MIC history conference set to examine new approaches to Limerick’s revolutionary past

  • Decade of Centenaries

As part of the Decade of Centenaries the Department of History at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) will host a free one-day conference on Saturday 1st September on Limerick during the revolutionary years 1918–1923.  

Over the next five years, Ireland will commemorate the centenaries of seminal but often difficult and controversial events. Limerick 1918-23: New Approaches will bring together leading scholars to better understand this important period in Limerick’s, and indeed, the country’s history.

According to Dr Brian Hughes, lecturer in the Department of History at MIC and conference organiser; As we progress through the remainder of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’, this conference brings together scholars working with new themes, methodologies, and sources for history and commemoration of the Irish Revolution. The research that will be presented reflects some the most recent and innovative additions to our knowledge of the revolutionary period in Limerick and further afield. Contributors will use local, national, and even international perspectives to help us better understand the events of 100 years ago.’

The first session of the conference will bring to the fore underused or neglected sources for social and political history of the period. Jacqui Hayes (Limerick City and County Council) and David Bracken (Limerick Diocesan Archives) will highlight material available in local archives in Limerick, representing the upheaval of the period alongside the everyday lives of those who lived in the city and county. MIC MA in History student, Winnie Davern, will use a collection of private family papers to highlight personal responses to the anti-conscription movement in 1918.

While MIC PhD graduate, Dr Seán William Gannon, will look at the experiences of disbanded members of the Royal Irish Constabulary in Limerick in 1922.

Jack Kavanagh (PhD Candidate, Maynooth University) will make innovative use of GIS mapping technology to provide a more detailed picture of Civil War participation and Dr Alexandra Tierney (Trinity College Dublin) will reflect on the impact of suffrage and independence on the women of Limerick.

In the final session, papers by Anna Lively (History and English Tutor, University of Edinburgh) and Síobhra Aiken (PhD candidate and Irish Language Lecturer, NUI Galway) will examine the ways that those involved wrote about their experiences afterwards, in both memoirs and in novels, and how events like the Limerick Soviet have been remembered (or forgotten).

Queen’s University Belfast Professor Fearghal McGarry’s keynote lecture will ask us to think about the history and commemoration of Ireland’s revolution in a global context.

To register and for full conference details go to www.mic.ie

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Treaty Stone Limerick. Photo Piotr Machowczyk