Author: WordPresser

Judging Irish neutrality during the Second World War in an international context: a comparison with Franco’s Spain by Dr. Barry Whelan

Even before the Flight of the Earls in 1607, Ireland and Spain had been linked by historical events and common associations. The sailors of King Philip II’s Armada Invencible had sought refuge off the west coast in 1588 hopeful that the native Irish antipathy towards Britain and the shared religious faith of Catholicism would establish a lasting friendship between Ireland and Spain. Fast forward to the twentieth century and little had changed. Both nations still shared territorial grievances with Britain – the Six Counties in an Irish context, Gibraltar in a Spanish. Both societies were fervently Catholic and rooted in traditional conservative values. Equally striking was the similarity between the two leaders of both nations. Eamon de Valera and Francisco Franco were two towering political figures in their time who strove to apply an antediluvian vision for their respective countries. It is the aim of this paper to investigate and contrast another similarity between Ireland and Spain and one that had a profound effect on the society and international standing of both nations for years to come – the shared experience of neutrality. Using archival research undertaken in Dublin and Madrid this paper focused on the common reasons why both chose neutrality over belligerency, whether the Hague Convention that defined the responsibilities of a neutral power were properly implemented and whether neutrality oscillated in both nations as the war ebbed and flowed. In concluding this paper an assessment of the role both leaders played in the formulation and application of their respective neutral policies will be compared that will add to the historical debate on neutrality during the Second World War.… Read the rest

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“An Aerial perspective of some
heritage sites in the West of Ireland”
by Dr. Eamonn O’Donoghue

Dr Eamonn O’Donoghue presented a talk on his ongoing archaeological aerial survey in West of Ireland on Monday January 14th at the Harbour Hotel. The main focus will be on the Barony of Clare, Co Galway referring to the 1901 paper of Col JP Nolan in the first Journal of Galway Archaeology and History Society and exploring the landscape surrounding Castles for evidence of preceding and associated occupation.

Aerial survey reveals a great richness of archaeological remains in the vicinity of many heritage sites throughout Connacht but continued destruction may result in lost research opportunity.  While new developments in LIDAR and Satellite imaging are transforming landscape study, traditional oblique aerial photography remains a valuable adjunct for exploring the contextual environs of known sites. It also allows a cost effective method to revisit areas of special interest in varying light and seasonal conditions. This presentation also looked at a variety of specific sites in the West of Ireland outside Clare Barony and introduced some recent discoveries.… Read the rest

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The Medieval Irish immram
and the West of Ireland”
by An tOllamh Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha.

The west of Ireland, and the Galway coastal region in particular, may stake a special claim to the medieval Irish Voyage Tale or immram (Modern Irish iomramh).  Typically, the seafarers in these Voyage Tales set out on their perilous journeys on the great ocean from somewhere in the west such as Inis Mór or Kinvara, having taken counsel from a holy man such as Éinne of Aran. They see marvels and have many uncanny experiences on their journeys, and some of them never return home.  For whom, and by whom, were these Voyage Tales written?  how did the reality of seafaring in the west of Ireland intersect with these narratives?  what is their modern legacy?  These and other questions were addressed in a lecture by Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha, professor of Old and Middle Irish at NUI, Galway.… Read the rest

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Connemara – Early Monastic Heritage
by Rev. Anthony Previté

The Talk to Galway Archaeological & Historical Society was an illustrated and abridged survey and background of some of the 56 Early Christian Sites that are to be found on our offshore islands, Connemara and the Corrib Country.

