoned the immoral behaviour of men while condemning similar behaviour in women. In both countries social purity groups turned their attention to encouraging men to remain pure in thought and actions and in turn to protecting young women from falling into prostitution. In addition to working on the street and publishing material, they tried to protect women who travelled between Ireland and England seeking work. In particular they were concerned about working-class women who sought employment as domestic servants.
Based on the papers of the Girl Friendly Society, the National Vigilance Association and the Travellers Aid Society, this work forms part of a wider study on the role played by social purity groups in the promotion of moral behaviour in England and Ireland at the end of the nineteenth century and the turn of the twentieth century.
Lorraine Grimes (NUIG),
The historiography of women in the New Irish State, 1922-1937
1922 marked the founding of the Irish Free State, since the opening of the twentieth century Ireland had witnessed a growth of feminist, nationalist and labour concerns which led to the rise of strong female leaders such as Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Delia Larkin and Countess
Markievicz all fighting for the extension of human liberty. Having gained their right to vote in 1918, the success of first wave feminism failed to dent the formal legal incapacity of women in other areas. Jennie Wyse had urged "when our men are in power we shall have equal rights", however, by 1920 any hopes that women would play a significant role in the new Ireland were soon squashed as a series of restrictive measures were introduced by government. We see the denial of full legal personality to women on questions such as jury service, entitlement to work after marriage, limitations and inequalities of pay, opportunities, pensions and status. From 1922-77 24 out of the 650 TDs elected to the Dáil during the fifty five years, were female, and out of the twenty four elected, none held position of Minister. What is the reason for the non-participation of women in the new state?
Niamh Lenahan (UL),
The Little Company of Mary: a case study of the Limerick House, 1888-1980
The Little Company of Mary (LCM), a Roman Catholic women’s religious congregation, originated in England in the late nineteenth century. It was founded in 1877 by Mother Mary Potter in Hyson Green, Nottingham, England. Unlike other congregations of women religious who confined themselves to teaching, Potter’s vision for her congregation was to establish a nursing order to care for those who were suffering, specifically the sick and dying. Within their first eleven years of existence the order had houses in Italy (established 1882), in Australia (established 1885) and in Ireland beginning in 1888. Against a background of the expansion of female religious orders in Ireland, the order’s arrival into Ireland was initiated by Count Arthur Moore of Tipperary who approached the bishop of Limerick, Edward Thomas O’Dwyer for his help to realise a suitable location for the LCM order. The bishop offered them St. John’s Hospital, the former Fever and Lock Hospital in St. John’s Square in the city centre. Demand for this hospital had waned since the cholera epidemic of 1849. Immediately after their arrival into Limerick, the order began to prepare the hospital for opening in October 1888 and extended the hospital during the twentieth century where they established their own School of Nursing in 1939 on this site also. In 1923, they purchased Milford House in Castletroy on the outskirts of the city and it became the order’s first novitiate house and they pioneered a hospice facility that still exists and encompasses a nursing home and day care facilities also. This paper represents research in progress based on the LCM archives and will examine the challenges which the order faced to establish itself in Limerick, it will then analyse how the order managed and progressed a hospital from 1888,
a once derelict building into a modern medical surgical hospital for the city of Limerick and the surrounding county. It will also explore how Milford House evolved initially from a residential building to a novitiate, to a nursing home and hospice. It will argue that while the LCM faced financial and other challenges in establishing a presence in the Limerick region, the order created a medical service for all classes in the city and later pioneered hospice care.
Kathleen O’Sullivan (UL) ‘Fashion with an Irish brogue’: Celtic couturier Sybil Connolly and the perception of Irish culture through the media in the 1950s
This paper proposes to look at the perception of Ireland and Irish culture from the perspective of the media and in particular those who reported on the career of the Irish couturier Sybil Connolly. Connolly herself born in Wales to an Irish father and Welsh mother was brought up in county Waterford. Connolly’s international career peaked in the 1950s when she successfully showed a collection at the Philadelphia ladies circle export showing in 1953. It would seem that her use of indigenous irish fabrics and her interest in traditional Irish dress from a bygone time of Irish washerwomen and Island wives impressed the American public as well as the American fashion buyers. This paper will also look at the impact of Sybil Connolly in America in the 1950s considering the relationship between the Irish and American nations, and the differences between consumerism in these two nations. It will look at the women who championed her designs, such as Jackie Kennedy. It will consider the ‘little Dublin dressmaker’ and the language of the newspapers that wrote about her. Sybil Connolly’s main market for her dresses was America , but her clothing reached women in Europe and Australia also. The language and tones used in the articles and reviews written about her illustrate a break away from the preconcieved notion of ‘Irishness’ and put forward a tone of celebration of native Irish craft and culture which many groups in many countries claimed an affinity with.
