Irish History archive

Article by Pat Murphy: ‘Irish Settlement in Nottingham in the early 19th Century’


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REBELS AND DISSIDENTS ( course devised by Pat Murphy)

Click on this LINK Rebels and Dissidents Word Doc to read (or download – right click and ‘save as ) a word document

detailing the recent series of talks.


Details of Pat Murphy’s 2008 Introduction to Modern Irish History course:

An Introduction to Modern Irish History,  Oct 2 – Nov 6 2008. £3/£1.50 per session.
All welcome. Nottingham Irish Centre, Wilford St. Nottingham

It is impossible to understand Ireland or the Irish without some knowledge of the course of Irish history, especially over the last 400 years. This short introduction will look at six key periods from the defeat of the Gaelic Chieftains to the present day. No previous knowledge of Irish history is necessary and there will be plenty of time for discussion.

Tutor: Pat Murphy

The Death of Gaelic Ireland     Thursday 2nd October, 7.30 pm
The defeat of the Gaelic Chieftains at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 marked not only of the consolidation of English power in Ireland, but also the end of an ancient way of life. The native Irish lost most of their land, power and influence. Many of the Gaelic chieftains fled to Europe and an enforced political settlement that was to last for over 300 years was put in place. Was the death of Gaelic Ireland inevitable given the Reformation? Or did the nature of Gaelic society itself hasten its end?

The Year of the French     Thursday 9th October, 7.30 pm
By the end of the eighteenth century the position of the native Irish was desperate. They had lost political influence after the defeat of the Gaelic chieftains. As Catholics they were not allowed to vote or take any part in the governance of their country and Penal Laws had all but driven the Catholic Church underground. In addition many at the bottom of the social order existed on the brink of destitution and hunger. The 1798 Rebellion was in part a response of this dire situation, but was also inspired by the American and French revolutions. It ended in defeat for the United Irishmen who led the rebellion,
but what has been the influence of the republican ideology from which the rebels drew their inspiration? And how has
it influenced the course of Irish history since then?

“This Great Calamity”     Thursday 16th October, 7.30 pm
The Famine of 1847-8 was the single greatest catastrophe to befall Ireland and the Irish people in modern times. Up to a million died and another million migrated. In 1840 the population of Ireland was eight million. By the end of the nineteenth century it had halved. Is the old adage “God sent the blight but the English caused the Famine” a fair assessment? How did the Famine change the course of Irish history?

“A Terrible Beauty”     Thursday 23rd October, 7.30 pm
Parnell’s downfall was seen as the final failure of constitutional nationalism to bring Home Rule to Ireland. As the twentieth century dawned so too did a build up of frustration at the lack of political progress and a growing sentiment that Ireland’s freedom could only be achieved by armed rebellion. 1916 and the War of Independence that followed led to a Free State but was armed conflict necessary? Could Home Rule have been achieved by peaceful means?

From Free State to Celtic Tiger     Thursday 30th October, 7.30 pm
In 1921 Britain withdrew from 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties and the country was immediately engulfed in civil war. The kind of state that emerged was in many ways a very different one to that envisaged by the 1916 Proclamation and a bitter disappointment to many who had fought in the War of Independence. For many years it was marked by economic stagnation, high levels of emigration and two conservative political parties with little to divide them apart from their  positions on the Civil War. Was the Irish state a betrayal of 1916? Or did it merely reflect the inherently conservative nature of the Irish people?

The Troubles     Thursday 6th November, 7.30 pm
Many Irish nationalists, both north and south of the border saw the Treaty of 1921, which left the six counties of Northern Ireland in British hands, as a betrayal. Their views were reinforced by the nature of the sectarian Stormont government which favoured the Unionist majority. This institutional discrimination inevitably led to conflict, at first through the peaceful Civil Rights movement, but after 1969 through the campaign of the Provisional IRA which was to last for over 25 years. Was the Treaty a sell out? Could armed conflict have been avoided? And what are the prospects for continued peace in Northern Ireland?

One thought on “Irish History archive

  1. Pingback: Gaelic, an ancient tongue « Vs Senior Exit Blog

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