Renmore History Society

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Forthcoming Talks

A History of the Holy Inquisition.

From its earliest days combating heresy to later years prosecuting witchcraft, the Holy Inquisition has been one of the most controversial institutions of the church, and one which still arouses debate and disagreement today. This talk charts the origins and development of the Inquisition through its various phases; persecution of the Cathars, suppression of witchcraft, the Spanish Inquisition and its evolution into the organization that still exists today, (the last head of which was Cardinal Ratzinger, the last Pope). It considers some high profile events in its history, including the trial of Joan of Arc and of the Templars.

Speaker: Brian MacGabhann

Thurs 22nd Sept 2016 8pm USAC Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks

The North African Campaign, also known as the War of the Western Desert, The Libyan Campaign and the Desert Campaign, was a campaign fought from June 1940 to May 1943 between the Germans and Italians on one side, and the British and Commonwealth on the other. It involved the clash of two of the most famous generals of World War 2; Rommel and Montgomery, (and latterly Patton), and was fought in the blazing cauldron of the desert, from Egypt to Libya to Morocco.

The campaign also saw the introduction to modern warfare of what would now be called ‘Special Forces’, and gave birth to some famous, and not so famous, covert groups, perhaps the most unusual of which was ‘Popski’s Private Army’.

Speaker: Brian MacGabhann


19 January 2017 8pm USAC Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks

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

CosmosRecently the news was announced that the Voyager space probe has finally left the solar system and entered deep space, becoming the most distant manmade object ever. But barely 5,000 years ago our ancestors stared with fear and incomprehension at the bewildering display of lights that appeared nightly over their heads. Armed with nothing more than their wits our species has slowly and haltingly groped towards an understanding of the universe around us and our place in it, and it is amazing to think that by the time we finally did manage to leave this rock in 1961 we had already arrived at a broad understanding of how the universe operated.

This is the story of that quest, from the ancient Egyptians, who saw in the skies the workings of their gods, to the Greeks who sought for a naturalistic explanation of what was happening, through the middle ages when brilliant thinkers fought against the restrictions of their culture and of their own beliefs and assumptions to struggle towards and ever more accurate understanding. It is a story of heroes and cowards, humility and arrogance, imagination and tunnel vision. Along the way we will encounter a host of fascinating characters, some larger than life, some odd and reclusive, some downright potty, including such famous names as Copernicus, Newton, Galileo and Aristotle.

Brian MacGabhann
Thurs 10th Oct 2013

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.