Renmore History Society

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Forthcoming Talks

Martin ‘Máirtín Mór’ McDonogh was, in every sense of the word, Galway’s ‘big man’. A natural entrepreneur, and a man of drive, ambition and no small intellect, he took his father’s company, Thomas McDonogh & Sons, and expanded it to the extent that he became the largest employer in Connacht and one of Galway’s richest men. In turn a merchant, farmer, industrialist and politician, McDonogh entered the national political stage when he was elected to Dáil Eireann, where he represented Galway as a Cumann na nGaedheal T.D. from 1927 until his death in 1934. McDonogh came to dominate every aspect of Galway life, from the world of business to its sporting and civic life. A colourful character, who never married and lived a frugal – and somewhat reclusive – life, he was acknowledged as ‘impatient’ and ‘brusque’ by his friends, and ‘terrifying’ by his enemies, but following his death it was widely recognised, by friend and enemy alike, that ‘For half a century he was Galway’.

Speaker:  Dr. Jackie Uí Chionna received her Doctorate from the School of History at NUIG in 2010. Currently engaged in post-doctoral research at NUIG, where she specialises in modern Irish history, she is a graduate of UCD, and holds an M.A. in Heritage Management from UCC. A fluent Irish speaker, and traditional singer, she has combined a career in heritage management with academia.

 

Martín Mór McDonogh

Thurs 28th Sept 2017 at 8pm USAC, Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks

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.

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?

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.