Renmore History Society

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Forthcoming Talks

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?

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

Patrick GilmorePatrick Sarsfield Gilmore was raised and educated in Ballygar, before studying music in Athlone. He emigrated to America in 1849, and later joined the Union side in the US Civil War, serving as a musician and stretcher bearer.  He went on to become one of the most famous band leaders in America. He was personally known to senior generals of both the Union and the Confederacy, performed at the inauguration ceremonies of no less than eight US presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, and penned what is perhaps the most famous marching song in the world; When Johnny Comes Marching Home. So famous was he in his day that he is often referred to as ‘America’s First Superstar’.

In this talk Jarlath McNamara, professional musician and avid Gilmore aficionado, will outline the story of this remarkable Irishman.
Thurs 06th March 2014

White House BurningOf all the major wars of the modern era the war between Britain and the United States which began in 1812 and lasted almost three years must be one of the least talked about and most forgotten. For obvious reasons neither the US nor Britain were anxious to revive its memory, yet it constituted a major conflict between the two nations, was fought on land and sea, ranged from the shores of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and involved the destruction of Washington DC by British forces. 
This talk will look at the background to and progress of this conflict, a war that played a huge part in forging Americans’ sense of their own identify, and gave them their naval tradition, their flag, and their National Anthem.

Brian MacGabhann
Thurs 23rd  Jan 2014

The Irish Volunteer Memorialplayed a key role in what was a crucial period in Irish history. Formed in 1913, they were centrally involved in the planning and organisation of resistance to British rule in Ireland, they formed the backbone of the armed forces that launched the 1916 Easter Rising, and were the ancestors of both the IRA and the modern Defence Forces. Their ranks included such famous names as Padraic Pearse, Roger Casement and Michael Collins.

Comdt. Kennedy is the Director of the Military Archives section of the Defences Forces, located in Cathal Brugha barracks in Dublin, and is currently overseeing the planning of a major exhibition on the history of the Volunteers. He has kindly agreed to give the society a talk on the subject, which will chart the formation, organisation and evolution of this important institution.

Thurs 21st  Nov 2013