Ireland, 1912-1923 An Island in Turmoil & Transition A series of 7 talks and debates

I love a good talk and debate, it’s like the theatre only cheaper and more interesting. In this decade of centenaries there is an abundance of talks for history junkies. Recently I found out about this series of talks happening in Belfast. I missed the first few but will defiantly be at the rest of them. Tom Hartley and Philip Orr are both very engaging speakers. Below are the details of the talks, for context I have left in the earlier talks.

Ireland, 1912-1923 An Island in Turmoil & Transition A series of 7 talks and debates about the Irish Revolutionary period, 1912-1923, and its political and social aftermath. Organised by Coiste na nIarchimí, in conjunction with Intercomm. Delivered by Tom Hartley and Philip Orr.

Each event will be held on seven different occasions and in seven different venues, and each event will start with a concise 12 minute presentation by the two historians, Tom and Philip. This will be followed by a short, very vigorous debate between the two speakers, concluding with an open-ended discussion, involving comments and questions from the floor.

National Army soldiers during the Irish Civil War
National Army soldiers during the Irish Civil War

The Home Rule Bill and the Ulster Covenant of 1912 – 25th Sept 2014, 7.00pm – Clifton House, North Queen St., Belfast
In 1912, the British government proposed a parliament for Ireland. Was this the long-hoped-for arrival of Irish freedom? Why did Unionists oppose the bill? What exactly was this Solemn League and Covenant that most northern Protestants signed in September 1912 and why do Unionists still adhere to it today?

The Volunteer Movements, 1913-1914 – 2nd Oct 2014, 7.00pm – Duncairn Cntr for Arts & Culture, 174 Antrim Rd, Belfast
By the summer of 1914 there were two huge rival volunteer movements in Ireland, the UVF and the Irish Volunteers. Up to 300,000 men and women were committed. What was each volunteer movement like? Who were their leaders, how were women involved and was each movement successfully armed? What would have happened had they fought?

The Great War and the Easter Rising, 1914-1918 – 9th Oct 2014, 7.00pm – Skainos Cntr, 239 Newtownards Road, Belfast
Over 200,000 Irishmen fought for the British Empire in the Great War, Why was this? Did that war help create the context for the Easter Rising? What new insights have modern historians given us about the Easter Rising and what do we now know about the biographies and political views of the leaders of the Rising such as Roger Casement and James Connolly?

The ‘War of Independence’ and the escalating conflict, 1919-22 – 16th Oct 2014, 7.00pm – Markets Community Cntr, Market St, Belfas
What were the IRA tactics at this time and how revolutionary was their warfare? What form did British repression take in Ireland in the post-war era? How was policing established through the RUC and Special Constabulary and what happened to the old RIC? Nationalists have always referred to the deaths, burnings and expulsions of this period in the north as ‘the pogroms’. Is this the right term to use?

Partition, 1922 & The Irish Civil War – 23rd October 2014, 7.00pm – Roddy McCorley Club House, Glen Road, Belfast
What were the details of the treaty of 1921? What were the chances of Irish forces fighting on successfully against partition? How did the Irish border compare with the creation of other borders throughout Europe at this time? What exactly was the Border Commission – set up to modify the border – and was it just a toothless body?

A two-state Ireland in the early years of partition – 30th Oct 2014, 7.00pm – An Chultúrlann MacAdam-ÓFiaich, Falls Rd, Belfast
There were two new political jurisdictions in Ireland. Were they characterized by what James Connolly once forecast as ‘a carnival of reaction’? How did government, policing, the economy, law, education, the condition of women and the relationship between church and state function on either side of the border? Was Ireland, for all its problems still a better place to live than most of Europe at this time, as Fascism and Stalinism rose to murderous prominence?

Legacies, 1923-2014 – 6th Nov 2014, 7.00pm – Linen Hall Library, Donegall Square North, Belfast
What were the overall legacies of this period for later generations? The legacy of the Home Rule crisis before The Great War? the UVF and the INV? the Great War itself and the Easter Rising? What about the legacies of the War of Independence? The conflict and suffering that was widespread in the post-war era? The partition of the island in 1922 and the creation of two new jurisdictions on the island?