GAHS member, Hal Hennigan examines the historical role of the Irish police force through the life of one police constable.
In 1912 the average Irish Constable was a generally useful member of society, filling in numerous forms in his role of minor bureaucrat, and pursuing petty criminals. He had little to do with firearms. By 1922 he had become an outcast to many and a friend to few. Those who thought his treatment unjust were generally unwilling to take the risk of saying so. This is the story of how an average country policeman was caught up in the swirl of political movements which led to murderous violence. It looks at the social and political contexts of historical events. Caught between the hammer of IRA violence and the anvil of government obduracy, the regular constables became sacrifices to political expediency. Using the police career of John Hennigan as a framework, this book follows public events in chronological order, against a background of the details of everyday life in the last decade under the Crown. “There were well over 500 police deaths attributable to political violence. For too long the received narrative concerning the Irish police was a one-dimensional caricature. Things were much more complex than that. Hundreds of thousands of people today have connections with the Royal Irish Constabulary. For them, I hope to broaden their understanding of the police force in which their relatives served with pride.” Hal Hennigan is a former history teacher in Dublin, and publican in Sligo. He spent many years in Abu Dhabi as a English teacher, and then as teacher trainer over several continents. Hal now lives as a writer in Galway, Ireland.
Available from Charlie Byrnes Bookshop at the Corn Store, Galway
World War I, its causes re-evaluated “The Great War was entirely England’s fault”?
The next GAHS talk commemorates the centenary of the end of World War I and will look at the series of events which led to its outbreak. The origins of the war lie far previous to the now traditional explanations which are mainly confined to the 37 days of the July Crisis in 1914. The centenary of the war and related events has attracted much scholarly attention of late which has brought to the public attention that the “official” explanations of the causes of the war bear little resemblance to what actually happened. Some scholars have been particularly brave in challenging the conventional view like British historian Prof Niall Ferguson. The publisher’s summary of his book states, “The Pity of War makes a simple and provocative argument: the human atrocity known as the Great War was entirely England’s fault.” Challenging convention is an endeavour fraught with danger as English historian Dan Snow can attest due to receiving hate mail after arguing that glorifying the “awfulness and tragedy” of WWI belittles the service of every British soldier. There are also serious gaps in the popular literature as the authors of most books on the subject of the World War I, pay little heed to the actual causes of the war beyond the July Crisis and are in a great hurry to jump into a trench and get stuck into battles, tactics and gore. (more…)
Ruaidhri O Flaithbheartaigh and his books. Prof. Richard Sharpe
“Roderick O’Flaherty, in Irish, Ruaidhri Ó Flaithbheartaigh (1629–1716/18), was an Irish aristocrat whose father Hugh held the castle and manor of Moycullen, Co. Galway. He was an eminent historian and collector of Irish manuscripts and, as author of Ogygia seu rerum hibernicarum chronologia (London 1685), he enjoyed a high reputation for his learning in the profound antiquities of Ireland. For this reason, the great Welsh scholar Edward Lhwyd (1660–1709), when touring Ireland in 1700, visited Ó Flaithbheartaigh at his home in Cois Fhairrge, Co. Galway. (more…)
The ‘auld stock’ take on the ‘strawmen’: the 1918 General Election and political change in Galway Town
This lecture explores the key political personalities, rivalries and events in Galway Town during the divisive General Election campaign of 1918 which saw Sinn Fein take all four seats in County Galway. The rivalry between the Connacht Tribune’s editor, Tom Kenny, and his republican rival in the Galway Express, George Nichols; the departure of Galway’s outgoing MP, Stephen Gwynn; the Conscription crisis; and the new republican candidates will all be discussed in detail. (more…)
The re-edition of Amhráin agus Dánta Raiftearaí, Dúghlas de Híde’s celebrated collection of the poems of Anthony Raftery
The year 1933 saw the publication of Abhráin agus Dánta an Reachtabhraigh, a collection of the songs and poems of the blind wandering poet Anthony Raftery, a native of Mayo who died near Craughwell, Co. Galway, in 1835. The book was the work of a remarkable, pioneering Irish scholar and patriot, Douglas Hyde (Dúglas de Híde); five years later, An Craoibhín Aoibhinn (to use the pen-name by which he was widely known) would be chosen as first President of Ireland. That 1933 book was an expanded and updated version of his bilingual work, Abhráin atá Leagtha ar an Reachtúire; or Songs Ascribed to Raftery, which first appeared in 1903. (more…)
Votes for Women and Political Citizenship: suffrage campaigners in the West of Ireland.
Mary Clancy from NUI, Galway examined how local and visiting suffrage organisers worked to claim political power and to define citizenship for women. It drew upon suffrage life-stories– such as that of Mary Donovan O’Sullivan, long-time editor of the journal – arguing that the campaign opened up new spaces for women’s political voices and actions, in Galway and further afield. In so doing, the talk showed how the West of Ireland influenced a social and political question of international significance.
The lecture took lace at the Harbour Hotel, Dock Road, Galway on Monday 10th September 2018 at 8pm.
Note, that all GAHS talks are held on the second Monday of the month during the season.
War and Revolution in the West of Ireland: Galway, 1913–1922
War and Revolution in the West of Ireland explores the history of the entire revolutionary period in Connaght, with particular focus on the ferment and violence in County Galway. It captures the bewildering strain of these years, the outbreaks of open violence, and the enduring legacies that are felt in the region today.
An online addendum to an article from JGAHS Vol 69, p82-98.
Brigid Clesham’s full transcription of Thomas Tasburgh’s journal, which is now preserved in the Hocken Collections’ Archives and Manuscripts Section, University of Otago, in the city of Dunedin, New Zealand, reference number Misc-MS-1818.
Note: The use of the Julian calendar is evident in this journal when Father Tasburgh records the date 23 March 1726 followed by 27 March 1727 and also in October 1726 when he refers to 22 of the 8th month i.e. October. Spelling and punctuation in the text have been left as they appear in the journal. Where additions have been made to the text or abbreviations expanded, they appear in square brackets. Where the text is difficult to decipher it appears in square brackets with a question mark. The total number of pages in the journal is 73 with additional pages containing details of exchange rates, high tides, accounts and other miscellaneous information, including a list of ‘linnen’ taken to Ireland.
This collection of studies on the history of Gaelic Ireland is the product of four years of an essay competition, sponsored jointly by the Standing Council of Irish Chiefs and Chieftains (Buanchomhairle Thaoisigh Éireann) and Clans of Ireland (Finte na hÉireann). The works represent the winning entries and superior quality essays from 2013 to 2016, and cover the period ranging from the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries. The study themes range from political and social history to kinship and culture, relating to a selection of Gaelic Irish, Anglo-Norman and Scottish population groups who shared the island.
Bushypark: Our People-Our Place- A Parish History was produced as part of the 175th celebrations of the building of St. James’ Church.
This high-quality 490 page publication, a first by the author, and a winner of a Mayoral Award in 2017 by Galway City Council, is the result of over 4 years of painstaking research and documentation of the history of the people and places of the parish of Bushypark.
The 22 chapters in this publication are presented in a very clear and concise format. The topics range from, a detailed history of each of the 21 townlands in its immediate catchment area, the encumbered estates, the schools, church, the workhouse, what it said in the papers, to people stories, emigration and parish personalities from the past. (more…)