Friday, October 10, 2014

Dublin City Hall October Lectures

Throughout the month of October 2014, Dublin City Hall is participating in Dublin Festival of History with a series of free Tuesday lunchtime lectures. The first of which was a fantastic look at the human stories of Ireland's participation in World War I.

 The City Council chambers were packed for this first talk of the series. The presenter Tom Burke is the chairman of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association- a group dedicated to the preservation of the stories and records of this now-defunct arm of the British military.

The theme of the story seemed to be, "What a useless waste that war was- to hell with your politics!" These Dublin volunteers fought and died in some of the bloodiest stalemates of the war, on the Western Front and in Gallipoli. They suffered massive casualties, disease, and the dreaded chlorine gas attacks- and didn't have much to show for it. During one offensive push, they gained a few miles of territory but lost tens of thousands of soldiers- to the tune of 35 soldiers for each yard of territory gained.

...But back in Ireland, they were still recruiting and sending off more boys and girls to the effort. It is always fascinating for me to see the streets and buildings that I know so well now in different historical contexts. Mr. Burke showed us old recruiting posters posted on familiar street corners, rattled off addresses of the boys signing up that I now pass every day without a second thought. Just one of those things about living in an old city with so much ancient and modern history.

Three more talks are scheduled for October:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 14- The Dublin Townships and the Great War
  • Tuesday, Oct. 21- Out of the Dark, 1914-1918 South Dubliners and the Great War
  • Tuesday, Oct. 28- The Saddest Songs, Those Heartfelt Rhymes: Songs and Poetry from the Great War
All talks begin at 1:10 p.m. at Dublin City Hall, arrive early to secure a seat. No booking is required.

Daniel O'Connell Says, "Be There!"
Daniel O'Connell Says, "Be There!"

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