Mondays at the Mess is a monthly lecture series that takes place at Richmond Barracks. Our lecture themes cover a broad spectrum of interest with particular reference to Richmond Barracks and Goldenbridge Cemetery. Admission fee includes tea/coffee and a scone in our café and ample opportunity to continue the conversation.
Select a tile below to listen to a recording from our Mondays at the Mess talks about the people and events that shaped the Easter Rising and the Irish Revolution.
In July 1920 the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers were deployed to
Ireland, including one of their intelligence officers, Major Wilfrid Woodcock,
whose wife Caroline also came to Dublin in the same month. The couple had been
in Germany with the regiment, in the aftermath of the First World War.
Major Woodcock was one of those wounded on the morning of 21
November 1920 in Pembroke Street, when the house was attacked by members of
Michael Collins’ ‘Squad’. His wife returned to London in early 1921, where she
published a book about her time in Ireland, which is the main source for this
Mary’s talk focuses on Mrs. Woodcock’s account which
provides an eye-witness report on a pivotal event during the War of
Independence and offers fascinating insights into the daily life of Dublin from
the perspective of the British ruling class.
Lecturer: Cormac Moore, Dublin City Council Historian in Residence, North Central area
A look at the history of one of Dublin’s most famous names in confectionery, Lemon’s Pure Sweets, founded by Graham Lemon in 1842. Find out about its early beginnings as a little sweet shop on Capel Street to the closure of its Drumcondra factory in 1983.
decades in Hollywood, films built around female stars were considered prestigious
and profitable. From 1929-1959, cinema patrons chose among a variety stories
that placed women at the centre of the celluloid universe. Women played
writers, doctors, politicians, lawyers, gangsters, showgirls, entrepreneurs,
shop girls, sex workers, and con artists. No matter what role men played
(scoundrel, monster, swoon merchant, or patsy), it was always secondary to the
leading woman. Themes from woman’s pictures about sex, success, style, and
strategies for living in a man’s world have never been more relevant than they
are today. Let’s recall a time when Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Barbara
Stanwyck, Marlene Dietrich, Constance Bennett, Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard,
Margaret Sullavan, and Susan Hayward ruled the big screen.
Dr Megan McGurk
is the Director of the Business Academic Writing Centre in UCD. She hosts a
podcast and film club called Sass Mouth Dames
Josie McGowan was only 20 when she died from injuries
received in a Dublin Metropolitan Police baton charge. A member of
Inghinídhe nah Éireann and later Cumann na mBan, she had taken an active part
in the Easter Rising, fighting in Marrowbone Lane Garrison. She is one of
the 77 Women depicted on the Commemorative Quilt at Richmond Barracks.
After the Rising she remained an active member of Cumann na mBan, paving the
way for what was to follow.
Josie was the first Cumann na mBan member to be killed in
the Irish rebellion, and was posthumously awarded a 1916 and a Tan War medal,
but left no record of her actions.
Mícheál Ó Doibhilín has spent almost 15 years tracking down this elusive young girl’s life. He is the author of several books including “Joe Poole – the sixth invincible?” and “Anne Devlin – the bravest of the brave”, and is currently writing a biography of Josie McGowan.
Date of original lecture: 4th November 2019 at 11am
Dublin was thriving city in Pre-Reformation Dublin, as the centre of English administration in Ireland. Peadar Slattery looks at the social life in Pre-Reformation Dublin, taking into account its ruling class, wealthy merchants, all-powerful traditional church, and the city’s various personalities, not to mention Dublin’s ‘unwanted Irish’.
Date of original lecture: Monday 2nd September at 11am
This talk discusses the formation of the workhouse system in
Ireland with particular reference to the workhouse of the South Dublin Union in
1840. It describes conditions within the workhouse and its role during the
Famine. After the Famine the workhouse developed into what was described
as a ’vast hospital for the destitute and sick poor’. There were complaints
about the standard of care, and the governors responded by inviting nuns from
the Mercy order to reform the institution.
During the Easter rebellion of 1916 the workhouse was occupied by the 4th Battalion of the Irish Volunteers and two battles were fought in the grounds during Easter week. During the early 1950s, the South Dublin Union was extensively refurbished and became St Kevin’s Hospital. In 1971 St Kevin’s Hospital became St James’s Hospital.
Lecturer: Dr Ciarán Wallace, Department of History, TCD
In 1922, seven centuries of priceless records were lost in the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland during the Irish Civil War. The loss has limited Irish historical scholarship ever since. As the centenary of the calamity approaches, however, a new research project involving historians, archivists and computer scientists, is virtually recreating the building and – as far as possible – its contents.
