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.

As World War 2 drew to a close the Allied powers met, now assured of victory. But a new problem confronted them; how to deal with the leaders of the Nazi state; those who had plunged the world into conflict, had devastated large parts of Europe and Russia, and had planned and perpetrated the most wide scale mass murder in history.

The eventual solution was to put selected Nazi leaders on trial, and the War Crimes tribunal that followed the ending of World War Two is now so engrained in our collective history that we sometimes forget how radical and ground-breaking the idea was. The victorious European powers set out not just to punish the evil of Nazism, but also to reassert liberal democratic values, so bruised from six years of bloody warfare. This talk will look at the background and progress of the most famous series of trials in modern history, consider what they tried to achieve, and ask if the values and principles laid down at Nuremberg are still relevant today.

The talk will be held at Renmore Barracks on Thursday 21 April at 8pm. Entrance cost € per head and is free to season ticket holders.

Bookings are done through Eventbrite, click the green  'register' button and you can reserve places.
Please remember to print out or save your reservation number and bring it with you on the night, as you will require this to be admitted.

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Details of this year's trip to Madrid can be found here.

Book your place at the talk here.

This talk, the penultimate in the current season, will look at less celebrated Galwegians - male and female - and the legacy they left to the town. Landlords, artists, men of the cloth and others in uniform will be included in a virtual tour of the place that will be kaleidoscopic in its sweep. The richness of the town will be explored in terms of a dramatis personae that has - for the most part - been forgotten.

The presentation will also seek to show local history’s capacity to shed fresh light, through a nuanced prism, on the accepted truisms of what has been remembered - and betimes overlooked. As novelist Kazuo Ishiguro has said; in every nation there are ‘huge things that we have all agreed to leave quietly in the past.’ 

The talk will take place on Thursday the 10th March at 8.00 pm sharp. As always places are limited and must be reserved in advance. To reserve a place please click on the following link:
https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/penultimate-talk-of-the-season-looking-askance-at-galway-town-by-paul-mc-ginley-tickets-22422747040 and click on the green 'Register' button. You can then reserve your places. 

Please remember to print out or save your reservation number and bring it with you on the night, as only those with a valid reservation number can be admitted. 
We look forward to your company.

Verdun Experiment

Dear Member,
Apologies for the delay in kicking off the season, which was caused by the fact that key members were abroad until today. The first talk of the season commences on Thursday the 08th Oct at 8.00 pm.

The Talk is entitled; "Bleed them White - The Verdun Experiment".

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Verdun; one of the most unique battles in military history. At ten months it is one of the longest battles ever fought, and it produced more death and destruction than almost any other engagement in history.

But it is neither the duration nor statistical record which makes Verdun unique. What makes it unique is the reasoning which lay behind it. The battle of Verdun was fought with one intention; to kill as many men as humanly possible. It had as its aim not territory, ground or tactical advantage. It had as its aim the maximisation of death.

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.


    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.