We're pleased to announce our programme. Buy tickets here online, from the booking office on 089 436 9868, or from the The Book MARKet Café in Kells (tel 085 889 6352) or Antonia's Bookstore in Trim (tel 046 943 7532). You can view a copy of the printed programme here.
2018 is the centenary of the apocalyptic year that was 1918 – twelve months of international conflict, pandemic disease, a crucial election, and advances in women’s rights. It also marks the 50th anniversary of 1968. Remove the ‘Spanish flu’ and all of the above also applies to that momentous year. In tandem with the RTÉ Radio 1 History Show, Hinterland will devote two and a half days to assessing and reconsidering some of the key events of 1918 and 1968.
Entry to the following events:
10.30am – Paul Maher
The RIC and DMP in 1918
Paul Maher, as well as being a serving Garda, researches the history of An Garda Siochana, the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the Royal Irish Constabulary. For many years now he has run the hugely successful Garda Historical Society and has lectured in many different forums (including Kells/Hay in 2016). For this year’s talk he will focus on the duties of the DMP, just before the Anglo-Irish War signalled the beginning of the end for the RIC and the DMP.
11.10am – Emma Lyons
Women and WW1
1918 marks the anniversary of many Irish historical events. These happened towards the end of the Great War, a period to which Irishwomen responded by mobilising quickly to ‘succour the brave men…fighting for our rights and liberties’. Voluntary action was widespread, with Ireland witnessing a civil mobilisation that crossed religious and social boundaries. Societies were established, giving provisions to soldiers on the Front Line. The central role of women in these societies will be the focus of Dr Emma Lyons.
11.50am – Ida Milne
The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918
The Great War is, rightly, viewed as one of the most egregious examples of wanton carnage in world history. But in terms of morbidity it paled in comparison to the infamous 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. It is reckoned, for example, that up to half of the 100,000 or so American military deaths of the war were caused by influenza. Millions of people worldwide died of this virulent strain of flu. Dr Ida Milne, Irish Research Council Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at Maynooth University and Queen's University Belfast, is this country’s acknowledged expert on the pandemic and on its effects on Ireland in 1918. Her monograph on the subject, Stacking the Coffins: Influenza, war and revolution in Ireland, 1918–19, will be published this year by Manchester University Press.
12.30pm – David McCullagh
Eamon de Valera in 1918
Broadcaster and writer Dr David McCullagh is best known as a presenter of Prime Time on RTÉ 1 TV, and as a former RTÉ Political Correspondent. David is also an accomplished historian whose first work A Makeshift Majority dealt with the travails of the country’s first inter-party government, in office from 1948 to 1951. David is also the biographer of the man who led that (and the subsequent) coalition administration, John A. Costello (The Reluctant Taoiseach, 2010). In 2017 he produced the first of a two-part biography of Eamon de Valera covering the years 1882–1932 (De Valera: Rise) and it is ‘The Long Fellow’ who will be the subject of his first Hinterland talk as part of our ‘Remembering 1918’ strand.
2.30pm – Liz Gillis
Lá na mBan – Irish rebel women and the Conscription Crisis
While the Labour movement, Sinn Fein, the Irish Parliamentary Party and the Roman Catholic Church all played a major role in ensuring that military conscription was not extended to Ireland in April 1918, the part played by Republican women cannot be underestimated. Liz Gillis is the author of Women of the Irish Revolution and has researched the role of feminist militants in the anti-conscription campaign.
3.10pm – Catriona Crowe
The Pen and the Hammer: The Irish Struggle for Female Suffrage
Making a welcome return to the festival (and with more leisure time on her hands since moving on from her position with the National Archives, where she was senior archivist and manager of the Irish Census Online Project), historian Catriona Crowe (Dublin 1911) is contributing to Hinterland on the double this year. To mark the centenary of the extension of the franchise to propertied women over the age of 30 – a rather grudging concession – she will discuss the history of suffragism in Ireland and Britain in the early 1900s.
