Friday, October 17, 2014

Lots of Talks this Week!

Sometimes, the events just seem to line up. This has been a busy week for historical talks here in Dublin, and I've been spoiled for choice. On Tuesday, I was back at Dublin City Hall for the second of their October series of Dublin WWI lectures.

This week, the talk focused on some of the old townships of Dublin and their response to the Great War. Dr. Seamus O Maitiu presented more personal accounts and primary documents of the people of Rathmines, Pembroke, and Blackrock townships. Donnybrook, our nearest current village, represented the township of Rathmines, by the way.

There are still two more lectures in this series, the next to Tuesdays in October 2014. Each is at 1:10 in the City Council chambers. Arrive early to get a seat, as that chamber fills up quickly!

On Wednesday, the fabulous Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, and Sandymount Historical Society was back in action at my local library branch with a fantastic lunchtime lecture about Dublin poet and publisher Patrick Kavanagh and his ill-fated literature and politics review, Kavanagh's Weekly. 

This eight-page weekly newspaper featured biting political satire and the latest literary criticism. Listening to passages read from the paper gave us all a laugh- the lampooning of corrupt Irish politicians and their 1950s austerity could have been written today by a sarcastic blogger.

The newspaper only lasted thirteen issues due to high costs and limited circulation. Too bad, because he seemed to have a finger on the pulse of the issues of the day and presented them in an approachable, entertaining, and informative way. I feel like he would have been a successful blogger had he been alive today.

On Thursday, the Natural History Museum here in Dublin arranged its first-ever free lunchtime chat. Today, the guest was a member of Birdwatch Ireland, and he gave us a mini-tour of some of the birds that are doing well and those that are dwindling in Ireland. Just as in other places, birds living around more intensely-farmed land are suffering more than any others.

Thanks as always to the Dublin Event Guide for assembling all these free events in one weekly email magazine for me. Without it, I wouldn't have to make the tough scheduling choices that I do week after week.

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