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.

    Thurs 27th Nov 2014 @8pm Eugene Jordan BA(Hons) History, MInfo Tech

Brian Boru is our most internationally famous king and 1014 is the most famous date in Irish history. Both are shrouded in myth and legends but even when the fanciful claims are stripped away, the greatness of Brian Boru not only remains intact but he emerges as one of the greatest and shrewdest of political leaders in European history.

As professor of medieval history Donnchadh Ó Corráin put it, Brian Boru “overcame his rivals not usually in bloody battles and by main force (though he had that in reserve) but by psychological and symbolic warfare.“ He fought no major battles from 977 to 999 and was able to take the High Kingship not by force but by crafty political manoeuvring.

Thurs 22nd Jan 2015 @8pm - Gus O’Hara

William Brown was born in Foxford, Co Mayo in 1777 and he died in his adopted home of Buenos Aires, Argentina at 80 years of age. He was accorded a State Funeral and today there are1,112 streets, 415 schools, 320 parks, 6 towns and not one, but four football stadiums named in honour of this Mayo man. This talk will tell the remarkable story of the man who rose from humble origins in Mayo to became the founder and commander of the Argentinean Navy, and one of the chief architects of the country’s successful struggle for independence.

Thurs 30 April 2015 8pm Brian MacGabhann

This year marks the 200th anniversary of what can fairly be described as one of the most famous battles in history. On the 18th June 1815 Napoleon faced his final showdown with Wellington, and was finally defeated in what the latter described as a “triumph of British arms”. Or was he?

This talk will look at the background to and progress of this most famous of battles, but will argue that the simple and perhaps simplistic portrayal of the battle that many are familiar with may not be accurate, and that far from defeating the ‘Great thief of Europe’ Wellington was in fact all but beaten by him, and victory that day was due largely to the efforts of a group that many people don’t even realize were present; the Germans.

Thurs 26th March 2015 @8pm Brian MacGabhann

Note change of date from the 5th to 26th of March 2015. More than any one man Adolf Eichmann was responsible for the day to day mechanics and logistics that lay behind the Holocaust, and made it possible. He energetically directed the deportation and mass murder of millions of Jews from across Europe, and oversaw the operation of the Nazi death machine. In May 1960 he was abducted from his hideaway in Argentina and put on trial in Jerusalem.

At his trial he gave frank and open testimony about his role in the Nazi genocide, but in doing so revealed many uncomfortable truths that many around the world would have preferred not to hear. His testimony was as revealing as it was shocking, and shone a light on places many would have preferred remain in darkness.

Thurs 25th Sept 2014 @8pm Brian MacGabhann

100 years ago last week, in August 1914, the great powers of Europe enthusiastically marched off to war, each confident that victory would be theirs within a few short months. Four years later Europe lay exhausted and over ten million had been killed. Russia had succumbed to a communist revolution, Britain’s global position had been irrevocably weakened, Germany was economically ruined and France was finished as a world superpower. How had they gotten it so wrong? What process led each to so eagerly embrace their own destruction? How could it have happened?