Renmore History Society

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Forthcoming Talks

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.

The 03rd Sept 2009 was the 70th Anniversary of the declaration that started World War Two, the most destructive war in human history. The events following that date are well known, but the events leading up to it far less so. This is partly because these events reflect glory on no one, and involve a catalogue of mistakes, abdications of responsibility and missed opportunities.
This talk will examine the events that led from the optimistic promise following ‘war to end all wars’, to the outbreak of a conflict that was to put the carnage of the Great War in the shade. Could it have been prevented? Could Hitler have been stopped? What lessons can we learn?

The Nuremberg War-Crimes Tribunal

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 to 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.

There are some 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, about 20% of the global population. Islam is now the world’s second largest religion, and in terms of the demographics of adherents, the world’s most youthful religion. Today however, it is widely misunderstood, frequently misrepresented and often misreported. This talk sets out to chart the history of Islam, from the birth of Muhammad in 570, through the foundation of the Caliphate, the vicissitudes of the crusades, Mongol invasion and European colonization, through to the situation today. In the process it will consider the core values and beliefs of Islam, and chart its evolution and development down through the centuries.