RENMORE BARRACKS HISTORY SOCIETY - PROGRAM 2011 - 2012
Book on line here
The Space Race, Star Trek, and the influence of 60’s science fiction on today’s technologies.
Thurs 08th March 2012
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 Irish Pimpernel”
Fr. Hugh O’Flaherty and the Vatican Escape Route.
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.
Past Events this Season
‘Poor Bloody Infantry’ The reality of life for the ordinary soldier, from Waterloo to WW2.
Note: Change of date to Thurs 26th Jan 2012
Only recently has the voice of the ordinary soldier been heard, and their experiences recorded. For centuries they have been silent; their experiences interpreted and reported on by others. But this has led to some significant misunderstandings of what actually happens in battle, both among historians and among the public at large.
This talk looks at the reality of life for the ordinary soldier in battle, and seeks to record and report their actual experience of it. In doing so it throws up some remarkable facts, such as that in even the fiercest battle, nearly half of those in the thick of it never fired their weapon, or the fact that there is no recorded instance of an actual bayonet charge, or that Napoleonic cavalry charges never actually came into contact with each other. The talk makes use of history, psychology, movies, and even a bit of poetry.
Foreign volunteers in the Boer War. 1899-1902
Professor Fransjohan Pretorius.
Thurs 06th Oct 2011
Fransjohan Pretorius is professor of history at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He is regarded as one of the leading experts on the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. He is the author of six books and editor and co-editor of two others on the subject. Both his Master’s dissertation and doctoral thesis have been published in Afrikaans as well as in English.
The professor is on a speaking tour of Ireland, and has very kindly agreed to deliver a lecture to our society. His talk looks at the foreign volunteers who fought with the Boers against the British, where volunteers from Ireland played a major role.
Lady Gregory 1852 – 1932
Thurs 24th Nov 2011
George Bernard Shaw once described Lady Augusta Gregory as "the greatest living Irishwoman". She was born at Roxborough, near Loughrea, into a powerful Protestant ascendancy family. She married Sir William Gregory, and on his death, began her extraordinary personal journey where she became a nationalist in her political views, and the catalyst for the great Irish Literary Revival at the beginning of the last century.
With WB Yeats, and Edward Martyn she co-founded the Abbey Theatre, and managed its affairs for most of her adult life. She wrote numerous plays and short stories, several volumes of folk lore, and translated from the Irish the ancient legends of Ireland.
Ronnie O'Gorman is a journalist, chairman of the Galway Advertiser group, a keen student of Lady Gregory, and is currently promoting of the Lady Gregory centre at Coole. In this talk he examines the life and times of this remarkable Irishwoman.
There is a cover charge of €5 for non-members.
Places are strictly limited and must be reserved in advance.