Following a varied career in the commercial world Anthony Previté was ordained in 1988 in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Galway, where he served as curate until his appointment as rector of Clifden, Dean of Tuam and Archdeacon of Tuam. He has his origins across Co Galway from Oughterard to Merlin Park to Ballinsaloe. He has also lived and worked in England, the West Indies and West Germany, but is now retired and lives in Oughterard.… Read the rest

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The History of St. Mary’s College, Galway
by Peadar O’Dowd

As a contribution to the centenary celebrations of St. Mary’s College, Galway, former past pupil, Peadar O’Dowd, who is editing a history of the college, delivered a lecture entitled, “The History of St. Mary’s College” to the Galway Archaeological & Historical Society on Monday, 8th October. The lecture will covered aspects of St. Mary’s vast contribution to West of Ireland life since its specific foundation as the diocesan college for Galway in 1912.  The lecture will also include a short history of the initial St. Mary’s College, which operated in West House off St. Helen’s Street, Galway, between 1844 and 1849.

Mr. O’Dowd, contributes the heritage column to ‘The Connacht Sentinel’ and is the author of several books on the history of Galway, including his latest volume, ‘The Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora – An Illustrated History”.… Read the rest

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The History of Galway Docks
by Captain Brian Sheridan

The talk by Captain Brian Sheridan, Harbour Master, described the history of the development of the harbour over time.  It  concentrated on the earlier designs of the various proposals for Galway docks and discuss why these designs were chosen. The same arguments for the provision of proper dockside facilities stand today as they did 100 years ago.  The presentation, in the Harbour Hotel on Monday April 16th also offered an insight into the importance of the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway in raising our awareness of the wealth that lies in our seas and in refocusing our efforts to make maritime Galway a revenue leader for Ireland’s western seaboard.… Read the rest

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John O’Donovan of Slieverue
by Professor Michael Herity

Professor Herity’s lecture dealt with O’Donovan’s life and achievements, with some reference to Galway.

John O’Donovan (1806-61)
JOHN O’DONOVAN was born in July 1806. A man of rare ability, he travelled in the years 1834 to 1841 as place-names officer of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland in every one of the 32 counties except Antrim, Tyrone and Cork, deciding the standard spelling of the names that would appear on the new six-inch map.  His resultant informal letters are marked by rare insight and brilliant wit and have been described as “a rich source of hints about Irish social and economic problems, cultural and religious preoccupations, departmental and scholarly relationships, the texture of life in town and countryside, and the hazards of travel in the 1830s.”  Plagued by disabling attacks of rheumatic fever all his adult life, he suffered a last attack in December 1861 and quietly breathed his last on December 10th.… Read the rest

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Recent Excavations at Claregalway
by Mr. Brian Mac Domhnaill

The talk presented the preliminary results of an archaeological excavation undertaken at Claregalway, Co. Galway, on behalf of the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Galway County Council. The works were undertaken in advance of flood relief works on the River Clare. Finds included worked bone, glass, ceramic roof and floor tile, pottery, and range of metal and stone artefacts. Brian will outline the excavation process and how ongoing specialist input and scientific dating have contributed to post-excavation analysis and reporting.… Read the rest

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History of the Diocese of Galway
by Peadar O’Dowd

A Lecture entitled, ‘History of the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora’ was delivered by Mr. Peadar O’Dowd to the Galway Archaeological & Historical Society in the Harbour Hotel, Galway on Monday, 14th November, 2011.  The lecture contained some details of the Early Christian Period from Patrician Times with its subsequent emphasis on monastic rather than diocesan authority prior to the Synod of Kells (1152).  The story of subsequent episcopal succession amid the vicissitudes of change from the advent of new religious orders in the aftermath of the Norman invasion, through to the English Reformation and subsequent Penal Times will be discussed. The erection of the wardenship of Galway leading eventually to the initial singular diocese of Galway and its subsequent amalgamation with those of Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora will also be covered, as will the formation of the present four deaneries and forty-one parishes (sixteen at present within Galway City) in the modern diocese.  The lecture is based on O’Dowd’s current publication entitled, ‘The Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora – An Illustrated History’ at present being distributed to churches in the diocese.

Mr. O’Dowd is an author of several publications on Galway and the West; is heritage columnist with the Connacht Sentinel; has written many articles on heritage, and has lectured widely in Ireland and overseas.  He has served as president, vice-president, and secretary of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society and is a current committee member.… Read the rest

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