Renmore History Society

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Below is a list of the previous lectures which have been presented by the society. We are adding summaries of each talk as we go along, click on the title of the talk to be taken to the summary page. We hope to have all summaries completed before too long, so please bear with us. We are happy to deliver any of the talks below to other history societies, community groups, clubs, schools or associations. Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. All talks are by Brian MacGabhann unless otherwise indicated.

The 1316 battle of Athenry was one of the bloodiest battle fought in medieval Ireland, in a time of occupation, invasion, natural disasters, and famine. It was the last and first serious concerted effort to evict the English from west of the Shannon, re-establish the kingdom of Connacht, and perhaps re-established a Gaelic kingship of Ireland.

The talk is given by Galway historian, Adrian Martyn, whose book "The Tribes of Galway 1124-1642" is due out this autumn.

Thursday 17th November 2016  8pm USAC Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks

The North African Campaign, also known as the War of the Western Desert, The Libyan Campaign and the Desert Campaign, was a campaign fought from June 1940 to May 1943 between the Germans and Italians on one side, and the British and Commonwealth on the other. It involved the clash of two of the most famous generals of World War 2; Rommel and Montgomery, (and latterly Patton), and was fought in the blazing cauldron of the desert, from Egypt to Libya to Morocco.

The campaign also saw the introduction to modern warfare of what would now be called ‘Special Forces’, and gave birth to some famous, and not so famous, covert groups, perhaps the most unusual of which was ‘Popski’s Private Army’.

Speaker: Brian MacGabhann

19 January 2017 8pm USAC Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks

On the 20th July 1969 a human being stepped on to the surface of the Moon for the first time ever, marking the culmination of a project that had lasted eight years, costs billions of dollars and involved the work of some 400,000 individuals. Though born out of the confrontational politics of the Cold War, many see it as one of the most unifying acts in the history of our species, and one of our greatest technological achievements.

This talk will chart the origins and progress of that project, from its birth in the Cold War conflict with the USSR, through the vast technological challenges that had to be identified and overcome, to the amazing team of men chosen to go to the Moon, and the thousands of organizations, companies, groups and individuals that made it possible.

Speaker: Brian MacGabhann

Thurs 27th April 2017 8pm USAC Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks

Irish American’s have long been acknowledged for having played a pivotal role in the pursuit of Irish independence. Whilst their contribution to the seminal events of 1916 is well documented their campaign to undermine British imperial intrigue before the Great War is oft neglected.

This talk by NUIG Doctoral Candidate and former member of An Chéad Chath, Tony King, highlights the Irish diaspora’s efforts to advance the nationalist cause in the years preceding the Home Rule Crisis.

Thurs 9th March 2017 8pm USAC Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks

A History of the Holy Inquisition.

From its earliest days combating heresy to later years prosecuting witchcraft, the Holy Inquisition has been one of the most controversial institutions of the church, and one which still arouses debate and disagreement today. This talk charts the origins and development of the Inquisition through its various phases; persecution of the Cathars, suppression of witchcraft, the Spanish Inquisition and its evolution into the organization that still exists today, (the last head of which was Cardinal Ratzinger, the last Pope). It considers some high profile events in its history, including the trial of Joan of Arc and of the Templars.

Speaker: Brian MacGabhann

Thurs 22nd Sept 2016 8pm USAC Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks