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 Great Famine in Ireland
In terms of deaths per head of population there has never been a famine in all of recorded history as destructive as the Great Famine in Ireland. That this famine occurred at a time when Britain was enjoying unparalleled economic strength and wealth still shocks us today. This talk will explain the causes and progress of the famine, its economic and social effects, and try to explain the reasons for the inadequacy of the response. It will also look at how we represent and respond to famine today, and ask if in 200 years time our response will be seen as equally inadequate.

Mutual development from Napoleon to World War One

All infantry tactics essentially consists of maneuvering so as bring greater firepower to bear on the enemy then he on you. The tactics adopted at any given historical point are based primarily on the capabilities and limitations of the main infantry weapons of the day. However, when this is not the case, disaster ensues. This talk considers the growing gap that began to emerge between tactics, and what weapons were capable of, a gap that was left unaddressed and which led directly to the senseless slaughter of the Great War.

The Franco-Prussian War

The War that made Europe

In many ways Europe’s forgotten war, though one that had profound consequences. It led directly to the creation of the state of Germany, left France marginalized and seething for revenge, and set in train a series of events that culminated in the Great War 40 years later. This talk looks at the political background to the war, focusing in particular at the personality and career of Bismarck. It then considers the progress and aftermath of the war, and poses in passing the question; what if the new German state had listened to Bismarck, would the Great War have happened?

Hitler’s Rise to Power

Hitler’s rise from a down and out on the streets of Vienna to absolute ruler of Germany is one that everyone knows of, but few actually know about. How was it possible? How could a sophisticated, cosmopolitan country like Germany allow itself to come under the rule of such a man? This is not as simple a process as often assumed, but one that contains lessons for us all. ‘Never again’ was the universal vow after 1945, but if we don’t understand how it happened the first time, how can we prevent it a second?

HItler's rise to power

Renmore is known in Irish as an Rhinn Mhór; the great headland, originally anglicised to Rinmore or Roinmore. Looking at present day maps of the area, it doesn’t appear to warrant such a grand title, but this is largely because the area to the west of the headland is reclaimed land. As can be seen from the second photo opposite, with the approximate position of the original shoreline marked in green, in the 16th and 17th centuries the area would have been quite a prominent headland, and occupied a strategically important location. Along with the headland on the opposite shore, then known as Rintinane point, it controlled access to both Galway harbour and Galway city. Whoever controlled these two points controlled Galway.