(Chair: Mr Liam Irwin)
Kenneth Sheehy (UCC),
Heroes, villains and scapegoats: understanding Goulding’s IRA, 1963-1972
Cathal Goulding was IRA Chief of Staff, as the Troubles exploded in Northern Ireland, pushing nationalist politics back into the public domain in an explosive way. Although he is viewed as a polarising figure in republican circles, given the fact his agenda was used as a political football throughout the seventies, the true story of his agenda remains largely unknown, particularly his complicated relationship with violence, criminality and radical communist academics. For many, particularly those in Provisional Sinn Féin, Goulding was viewed as a coward, who was reluctant to arm northern nationalists at a time of unprecedented crisis, but for others he was a hero and a man worthy of admiration and support. Many authors refused to add weight to their analyses of this period, by contextualising Gouldings tenure in charge, or addressing the complexities of the movement he actively creating over a decade, but why? They documented the rise of the Provisional IRA, and the re-emergence of aggressive republican militarism on the island of Ireland, as though complicated developments should be viewed within that context, but what about those that refused to be swayed? This reluctance to engage with Gouldings IRA left many unanswered questions, which I have methodically investigated over the last few years, shedding new light on a series of events that eventually divided the IRA and led to violent confrontation on the streets of Northern Ireland.
For the purposes of this presentation, I will focus on the most controversial and divisive period of Goulding’s chequered history, 1963-1972, when ideological differences about militarism, the burgeoning Northern Irish civil rights movement, communism, international political upheaval, liberalism, religiosity, schism and Bloody Sunday challenged the nature of the republican movement, forcing its leadership to confront uneasy truths about its place in Irish society. I will cite and examine a series of unpublished sources, such as private interviews undertaken with senior members of the IRA. As someone who has spent the last four years going through Irish and British governmental files, interviewing the surviving members of Gouldings family, speaking with politicians, former IRA leaders and rank and file IRA members I feel Gouldings story will engage all present on the day, and shed light on a figure that has been largely ignored by an academia that is fixated on the Provisional IRA’s campaign.
James O’Connor (UL),
The causes and consequences of the 1969-70 split in the Irish Republican Army
This paper will seek to identify and discuss the main causes and effects of the 1969-1970 ‘split’. The main causes that will be identified are the increasingly politicised, leftist direction the IRA began to take in the 1960s and the weakening of the IRA’s capacity militarily, which had been the primary role of the organisation in prior decades. The issue of abstention from parliament will also be stated as a contributing factor in the split. These causes will be discussed by putting forward the argument that the lack of military strength in the face of increasing violence on the streets due to the politicisation of the IRA agitated IRA veterans and those within the organisation who felt a return to the IRA’s traditional roots was needed. This meant there was already a number of dissatisfied volunteers in place when the end of abstention was opposed, facilitating the formation of the Provisional IRA. The main effects of the split that will then be identified are the forming of the Official and Provisional IRA, with the backing of their political wings, Official Sinn Fein and Provisional Sinn Fein respectively. A further consequence that will be discussed is the argument that the Provisional IRA were able to grow in strength and numbers considerably as, being more traditionally republican and militant, they fit in better with the political situation of the time.
Seán McKillen (UL),
Changing the narrative of the Troubles: John Hume in the United States
The collapse of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing Executive in May 1974 gave rise to a sense of despair that a constructive and comprehensive solution to the violence would never be found. The failure of the 1975 Constitutional Convention, coupled with the Unionists unwillingness to consider another power-sharing arrangement helped to throw the general membership of the SDLP into the political deep freeze. Using contacts gained through his time as a Minister in the Executive, John Hume gained a teaching position in the United States. Although armed only with a minor posting and with his political career seemingly at an end in terms of parliamentary politics, Hume re-dedicated his time and efforts towards shifting the existing opinions held by the American political elite on the Northern Irish crisis. Although coming at a time of political inaction, this period was crucial in launching Hume onto the International stage. He would use this period as a springboard to election to the European Parliament in 1979. More crucially though were the relationships he cemented with Congressional leaders, such as Speaker Tip O’Neill and Senator Ted Kennedy. These helped to keep up pressure on the British government to continue to find a solution to the political impasse. This paper will cover all aspects of Hume’s time in America, with particular
attention paid to his efforts to reduce American funding for continued paramilitary activity in the six counties. While all the focus in recent years has been on the crucial work in building the Peace Process throughout the 1980s and 1990s, one must not forget the crucial work carried out during this period. By convincing important members of the Irish-American community of the need to change course in their support for continued funding of armed struggle, more pressure was placed on all sides to continue efforts to find a lasting political solution.

