Lectures

Mná100: Irish Revolutionary Women (1912-1923) with Dr. Sinéad McCoole & Ambassador Martin Fraser

An illustrated presentation on “The Decade of Centenaries, ‘Mná 100': The Role of Irish Women - a new examination of their contribution during the Irish Revolutionary Period, from 1912-1923”. The Brendan Mac Lua Commemorative Lecture 2023

With Ireland’s Ambassador to the UK, Martin Fraser and Dr. Sinéad McCool, Curator of Mná 100 and member of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations

An ‘In Conversation’ event reflecting on The Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012 – 2023, which charted the seminal events of the years in Irish history from 1912 to 1923, a decade which was most turbulent and transformative.   

This ‘In Conversation” will be with Dr. Sinéad McCoole and Ireland’s Ambassador to the UK, Martin Fraser, who was central to this decade-long programme of commemorations. This will be a truly unique event which will give insights into a decade-long period of historical investigation and reflection.

Wed 15 November 2023

Doors: 6.45pm; Starts: 7pm

Tickets: £7 each OR £25 for the Series of X5 Lectures

About The Event

The evening will begin with a focus on the contribution of women in Ireland’s history, reflecting on some well-known names and some who, until recently, were unknown outside their own communities. How did this Decade of Centenaries transform understandings of key events and these women? A new canon? New archives, new artistic reflections and new conversations. 

Described by many as Ireland’s leading expert on Irish Women’s History, (from the 1800’s to the present day), Dr. Sinéad McCoole will reveal the contribution Irish women made, both historic and more recent, and she will weave in new scholarship in the field, made possible by the Decade of Centenaries programme.  Sinéad will discuss the legacy of Irish Women from 1912 to 1923. The military contribution of the women of ‘Cumann na mBan’, the early politicians, activists, pioneering professional women (the first vet, army officer, lawyers) and the sadness of the legacy of violence, in the life stories of Irish women as war widows. Sinéad’s own scholarship on the 1916 Easter Rising, the campaign for Independence and those active and imprisoned during the Irish Civil War will inform her presentation.

Sinéad will demonstrate how many of the women suffered loss and violence, how they were often hidden, overlooked and unacknowledged in the writing of Ireland’s History and National Commemorations. 

This Lecture will give you a much deeper understanding of the important role the women played in shaping Ireland’s journey towards independence and self-determination and it will give you greater awareness of the role they played in the fight for Ireland’s freedom and the establishment of the new Irish State.

About The Ambassador of Ireland to the UK, Martin Fraser:

In his former role in the Department of the Taoiseach, Martin Fraser was centrally involved in Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries commemorative programme from the outset. He was involved in drafting the speech by Taoiseach Brian Cowen in 2010 which first set out the Government’s approach to the Decade of Commemorations. As Secretary General to the Government from 2011, he chaired the Senior Officials Group which oversaw the State Commemoration Programme from 2012-2022.

About Dr. Sinéad McCoole:

Dr. Sinéad McCoole is a member of the Irish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations and is Historical Advisor to the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012 – 2023.

During her time at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Sinéad curated the touring exhibition Mná 1916-2016, the Pop-Up Women’s Museum – marking the centenary of women’s right to participate in elections and the right to stand in parliament. She also produced and presented the podcast series “Mná 100 – Decade of Centenaries, which has been listened to in 43 countries.

Sinéad is also the author of many books including Guns and Chiffon: Women Revolutionaries and Kilmainham Gaol 1916-1923; No Ordinary Women: Irish Female Activists in the Revolutionary Years, 1900-1923; Easter Widows, the Untold Story of the Wives of the Executed Leaders and her highly acclaimed book Hazel, A Life of Lady Lavery, whose home at Cromwell Place, London was unofficially known as the ‘Irish place in London’ from 1921-1932.  

‘The Brendan Mac Lua Commemorative Lecture’ takes place annually at The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. It is held in memory of the Late Founder and Editor of The Irish Post Newspaper in the UK.

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