Currently the schedule of talks for the 2014-2015 season is being finalised. Full details will appear here. In the meantime why not take a look at the in depth articles section which are all based on previous talks.
Tim 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 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
Of 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.
Thurs 23rd Jan 2014