3.40pm – Pauric Travers
The Conscription Crisis in Ireland
Prof. Pauric Travers was appointed first lay President of St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra in 1999. An educationalist and a distinguished historian, he is a graduate of UCD where he completed his BA and his MA, and of the Australian National University where he completed his PhD. He is a former Academic Director of the Parnell Summer School, and his writing includes Settlements & Divisions: Ireland 1870–1922 (1988), The Irish Emigrant Experience in Australia (Poolbeg, 1991) and Irish Culture and Nationalism 1750–1950 (1992). Professor Travers will discuss the 1918 Conscription Crisis in Ireland when the British government sought, unsuccessfully, to introduce compulsory enlistment.
4.20pm – Roy Foster
The ‘Vivid Faces’ in 1918Shortly after Roy Foster retired as Carroll Professor of Irish History at Oxford University, the Chair created for him in 1991 was renamed in his honour, proof positive of the status of this most distinguished of academics. Biographer of Charles Stewart Parnell, Randolph Churchill and W.B. Yeats, author of one of the definitive one-volume histories of this country, Modern Ireland 1600–1972, Foster has been at the forefront of Irish academic research (and controversy) for more than 30 years. Channelling his recent work Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland (2014) his talk will examine some of the significant events and personalities of 1918 in Ireland.
The Boyne Valley is a place of history, myths and legends. This rich valley is home to a range of heritage sites and monuments; sites like Tara, Newgrange, Kells and the Battle of the Boyne site, which are well known nationally and internationally. With a landscape of passage tombs, sacred hills, monastic ruins, bloody battlefields and heritage towns it is no wonder that the Boyne Valley is considered to be the birthplace of Ireland’s Ancient East. The legends, stories and history of these places have been brought together by celebrated local historian and guide Noel French in his new volume Discovering the Boyne Valley.
Matt Spangler’s stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner has been going from strength to strength. After a lengthy West End run last summer the play has been touring the UK and has now come to Ireland, playing in Dublin, Belfast and Cork in June 2018. Matt will be talking about his relationship with the author, and with the superbly drawn characters from the bestselling book.
As part of our ‘Remembering 1968’ strand Dr Myles Dungan, author and presenter of The History Show on RTÉ Radio 1, looks back at one of the most dramatic and controversial presidential elections in American history. It encompassed the eclipse of a sitting president, the assassination of one of the leading candidates, riots at the Democratic selection convention in Chicago, a Southern racist uprising and a far tighter race than anyone had predicted.
Investigative journalism is the meat and drink of the Guardian newspaper and Nick Davies is the exemplar of that tradition. His tenacious and morally courageous work on the British ‘phone hacking’ scandal from 2010 onwards could have ended his own career in ignominious fashion. Instead his dogged efforts brought the newspaper empire of Rupert Murdoch spectacularly to heel and led, indirectly, to the closure of one of the worst offenders, in the News of the World. In Hack Attack (2014) a work of non-fiction that often reads like a thriller, Davies gives his own first-hand account of the exposure of the scandal. In Flat Earth News (2008) he writes about the ‘corrupted profession’ of journalism, in which the press release has long since triumphed over original and essential reporting. He is in conversation with Myles Dungan.
Maggie O’Farrell makes her first visit to Hinterland having just added a critically acclaimed memoir to her already impressive list of novels and literary awards. The author of seven novels, she won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2005 for The Distance Between Us. She followed that up five years later with the 2010 Costa Novel Award for The Hand That First Held Mine. The memoir that caused such a stir in late 2017 is I Am, I Am, I Am, a narrative of 17 near-death encounters that have punctuated her life. These include a mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. She talks to Sinead Gleeson.
Barry Ryan, from Glanworth in Co. Cork, is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and other events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. In The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation Ryan deals with the careers of Ireland’s two greatest cyclists. This, however, is an untypical Irish-written cycling biography, more in the tradition of Paul Kimmage’s Rough Ride than the many hagiographical accounts of the rise of the Golden Two. It doesn’t shirk pointing out the elephant in the room, the many questions surrounding doping in Irish cycling. He talks to Myles Dungan.
It was two years before the publication of Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics and Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch. Gloria Steinem was working on her seminal 1969 article ‘After Black Power, Women’s Liberation’, so we were on the cusp of the second significant wave of militant feminism of the 20th century. In addition to her many scholarly, journalistic and broadcasting achievements Catriona Crowe is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy and Chair of the Irish Theatre Institute, as well as a member of numerous boards in the cultural sector.
