3 Talks to mark Centenary of Irish Independence


Three talks to mark the centenary of Irish independence by Dr Patrick Murphy and Dr Kevin Bean

VENUE: Nottingham Irish Centre Members Bar

2 Wilford St., Nottingham NG2 1AA

Admission: £3 on the door.


‘The Banner that Flies Nearest the Sky’: The Easter Rising and the Death of Irish Home Rule 1916-1918 – PATRICK MURPHY

The Irish Home Rule Act, passed by the British parliament in 1914 promised Ireland (with six counties of Ulster ‘temporarily’ excluded) self-government within the United Kingdom. Home Rule was to come into effect at the end of the war and was widely supported by the majority of nationalists. However, after the Easter Rising in Dublin, in Yeats’ words ‘All changed, changed utterly’. Over the next two years the Home Rule movement, led by John Redmond, was eclipsed by the rise of Sinn Féin and the Irish Volunteers. Nationalist aspirations turned away from Home Rule to an Irish Republic, independent of British Rule.

In James Fintan Lawlor’s resonant phrase the vision of the republic was now ‘The banner that flies nearest the sky’.

MONDAY 24th February 7.30pm

The Freedom to Achieve Freedom’: The War Of Independence and the Anglo-Irish Treaty 1919-1921 – PATRICK MURPHY

Sinn Féin won an overwhelming victory in the general election of 1918 and immediately established the first independent Irish Parliament, the Dáil, which the British government refused to recognise. A bitter conflict erupted between republicans and British forces including the infamous Black and Tans. The guerrilla campaign led by Michael Collins was very different to 1916 and forced the British to the negotiating table in 1921 and led to the Anglo-Irish Treaty which Collins argued offered ‘The Freedom to Achieve Freedom’.

MONDAY 9th MARCH 7.30pm

‘Green Against Green’: Civil War 1922-1923 – KEVIN BEAN

The Anglo-Irish Treaty led to the formation of the Irish Free State but partitioned the country. Although this was supported by a majority of the Irish people a sizeable minority of republicans refused to accept the Treaty and took arms against their former comrades. The bitter civil war that followed deeply divided the country and shaped Irish political life for generations.

Dr Kevin Bean is lecturer in Irish Politics at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool. His research interests include the development of Irish republicanism, and contemporary forms of nationalism in Europe.

Dr Patrick Murphy, founder of Nottingham Irish Studies Group, holds a PhD from the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool. His thesis, entitled The Banshee’s Kiss: Conciliation, Class and Conflict and the All for Ireland League (2019), deals with republican activity in Cork in the early decades of the 20th century.

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