Renmore History Society

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Forthcoming Talks

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.

Fr. Hugh O’Flaherty and the Vatican Escape Route.
Brian MacGabhann Thurs 19th April 2012

Hugh O’Flaherty was born to an ordinary catholic family in Cork in 1898. While serving as a Monsignor in Rome he masterminded what became a huge operation from within the Vatican, plucking allied soldiers and Jewish families from under the noses of Rome’s German masters, and spiriting them away to safety.

Often described as the Irish Oscar Schindler, he became the centre of a secret network which ended up saving the lives of thousands. During the course of his work he had to evade numerous kidnap and assassination attempts, but despite the constant threat frequented the streets of Rome in a variety of disguises, including that of a nun, despite being over six feet tall!

This talk tells the story of this humble but extraordinary Irishman, his courageous exploits, and his personal battle with Rome’s Nazi master, the ruthless SS Colonel Herbert Kapler.

Star Trek, and the influence of 60’s science fiction on today’s technologies.
Brendan Smith Thurs 08th March 2012

Yuri Gagarin

In Apr 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human ever to leave the confines of the earth, ushering in the space age, and in 1968 the Americans landed a man on the moon, capturing popular imagination and leading to an explosion in interest in science fiction; books, movies and above all, TV. The teenagers who grew up with such seminal programs went on to develop and invent the amazing technologies that surround us today.

Brendan Smith is from the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway, and is the founder of the recently-opened Communications and Computer Museum. In this talk he will give a fascinating insight into how science fiction, and in particular the original American 'Star Trek' series, inspired modern gadgetry from medical scanners to mobile telephones.

On the 20th July 1969 a human being stepped on to the surface of the Moon for the first time ever, marking the culmination of a project that had lasted eight years, costs billions of dollars and involved the work of some 400,000 individuals. Though born out of the confrontational politics of the Cold War, many see it as one of the most unifying acts in the history of our species, and one of our greatest technological achievements.

This talk will chart the origins and progress of that project, from its birth in the Cold War conflict with the USSR, through the vast technological challenges that had to be identified and overcome, to the amazing team of men chosen to go to the Moon, and the thousands of organizations, companies, groups and individuals that made it possible.

Speaker: Brian MacGabhann

Thurs 27th April 2017 8pm USAC Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks

Irish American’s have long been acknowledged for having played a pivotal role in the pursuit of Irish independence. Whilst their contribution to the seminal events of 1916 is well documented their campaign to undermine British imperial intrigue before the Great War is oft neglected.

This talk by NUIG Doctoral Candidate and former member of An Chéad Chath, Tony King, highlights the Irish diaspora’s efforts to advance the nationalist cause in the years preceding the Home Rule Crisis.

Thurs 9th March 2017 8pm USAC Renmore Barracks
Admission €5 or €15 for the entire season of talks