Tallaght Historical Society 2015/16 Lecture Series

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

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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

World Poetry Day: Gallipoli by Michael J. Whelan

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.

GALLIPOLI

(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

Launch of Landscapes of War and Peace

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.

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Mayor Fintan Warfield launching the exhibition

Mayor Fintan Warfield launching the exhibition

Michael J Whelan with David Power (South Dublin Libraries), Brigadier General Paul Fry and Maria Donohoe (South Dublin Libraries)

Michael J Whelan with David Power (South Dublin Libraries), Brigadier General Paul Fry and Maria Donohoe (South Dublin Libraries)

Mayor Fintan Warfield with Ambassador Dominick Chilcott, British Ambassador to Ireland

Mayor Fintan Warfield with Ambassador Dominick Chilcott, British Ambassador to Ireland

Photos by David Power

Do you have any WWI Memorabilia? Your Library Needs You!

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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 localstudies@sdublincoco.ie or phone 4597834 (ext. 6659).