Major Theme - #LONGREADS
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#LONGREADS

Features

The last to die - Irishmen and the final day of the First World War

The last to die - Irishmen and the final day of the First World War

The years of World War One, which began in the late summer of 1914, resulted in a tide of men leaving Ireland to fight in various theatres of war. It is estimated that some 210,000 Irishmen joined the war, and that over 35,000 died. The men came from both the catholic and protestant...

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The Prolonged War: Violence & the Reshaping of Europe 1918-1923

The Prolonged War: Violence & the Reshaping of Europe 1918-1923

Almost exactly 100 years ago, the Great War ended with the defeat of the Central Powers. Their military collapse went hand-in-hand with the disappearance from the map of three vast and centuries-old land empires: the Ottoman, Habsburg and Romanov empires. A fourth, the Hohenzollern Empire, which had become a major land...

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November, 1918: Ireland & the End of the First World War

November, 1918: Ireland & the End of the First World War

‘The greatest day in all history’ read the title text on the cinema newsreel and the pictures that followed gave viewers no reason to doubt the veracity of that heady claim. The Pathé footage, silent and flickering, relayed joyous scenes from the streets of Paris, London and...

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Post-war Europe – Nations, States & Collapsing Empires

Post-war Europe – Nations, States & Collapsing Empires

The First World War brought about the collapse of four multinational empires – the Russian empire in 1917, and then the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and German empires in 1918. They collapsed in defeat and revolution. For centuries, these empires had represented the dominant form of political organisation in central and eastern Europe and...

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Exhibiting the First World War

Exhibiting the First World War

In October 1918, London’s Trafalgar Square was transformed into a facsimile of a battlefield in France. Hoardings painted to look like the scenery of the front surrounded a large area in which trenches were constructed alongside the apparent ruins of a French village. Lamp posts were altered to look...

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Remembering the RMS Leinster: the greatest ever loss of life in the Irish Sea

Remembering the RMS Leinster: the greatest ever loss of life in the Irish Sea

During the second half of the 19th century and the first 18 years of the 20th, the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company (CDSPCo) played an important role in the economic and social history of Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire) and Holyhead. Twice daily the company’s steamers...

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Commemorating the sinking of the RMS Leinster, 1918-2018

Commemorating the sinking of the RMS Leinster, 1918-2018

The sinking of the RMS Leinster resulted in the greatest ever loss of life in the Irish Sea and the highest ever death toll on an Irish owned ship. Yet, while mention of the Lusitania sinking will bring a nod of recognition from an Irish listener, reference to the RMS...

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Gaelic Sunday – The GAA v the British Empire

Gaelic Sunday – The GAA v the British Empire

Across the entire span of the decade of centenaries we are in the midst of marking, it is the one event to which Ireland’s largest sporting organisation can lay a legitimate and singular claim. Unlike, say, the 1916 Rising or the subsequent war of independence in which they had...

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The radicalisation of Irish politics & the wartime experiences of front line troops, 1916-1918

The radicalisation of Irish politics & the wartime experiences of front line troops, 1916-1918

During the First World War, two political upheavals significantly worsened the wartime experiences of front line Irish troops: the 1916 Easter Rising and the 1917-1918 anti-conscription crisis. Whereas the short-lived insurrection undeniably impacted on the morale of front line units and added a considerable amount of concerns to their wartime experiences,...

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ANALYSIS: Lá na mBan, 9 June 1918

ANALYSIS: Lá na mBan, 9 June 1918

On 29 June 1918 the Freemans Journal, under the heading ‘Women and the Menace’, published reports of mass meetings of women, which had occurred throughout Ireland from 9 June. The ‘menace’ referred to was conscription, and Irishwomen had come together on 9 June and in subsequent days, in their tens...

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‘HAVE YOU IN IRELAND ALL GONE MAD’ - the 1918 general strike against conscription

‘HAVE YOU IN IRELAND ALL GONE MAD’ - the 1918 general strike against conscription

An abridged version of this article appeared in Saothar 43, Journal of the Irish Labour History Society, April 2018 There are probably few major events in twentieth century Irish history which have received less attention than the general strike against conscription, although it was the most successful demonstration of workers political power...

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How Ireland was lost in the 1918 conscription crisis

How Ireland was lost in the 1918 conscription crisis

The historian of revolutions Charles Tilly has pointed out that, in general, revolutionary movements find it easier to mobilise popular support against a perceived threat or injustice rather than in favour of a vision or an ideology. Ireland’s revolution offers considerable evidence to sustain this idea. Unionists were...

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A Poet among Politicians – George Russell & the Irish Convention

A Poet among Politicians – George Russell & the Irish Convention

It was New Year’s Eve and the chairman had been working hard to see if he could save his Convention. He still felt optimistic. The prize was a great one, a beginning of a solution to the Irish problem, but the challenges were dwarfed by what was happening...

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Ulysses' journey - the first sightings of James Joyce’s masterpiece

Ulysses' journey - the first sightings of James Joyce’s masterpiece

STATELY, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressing gown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned: —Introibo ad altare Dei, Halted,...

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John L. Sullivan & the making of an Irish-American sporting legend

John L. Sullivan & the making of an Irish-American sporting legend

Mike Tyson idolised him. Knew his story, admired his ring-craft, his chutzpah. ‘I like his confidence, his arrogance,' he remarked to a reporter from The New York Times more than 70 years after the man himself had died. ‘I like the way he used to say ‘I can...

