This year’s Federation of Local History Societies Autumn Seminar will be on the theme of the War of Independence and will be held in Galway on Saturday 16th November. Marking the centenary of the conflict which began in early 1919 and slowly developed throughout that year. By the years end, Britain’s response and Winston Churchill’s brainchild, the notorious Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve was established and later nicknamed the Black Tans. Galway had the largest mobilisation of men outside Dublin during the 1916 rising but Galway City remained steadfastly in support of the British until Crown Forces rampaged through the city in vengeance for an incident which occurred at railway station. A drunken Black and Tan named Edward Krumm shot a volunteer, Sean Mulvoy and was himself killed. In vengeance, crown forces took to the streets terrorising the City shooting it up and throwing grandees. Several people were taken from their abode and shot in the street including Irish volunteer Seamus Quirke a Lt. in the Fianna Eireann from Cork, he died some hours after being shot. The funeral of the Quirke and Mulvoy was one of the biggest of the time in Galway but it resulted in the British losing the support of the people of the city. The Galway example is the emblematic of how the British managed to loose political support right across the country, leading to one thing it was designed to prevent, the breakup of the United Kingdom.
The FLHS has a stellar line-up of speakers including Padraig Yeats who was awarded the NUI,s highest degree in 2018 for his extensive research on Irish social and labour history.
Dr. Conor McNamara is the author and editor of four studies of post-Famine Ireland and is about to launch his new book entitled ‘Liam Mellows: Soldier of the Irish Republic, Collected Writings, 1914–1922’.
William Henry is a local Galway historian who has written over twenty books including ‘Galway and the Great War’, ‘Blood for Blood: The Black and Tan War in Galway’.
Dr. John Cunningham from NUI, Galway is a former editor of Saothar: journal of Irish Labour History, John Cunningham’s research interests include Irish local history, the moral economy, and global syndicalism.
Liam Heffron is a published author and historian, researching his PhD ‘Contested space – the revolutionary intersection of land hunger, social justice impulse, and memory in the rural west of Ireland’, at NUI Galway.
Dr. Eamonn Gardiner studied at NUI Galway where his doctoral thesis examined the links between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary. His first book was entitled ‘Counterinsurgency and Conflict: Dublin Castle and the Anglo-Irish War’ and was published in 2009.