Renmore History Society

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Renmore Barracks or Dún uí Mhaoilíosa is the home of the first Infantry battalion (An Chead Cath) of the Irish Army. It is named in honour of the leader of the 1916 Rising in Galway, Liam Mellows. The Galway rising was the largest mobilisation outside of Dublin in Easter Week 1916, where over 600 men and women rose. Yet the story largely escapes the attention of not alone the media but state intuitions like the National Museum. NUI, Galway’s Dara Folan will give a talk on Thursday January 28th with the aim of reacquainting Galway people with the history of one of the most fascinating periods in Irish history.

Hardly known today is that most Galway city people including the people of the Claddagh organised a sspecial constabulary to aid the RIC and British Army.

Forgotten too is that the HMS Gloucester was positioned in Galway Bay to shell the countryside as a deterrent to the rebels. Not only did it terrify the rebels, it caused streams of refugees to take flight from their homes in the area form Oranmore to Castlegar. The fog of war combined with the noise and ferocity of the Gloucester’s four inch guns caused a rumour to spread that a naval battle was taking place between German U-boats and the British fleet in the bay.

The Galway Corps of the Irish Volunteers - Óglaigh na hÉireann was founded following a meeting in the Town Hall in December 1913, which was addressed by Professor Eoin Mac Néill, Sir Roger Casement and others. Mellows/Liam uí Mhaoilíosa was born in Lancashire in 1892 to Irish parents but grew up in County Wexford. After his escape from Reading Jail, he returned to Ireland and was sent to command the Western Division in March 1915 choosing Athenry as his headquarters

Galway women too are left out of the story, many were centrally involved during Easter Week 1916. Cumann na mBan women acted as couriers and were present during the Irish Volunteers’ attacks in Oranmore and Athenry. Many Volunteers and Cumann na mBan members wanted to continue the fight but once news of the surrender arrived in Galway, the forces dispersed.

The talk will be given by Dara Folan (Ó Cualáin) who is currently a fourth year PhD student in Modern Irish History (Digital Humanities) at NUI Galway/Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. His primary research interests revolve around the socio-political dynamics of late nineteenth and early 20th Century Ireland, with particular reference to the Gaelic Revival and the Irish Revolution c.1916-1921.

The talk will be held at Renmore Barracks/ Dún uí Mhaoilíosa (USAC) at 8pm on Thursday 28 January 2016. All are welcome Admission is €5 or €10 for all talks of the season.