‘Beyond 2022’ has already identified extensive volumes of transcripts, summaries, calendars and indexes created by archivists, administrators and scholars in the years preceding the fire (over 20 million words to date). Digitally reuniting them in a Virtual Reality recreation of the destroyed building offers exciting opportunities to restore Ireland’s lost archival and historical record. https://beyond2022.ie/
Lecturer: Maeve Casserly, Dublin City Council, Historian-in-Residence, South East Area
Marking the 100th anniversary of St. Ultan’s foundation in May 1919, listen to Maeve Casserly, NLI staff member and Historian in Residence with Dublin City Council talk about the innovative work of doctors in St. Ultan’s paediatric hospital – the first of its kind in the British Isles. Work by doctors like Kathleen Lynn and Dorothy Stopford-Price was integral to the eradication of diseases like TB in the National BCG campaign with its HQ in St. Ultan’s.
The lecture is followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
Lecturer: Bernard Kelly, Dublin City Council, Historian-in-Residence, City Archives
Q&A with Bernard Kelly, Dublin City Council, Historian-in-Residence for City Archives on his April 2019 lecture “From one War to another: Dublin 1916 – 1919’ which looks at the effect of First World War in Dublin, taking into account the wartime effort and the outbreak of the War of Independence.
Lecturer: Mary Muldowney, Dublin City Council,Historian-in-Residence, Central Area
The railway works at Inchicore have played a significant role in the operation of the Irish railway network since they were opened in 1846. Over more than 170 years, the Inchicore works have also been a focal point of the development of the village and the surrounding area, providing employment and housing and contributing to the development of the area. The lecture will be followed by a discussion session, in which it is hoped that local residents will share their memories of living in the neighbourhood of ‘the Works’.
Date of the original lecture: 4th of March 2019 at 11am
In 1919 the First Dáil set up its very own foreign service. Since before the Easter Rising of 1916 Irish republicans had anticipated Ireland making a claim for the recognition of its independence at a post-war peace conference, and to that end the Dáil established a diplomatic mission in Paris. But over the next few years Sinn Féin made use of a wide range of agitators and propagandists scattered across the US, Europe and farther afield to disseminate anti-British propaganda, to lobby politicians, raise money and even obtain weapons for the IRA. The IRA’s guerrilla campaign tends to hog the limelight in discussions of the period 1919-23 in Irish history, but the colourful activities of the Dáil’s very own diplomatic service remains an overlooked aspect of the revolutionary period.
Date of the original lecture: 4th February 2019 at 11am
In response to our recent audio-visual exhibition and online exhibition “You never saw such excitement: the 1918 Election of Countess Markievicz”, Dr Mary McAuliffe will discuss the impact of Markievicz’s ground-breaking election and its legacy in relation to women’s representation in Irish public life today.
Dublin City Libraries Historian-in-Residence, Dublin North Central
A look back at one of the most consequential general elections in Irish history, held just after the First World War had ended in December 1918. The franchise had increased dramatically, giving some women the right to vote for the first time. The talk will explore the spectacular success of Sinn Féin and the implosion of the Irish Parliamentary Party, as well as the unique circumstances in Ulster where Ulster Unionists won the majority of seats.
Listen to John Dorney, author of The Civil War in Dublin: The Fight for the Irish Capital 1922-1924, answer questions on how the city became the site of a nine month long guerrilla war, in which over 250 people were killed and 500 wounded in the Dublin area. While the cycle of executions, atrocities and reprisals was taking place in the city, ordinary citizens tried to get on with their daily lives.
Since its invention in 1839, photography has been used to record and commemorate the dead. Did this happen in Dublin? Examples are rare; however, evidence shows that the city’s photographers provided such a service. Drawing on mortality statistics, newspaper accounts and detailed case studies this talk will examine post-mortem portraits of Dublin children who died in the early twentieth century.
In 1935 The Criminal Law Amendment Act was passed in the Irish Free State. It dealt with sexual crime and sexual activity. Molly’s talk will outline the context that led up to the Act, it will examine how women were viewed in the act, and the impact that had on the women of Ireland.
The talk will also discuss the way in which the purity of women became an essential part of the how the new State viewed itself, thereby branding sexually active women as “deviant”. This Act was a crucial episode in the development of relations between men and women in Ireland and was a missed opportunity to address the real problem of increasing sexual assault.
This talk explores execution in Dublin city and county in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Public execution was the norm in the medieval period and some executions could draw large crowds. The modern expression Gala Day is derived from the Anglo-Saxon gallows day, confirming that these were public events from a very early period. This talk will discuss where the gallows were located in Dublin, why people were executed, as well as examining the different methods of execution used in the medieval city and county.
Historian-in-Residence with Dublin City Council – South East Area
Listen to Maeve Casserly as she retraces the footsteps of some famous (and not so famous) women of Dublin’s South-East area. Delve into the interesting world of the women who lived and worked in this historically rich area. From Dr. Kathleen Lynn’s home practice in Rathmines to the stained glass studio of An Túr Gloine founded by Sarah Purser in Ringsend – and everything in between!
An overview of South Circular Road on the Eve of World War One which focuses on the social and economic life of the area based on the 1911 census and the subsequent years and introduces us to some of the people that lived there.