13. Juni 2024 20:00
In a recent article on the dangers of bad history, the celebrated British historian Simon Schama identified Ireland and Germany as the most successful examples of countries that had managed to liberate themselves ‘from the blood sacrifices demanded by remembrance’. Between 2012 and 2023 Ireland experienced a ‘Decade of Centenaries’ as it marked the anniversaries of the Home Rule crisis, First World War, War of Independence, partition and Civil War – a revolutionary decade whose legacy continues to shape the geography and politics of Ireland. Fearghal McGarry will explore why Irish commemoration of these contested events largely succeeded in recasting the Irish story from one of nationalist grievance to pluralist inclusivity. But his talk will also consider how, in the wake of Brexit, historical memory, centring on the legacy of British imperialism and the continued partition of Ireland, returned to haunt Anglo-Irish politics.
Fearghal McGarry is professor of modern Irish History at Queen’s University Belfast. A member of the Royal Irish Academy, he has written widely on modern Ireland, particularly revolutionary and independent Ireland. He is the author of The Abbey Rebels of 1916: A Lost Revolution (2015) and The Rising. Ireland. Easter 1916 (2016) and is currently writing a book on inter-war Irish anxieties about modernity. His most recent co-edited publications are Ireland 1922: Independence, Partition and Civil War (2022) and The Irish Revolution: A Global History (2022). Fearghal is also interested in historical memory and public history. He advised on the development of the GPO Witness History interpretive centre and the redevelopment of the Troubles Gallery at the Ulster Museum. He is currently a member of the expert advisory group for the National Museum of Ireland’s 20th Century History Galleries.