In the many years since Joey Dunlop’s untimely death, his stature has only grown. One of the racing world’s most successful riders, and certainly its leading role-model, he is sorely missed by bike enthusiasts everywhere. Stephen Davison is a photographer and journalist covering the sport of motorcycle road racing. Joey Dunlop: King of the Roads was first published 18 years ago and is the first of Davison’s nine books on the sport which also include: Beautiful Danger, Ragged Edge, Hard Roads, Flying Finn, Between the Hedges, John McGuinness: TT Legend, Road Racers and Guy Martin. Davison is a former Northern Ireland Photographer of the Year and is the co-owner of Pacemaker Press International, Northern Ireland’s leading photographic agency.
Professor of American History at San Jose State University in California, Glen Gendzel is uniquely qualified to contribute to our commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the momentous events of 1968. In the USA, opposition to the continued American involvement in the Vietnam War was at its most intense that year. Dr Gendzel will explore lingering political and military myths that Americans still cherish about that war, including the Tet Offensive of 1968, and repercussions on the home front.
In Coolmore Stud: Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Success Story Alan Conway tells the story of how Coolmore Stud and its training operation at Ballydoyle have come to dominate the world of horse breeding and racing. Nestled in a quiet part of County Tipperary, Coolmore Stud casts as long a shadow as any sporting entity over the history of Irish sport. Founded by the legendary horse trainer Vincent O’Brien, and now managed by John Magnier, Coolmore Stud has grown from a small breeding farm into a global behemoth, renowned the world over for the quality of the horses it produces. Alan Conway tells the story of how Coolmore Stud and its training operation at Ballydoyle have come to dominate the world of horse breeding and racing. Coolmore Stud was shortlisted for the Bord Gais Éireann Sports Book of the Year. Alan Conway is in conversation with Ken Murray.
Pen is a food historian par excellence. Her favourite dish is 19th century Britain, whose cuisine she has served up in a number of works associated with some of the most beloved authors and characters in the English language. Take Dinner with Dickens, for example, where Pen celebrates the food of Victorian England by recreating dishes Dickens wrote about with such brio and gusto, and which he enjoyed himself in real life. Dickens used food for character exposition, to create comedy, and to highlight social issues. Pen is also the author of Tea with Jane Austen and Dinner with Mr Darcy, which focus on the cuisine of the Regency period. Pen will discuss how Dickens and Austen write about food to tell us about the morals, manners and characters in their novels; and how the social forces that they describe have changed what we eat.
Kingsley, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, now works in the area of conflict resolution with the Causeway Institute for Peace-building and Conflict Resolution International. He has teamed up with Professor Paul Cornish to assess what the future might look like from a security perspective in 2020: World of War. He is not someone who shies away from controversy and spirited debate. He will be returning to Kells after a feisty contribution to our Brexit discussion in 2016, which emerged organically after the result of the referendum vote was announced on 24 June. Kingsley talks to Myles Dungan.
Author and illustrator Tatyana Feeney will draw and read from Socks for Mr Wolf, which was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award in 2017. Mr Wolf goes on an adventure across Ireland to save his socks. Kids will get to design a special pair of Hinterland Festival socks for Mr Wolf!
Tatyana grew up in North Carolina, where she spent much of her childhood reading and drawing. This developed into a love of art and particularly illustrations in children’s books, so she gave up her ambition to be a fire-girl and studied art history and illustration. Tatyana now lives in Co. Meath with her husband and two children.
Cruinniú na nÓg at Hinterland. For more free Cruinniú na nÓg events, please contact Kells Library for details and bookings.
David Murphy is RTÉ Business Correspondent and played a major role in the station’s coverage of the Irish economic disasters of the 2008–2012 period. Together with his wife, the journalist Martina Devlin, he wrote one of the best exposés of the Irish financial meltdown, Banksters. David was a participant in the first Hinterland Debate last year when our panel explored the implications of Brexit. Now that we are a year closer to the departure of the UK (including Northern Ireland) David looks at what Irish businesses and the Irish government need to be doing. In conversation with Myles Dungan.