Tuesday 8th September 2015
Defending Ireland from the Irish James Devitt
Tuesday 29th September 2015
Calligraphy: Codes and Catastrophies David Smith
Tuesday 13th October 2015
The Sinking of the Lusitania Cormac Lowth
Tuesday 10th November 2015
History of Dublin’s Fruit and Vegetable Markets John Conroy
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Leo Swan Memorial Lecture – TBC
Tuesday 12th January 2016
James Connolly James Connolly Heron
Tuesday 9th February 2016
Roger Casement John McGuigan
Tuesday 8th March 2016
Josie: a Brief Flame Michael Ó Doibhilín
Tuesday 22nd March 2016
The Lives of the 1916 Leaders Seán O’Gorman
Tuesday 12th April 2016
The Irish Poets of World War One Frank Tracy
Tuesday 10th May 2016
Early Irish Farming John Dolan
Tuesday 14th June 2016
19th Century Beggars in Ireland Seán Bagnall
All lectures take place at 7:00pm in the County Library, Tallaght, and all are welcome.
Tallaght Historical Society Contact: Anne Hanrahan at 01 2441463 or 0876315773
As today is World Poetry Day and to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the Dardanelles (Land) Campaign this time next month April 25th, I offer this poem, which I wrote after my visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula a few years ago.
The poem was inspired by my visit and also by the poem of the same name ‘The Irish at Gallipoli’ written by Irish Poet Francis Ledwidge before he was killed during the war on the Western Front. Ledwidge had seen the worst of the sufferings experienced by 10th Irish Division after the Suvla Bay landings in August and had penned his poem, while on a troopship sailing past the ancient city of Troy. The Irish and the other allied soldiers who served at Gallipoli had a healthy respect for the Turkish soldiers they fought in 1915.
The Gallipoli Peninsula today is a national park holding the graves and unmarked remains of thousands of soldiers on both sides who perished there. The poem is also a recognition of the, until recently, forgotten story of Irish soldiers lost during the conflict and to subsequent Irish historiography.
(After a visit to the battlefields -2011)
Today I stood above the Aegean Sea
listening for echoes I could not hear.
The silent tempo of the ground
resonates still on unnatural landscapes.
The zig-zag lines where dead men toil
dug deep into blood smeared soil,
buried now with their bones
on beaches and gullies where once
they fought the Turk,
stormed the shores and hills as if thrown
against the wind by Agamemnon himself.
The silence bade me look towards Troy
across the Straits from Helles,
I still could hear no voice, nor thunder in the sky
except the launching waves
pushing ancient pebbles up the beach to rest,
where once they drowned the hearts of men.
Then behind me I could feel it,
the noise of peace and echoes of war
in a thousand monuments to the dead,
stretched out in marching order.
And there, watching me, my shadow
took on the specter of a ghost and spoke,
‘Like Hector I was the defender
brave and virtuous – but of Irish stock,
I am the soldier my country forsook.’
And in response I said
‘I have come at last to pay my respects,
I have come to take you home!’
Michael J. Whelan
Michael J. Whelan lives in Tallaght and is an award winning poet, writer and historian. For more about Michael and his work, please see his blog.
The launch took place on Monday night, of ‘Landscapes of War and Peace 1914-2014: War Poetry and Peacekeeping’ by Michael J. Whelan.
This exhibition, which is part of the Red Line Book Festival, includes an Irish soldier’s poems and images inspired by the poets of the Great War and his own peacekeeping duties in modern day conflicts in the Middle-East and Balkans. Also being exhibited are historical artefacts and documents of family history over the past 100 years, poems and other paraphernalia from World War I and UN Peacekeeping duties.
Thank you to Mayor Fintan Warfield and Brigadier General Paul Fry who launched the exhibition.
The exhibition can be viewed at the County Library, Tallaght until 23rd October 2014, during library opening hours.
Photos by David Power
As we near the centenary of the outbreak of The Great War, South Dublin Libraries is seeking items related to the War, which will be photographed or scanned and exhibited on Source, our digital archive. We are particularly interested in hearing the stories of WWI participants who were from the South Dublin County area. If you are interested in ‘digitally donating’ an item to us, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 4597834 (ext. 6659).