THE GREAT War’s impact on Galway city, the slaughter in the trenches, and recruiting Galwegians to fight for “king and country” will be the subject of a series of public lectures taking place at the Galway City Museum, every Thursday from 7pm to 8pm.
While WWI forms the bulk of the programme, the opening lectures deal deal with very different subjects. The first takes place this Thursday [February 5] and will be given by local historian and author, Peadar O’Dowd. His talk, Spirits Of Galway, named after his new book, will see him discuss ‘The Glumock in Shantalla’, ‘Menlo Fire’, ‘County Jail Encounters’, and a strange meeting in An Taibhdhearc.
On February 12, the museum’s education and outreach officer Brendan McGowan, presents an illustrated talk entitled A Brief History of Eyre Square. In 1712, Galway Mayor Edward Eyre gifted the Galway Corporation a plot of land, situated outside the town walls. Some 300 years later the area still bears his family name.
The Great War lecture series starts on February 19 with the distinguished poet, writer, and editor, Theo Dorgan, giving a talk entitled The Brutal Truth, The Slaughter Of The Poor. He will explore the horrors experienced by soldiers in the trenches, as recounted by Aran-born writer Liam O’Flaherty in his 1929 novel The Return Of The Brute.
An Spidéal’s Cormac Ó Comhraí, author of Revolution in Connacht (2013 ) and Ireland & the First World War (2014 ), will deliver the next lecture, Impact of the Great War on Galway, on February 26. This illustrated talk will look at how the war impacted on the city and county.
The lecture series concludes on March 5 with The Carrot & the Stick: Recruitment in Galway, by local historian and author William Henry. More than 150,000 Irishmen enlisted in the British army during between 1914 and 1918. This talk will look at why Galwegians enlisted, as well as at the techniques and rhetoric used in local recruitment campaigns.
Admission is free but advance booking is essential for all talks. To book call 091 - 532460.