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 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 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?

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.

Michael CollinsTim Pat Coogan claims that shortly after Yassar Arafat signed the peace accord with Israel an aide handed him a copy of Michael Collins’ biography, with a warning that he not allow himself to suffer the same fate.
The story of Collins is one of tragedy, of a promising leadership cut short and a country plunged into fraternal war. But it is also a story of remarkable courage and daring, of at times ruthless struggle, and of a man who was prepared to pick up the gun, but knew when to set it aside again.

Collins’ story is the story of Ireland, of its emergence from foreign rule, its painful birth as an independent nation, and the sad memory of what might have been. It is an old and familiar story, but one which as Coogan’s anecdote illustrates, still contains lessons for us today.

Speaker: Brian MacGabhann

Thurs 24th April 2014