The question as to how the events of the Irish revolution of c. 1914-23 (and particularly the Easter Rising ) will be remembered in Ireland and in Galway during the forthcoming decade of centenaries is an important one; and will form the bedrock of a two-year series of articles to start in the Galway Advertiser next week.
The series will be written by Fergus Campbell, Reader in Social and Cultural History, School of Historical Studies, in Newcastle University.
Mr Campbell was born in Carlisle, England in 1970 of a Galway-born mother and a Tipperary-born father, before being educated at the Newman School, Carlisle, Oxford University and Bristol University.
He has taught Irish history since 2000 at the Queen's University, Belfast; NUI Maynooth and now at Newcastle University.
He is the author of Land and Revolution: Nationalist Politics in the West of Ireland, 1891-1921 (Oxford University Press, 2005 ) and The Irish Establishment, 1879-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2009 ).
His articles will provide a dramatic and engaging account of the revolution in Galway based on substantial evidence that will provide a balanced and accessible commemoration of the critical events that resulted in the foundation of the state.
The intention is that each article looks back on that month 100 years before in Galway.
By beginning in this month, the series will be looking back at the response to the outbreak of the Great War at this time in 1914 in Galway, and then each monthly article will look back at key events in the following months in the county. Although the articles will consider the key events of a century before, they will also examine the wider social and cultural context and tell the stories of key characters so that there will be some flexibility with the chronology.
A key aspect of the series will be the story of the Republican movement in the county leading up to the Easter Rising but will also tell the stories of other groups (Home Rulers; women; policemen; Protestants; and landlords ) so that the series will consider many different points of view and how the whole range of people who lived in Galway at that time experienced the revolutionary events.
As the Easter Rising in Galway was an extremely important and dramatic episode, it will be covered extensively in a series of additional weekly articles during April and May 2016. The articles will also look at how the revolutionary events have been remembered in the past in Galway (in 1966 for example ) and how various people continue to remember them today.
The articles will be based on a wide range of evidence including local newspapers, British police reports, the memories of the Galway IRA (70 statements are included in the Bureau of Military History archive ) and about 50 interviews that Fergus Campbell conducted with the descendants of people involved in the revolution and with local historians between the mid 1990s and 2013.
The articles will commence next week and will run until August 2016.