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Redmond’s place in our national story is as important as any

Redmond’s place in our national story is as important as any

There is no statue of John Redmond in our capital city. There is no street named after him either. His mentor, the man to whom he stayed loyal while others did not, Parnell, enjoys both. And a square as well. Redmond’s tenure as leader of the Irish Party...

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Classroom Bolsheviks - Pay, Politics & Ireland’s National Teachers

Classroom Bolsheviks - Pay, Politics & Ireland’s National Teachers

The years leading up to 1918 had seen growing militancy across many sectors of society. Politics had been transformed by militant unionism and separatism, and the years before the outbreak of war had seen the emergence of a more militant labour movement which had led to the counter-attack by the owners...

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ANALYSIS: From U-Boats to Human Sharks – Why we should remember the tragedy of the SS Hare

ANALYSIS: From U-Boats to Human Sharks – Why we should remember the tragedy of the SS Hare

In the early hours of 14 December 1917, U-62 under Commander Ernst Hashagen saw the lights of a small ship astern off the Kish Bank. It was the Hare carrying a general cargo to Manchester, which had brought the first consignment of urgently needed food supplies to Dublin for workers and their...

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Between armed rebellion and democratic revolution: the Irish Question in 1917

Between armed rebellion and democratic revolution: the Irish Question in 1917

The House of Commons filled with noise and animosity.  It was 10 May 1916 and John Dillon, the veteran Irish Parliamentary Party MP, was skilfully skewering the British Government’s response to the events in Dublin over the previous two weeks: the ongoing executions of the rebel leaders of the...

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Introducing de Valera – The East Clare by-election and the rise of an Irish political leader

Introducing de Valera – The East Clare by-election and the rise of an Irish political leader

The East Clare by-election is remembered, a century later, because it announced Éamon de Valera’s arrival on the national stage. Looking back at it with the knowledge that he dominated Irish life for the next half century, we tend to see that arrival as inevitable. But there...

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FEATURE: White Weddings in War-time Ireland

FEATURE: White Weddings in War-time Ireland

Weddings today are big business. As of 2016 the global wedding industry was worth an estimated €275 billion, while it is believed that on average Irish couples spend €25,000 on their big day. Having recently gotten engaged, I was quick to learn how much both costs and expectations build up, and...

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FEATURE: America, the War & Ireland’s cause

FEATURE: America, the War & Ireland’s cause

As Woodrow Wilson campaigned for re-election to the White House in 1916, he tried – as best he could – to keep foreign controversies and conflicts far removed from the concerns of American voters. On 4 August 1914 – the same day Great Britain declared war on Germany – Wilson proclaimed US neutrality...

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ANALYSIS: Driving Irish Industry

ANALYSIS: Driving Irish Industry

by Seán Ó Riain As a child in the 1970s I regularly sat in the back of a car travelling along the banks of the Lee at the end of a long journey to visit relations in Cork city. Even to a youngster there was something unusual...

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FEATURE: When Ford Motors came to Cork

FEATURE: When Ford Motors came to Cork

by Dr Leanne Blaney A new family business opened their Cork offices at 36 South Mall street in April 1917. They would only remain at these premises for a matter of months before moving to new offices at the ‘Marine, Cork’, yet the moment of their arrival is a milestone...

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George Bernard Shaw: Joyriding on the Front

George Bernard Shaw: Joyriding on the Front

It was a request from the General. The Commander in Chief, Sir Douglas Haig, was inviting George Bernard Shaw to visit the Front Line and to write about it. Shaw was at this time, 6 January 1917, considered a major critic of the war. His pamphlet Common Sense About the War had...

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William Orpen: Ireland's War Artist

William Orpen: Ireland's War Artist

The newspaper announcement was made on 30 January 1917. The Irish artist William Orpen had been appointed an official war artist and was to be sent to the battle lines on the Western front. Under a headline trumpeting it as a ‘Unique Honour’ for the ‘Irish Artist’, the...

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The Story of James Joyce’s ‘tiresome book’ – and it ain’t Ulysses!

The Story of James Joyce’s ‘tiresome book’ – and it ain’t Ulysses!

On 1 January 1917, James Joyce in Zurich received a telegram. It confirmed that his first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, had finally been published. Joyce’s wish that it be published before the end of the year, 1916, had been granted. Just. A young American Publisher...

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The West Awakes: The story of Mayo footballers & the 1916 All-Ireland final

The West Awakes: The story of Mayo footballers & the 1916 All-Ireland final

This is an amended version of an article that was first published in The Irish Times on the All-Ireland football final weekend, September 2016. ******* In this year of blockbuster centenaries, you’d be excused if this one slipped under your radar. It concerns the footballers of Mayo and came eight...

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‘Shot like a dog’: the murder of Francis Sheehy Skeffington and the search for truth

‘Shot like a dog’: the murder of Francis Sheehy Skeffington and the search for truth

‘I wish to appear for myself, I am the father of the murdered man, Mr. Sheehy Skeffington’. J.B. Skeffington stood up before a crowded Court of Appeal in the Four Courts Dublin on 23 August 1916 at the opening of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the death of...

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FEATURE: Tom Kettle’s words of war

FEATURE: Tom Kettle’s words of war

‘Tom Kettle was horrified first by the Rising and then by the executions which followed the Rising. When he came to meet his beloved daughter, she fled from his presence. He was wearing his British uniform and soldiers wearing that uniform had searched Betty's home and sharply interrogated...

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Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.