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.