PANEL 18: MUNSTER LIVES AND DEATHS (Chair: Dr Kevin O’Sullivan)
Tom Keane (MIC), Beware of cul-de-sacs and dead ends- the death of Michael “Goggin” Hickey
This paper concerns the death of a Young Munster rugby player, Michael “Goggin” Hickey, by a Free State officer in Cork City on 10 March 1923, and in particular the cul-de-sacs that researchers can wander down in their efforts to find the truth. This paper also deals with the spectre of civilian deaths during the Civil War, and how these have been forgotten by a victorious Free State and all governments since.
Liam Culliane (UCC), Men, women and the memory of work: gender and labour in the life-histories of Cork manufacturing workers, 1940-90
This paper, based on over twenty oral history interviews with men and women employed in three factories in Cork over the course of the twentieth century (Irish Steel, Sunbeam Wolsey and the Ford Marina Plant), examines the meaning, significance and role of paid and unpaid labour in the life-histories of male and female manufacturing workers. The paper focuses on the significance of gender ideology and how this affected both men and women in the course of their working lives. The paper explores the impact of this ideology on employment choices, attitudes towards work, and types of labour engaged in. As well as this, the paper investigates the role of gender ideology in the construction of working life-histories as articulated in the course of the oral history interviews.
The paper demonstrates how the conservative, familial ideology that dominated the Irish State affected the working lives of both men and women both in terms of the choices they
made and in the self-representation of their working lives as articulated in the oral history interviews. The paper also demonstrates the importance of examining and uncovering forms of labour outside the sphere of paid employment and the necessity of studying the history of male and female working lives in tandem with each other in order to develop a more holistic approach to both labour and gender history.
John Phayer (UL), The Phayer family and their association with Goodwins earthenware business in Limerick City
This paper examines different members of the Phayer family from Limerick City who worked for Goodwins earthenware during the 20th century. A historical account about Goodwins establishment and the fire which destroyed this shop in 1963 is provided followed by describing the different roles which various members of the Phayer family worked in for this business. The paper concludes by outlining other earthenware industries located in Limerick City during the 19th and 20th century.
(Chair: Dr Ruan O’Donnell)
Dónal Ó Catháin (NUIG),
The Family of Maurice Fitzgerald, 1st Earl of Desmond
Maurice FitzThomas FitzGerald (c. 1293-1356), first Earl of Desmond was an enigmatic character and one of the most important historical figures in early fourteenth century Ireland. His interaction with both the Irish lordships and the English monarchy has been the subject of several historical essays and books. His family, however, have been a continuous source of uncertainty and disagreement in the historical record. Maurice and his children dominate the history of Munster, if not all of Ireland in the 14th century, and thus the levels of confusion in the genealogical and historical evidence are surprising. This paper will examine the genealogical evidence of Maurice’s family and the progression of the Earldom of Desmond in the fourteenth century from Maurice, 1st Earl, to John, 4th Earl. It will also give a brief outline of the lives of Maurice, his wives and his four sons from surviving evidence in English, Irish and Latin sources.
Jeffrey Cox (UCD),
Preachers, parishes and community: the pastoral ministry of the established church in County Kildare, c. 1591 to 1640
This paper will examine the evolution of the Established Church’s pastoral ministry in County Kildare between the late-sixteenth century and the eve of the 1641 rebellion. The parish was the most readily available means for community members to engage with the institutional church and receive pastoral care. However, a number of challenges impinged upon the ability of the Established Church to institute a wide-reaching ministry in Kildare. Particular attention will be afforded to the role of lay impropriators, the low value of benefices, and a shortage of clergy available to serve within the county. Despite an overall increase of beneficed preachers in Kildare by the 1630s, this paper will examine how these obstacles shaped the character and development of the Established Church’s pastoral ministry in County Kildare by 1640.
Declan Mills (UL),
Forward Protestant politics, Puritan faith and the Angevin marriage crisis in Edmund Spenser’s: The Shepheardes Calendar
This paper examines Edmund Spenser’s role as part of a group of Protestants led by the earl of Leicester who pushed for greater English support for Protestant rebels in France and the Low Countries and opposed the negotiations for a marriage between Elizabeth I and the duc d’Anjou. It will analyse his poem The shepheardes calendar in its context as a piece of propaganda against the match, and show how Spenser’s views were part of wider ‘forward Protestant’ opinion in Elizabethan England. It will also examine the Classical influences on Spenser’s work, with particular focus on his use of traditional pastoral forms to convey a very contemporary political message, a tactic also used by several of his peers.