The History Show

The History Show

Sunday, 6pm

The History Show Sunday 25 May 2014

The History Show 25 May

Bringing the Past to Life!

This week's offerings were:

Jammet's and Dublin's Haute Cuisine Restaurants

The Golden Age of haute cuisine with Dr. Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire, lecturer in Culinary Arts at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Elaine Mahon, who is currently researching Irish diplomatic dining.

Discovering Private Thomas Lawless

Blaithin de Burca told the fascinating story of Thomas Lawless and the team who were involved in identifying him 94 years after his death - among them, forensic artist and sculptor, Christian Corbet who constructed a sculpture of Lawless's head.

Vintage Cinema Poster Auction

Ian Whyte of Whyte's Auction Rooms on the forthcoming vintage cinema poster auction

Aloys Fleischmann - "Enemy Alien" 1916

Ruth Fleischmann told Lorcan Clancy about her German grandfather, Aloys Fleischmann senior (1880-1964) who was interned in Oldcastle Camp from January 4 1916 as an enemy alien, as a civilian prisoner of war.

Political Imprisonment and the "German Plot" 1918

Dr. Will Murphy of the Mater Dei Institute of Education puts Aloys Fleischmann's internment into context and discusses political imprisonment and the so called German Plot. 

Jammet's and Dublin's Haute Cuisine Restaurants

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve been hearing a lot about the 14 year correspondence between Jackie Kennedy and a Fr Joseph Leonard – a Vincentian priest who lived at All Hallows in Drumcondra.  

Fr. Joseph Leonard and Jacqueline Kennedy

The archive contains dozens of hand-written letters by Jackie – before and after she married JFK.   In her first letter which was written in August 1950 after visiting Ireland, she fondly recalled dining at Jammet’s French Restaurant in Dublin.

 Restaurant Jammet, Nassau Street, Dublin 2

After Jackie married US senator, John F Kennedy, they visited here together in 1955 and of course, they dined at Jammet’s at number 46 Nassau Street. 

Michael MacLiammoir. Lady Longford and Padraig Column dine at Restaurant Jammet

Jammet's boasted a smoking room and an Oyster Bar where lunch could be taken at a wide marble counter from a high stool.


Clients included politicians, nobility, actors, writers and artists such as William Orpen and Harry Kernoff whose painting of the restaurant now hangs in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud

The literati, includng Liam O’ Flaherty and Seán O’ Sullivan, drank here.

W.B. Yeats had his own table in Jammet’s. On 6 March 1933, he dined in Jammet’s ‘Blue Room’ with fellow writers A.E., Brinsley Macnamara, James Stephens, Lennox Robinson, F.R. Higgins, Seamus O’ Sullivan, Peadar O’ Donnell, Francis Stuart, Frank O’ Connor, Miss Somerville, J.M. Hone and Walter Starkie.

 Jammets' restaurant was the place to dine in Dublin for more than 60 years until it closed in 1967.

Photograph: Jackie Letters – Archive. Frank McDonald

Dr. Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire, lecturer in Culinary Arts at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Elaine Mahon, who is currently researching Irish diplomatic dining talked about Jammet's and the Influence of French Haute Cuisine on the Development of Dublin Restaurants.

The 1947-1974 period can be viewed as a ‘golden age’ of haute cuisine in Dublin, since more award-winning world-class restaurants traded in Dublin during this period than at any other time in history.

 Click here to read From Jammet's to Guilbaud's by Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire

Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire says that analysis of the 1911 Census shows that the leading chefs, waiters and restaurateurs during the first decades of the twentieth century were predominantly foreign-born, and had trained in the leading restaurants, hotels and clubs of Europe.

Haute cuisine was advertised as available in the dining rooms of the best hotels in Dublin (Gresham, Shelbourne, Metropole, Royal Hibernian) in the first half of the twentieth century and these were the workplaces of those immigrant chefs.

Zenon Geldof Medal (Bob's grandfather)

Along with the Jammet brothers, other European families such as the Geldofs, Oppermanns, Gygaxs, and Bessons, were also influential in developing the restaurant business in Dublin. Paul Besson came to Dublin from London in 1905 as manager of The Royal Hibernian Hotel on Dawson Street. Over the decades, Paul Besson, along with his son Kenneth and other members of his family, took control of The Royal Hibernian, The Russell Hotel, and The Bailey Restaurant on Duke Street.

Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire and Elaine Mahon will be among the speakers at the forthcoming Dublin Gastronomy Symposium which will be held at the Dublin Institute of Technology on the 3rd and 4th of June.  

 Click here for details of the Dublin Gastronomy Symposium 2014

Discovering Private Thomas Lawless

Countless numbers of soldiers who were killed in World War One remain identified. Some lie where they fell while others are buried in unmarked graves.

So you can imagine how it incredible it was for the family of Dubliner, Private Thomas Lawless to be told almost a century on that their relative had finally been identified.

Blaithin de Burca told the fascinating story of Thomas Lawless and the team who were involved in identifying him 94 years after his death - among them, forensic artist and sculptor, Christian Corbet who constructed a sculpture of Lawless's head.


Discovering Private Thomas Lawless - Avion I Project

A talk by forensic artist and celebrated sculptor, Christian Corbet

Tuesday 27th May 2014

from 12:30 - 13:30

National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History,
Collins Barracks, Benburb St., 7,  

 Sculptor Christian Cardell Corbet is shown with his facial reconstruction of missing First World War soldier Pte. Thomas Lawless

Christian Corbet used CT, laser and isotope scanning, and artistry to help create a first in forensic reconstruction history by identifying an Irish-born Canadian soldier of the Great War, Private Thomas Lawless.  

This special talk marks the acquisition of a sculpture by Christian Corbet of Pte. Lawless of the 49th Battalion Canadian Expeditiary Forces, into the Museum's collection. Booking required.

Click here for more information about Christian Corbet talk

Vintage Cinema Poster Auction

The first ever auction in Ireland devoted entirely to vintage cinema posters will be held in Dublin next Saturday, the 31st of May.  

Over 800 posters collected from the 1940s to the 1970s will come under the hammer at Whyte’s salesroom on Molesworth Street.  Ian Whyte joined Myles to discuss what will be on offer.

Some of the vintage posters are below.

Doctor Zhivago 1965. Starring Geraldine Chaplin, Julie Christie, Omar Sharif and Rod Steiger etc. Directed by David Lean. Won 4 Oscars including Best Screenplay to Robert Bolt. 30 x 40in. (76 x 102cm) About fine, tape adhesions to corners and edges, missing corner, couple of pinholes. €200-€300 (£160-£250 approx)


House of Dracula 1945. Starring Lon Chaney and John Carradine. 30 x 40in. (76 x 102cm) Very Good, 2.5 inch piece missing, tears, splitting, 4 by 2 inch label affixed. €1,500-€2,000 (£1,230-£1,640 approx)


Goldfinger 1964. The third James Bond film. Starring Sean Connery and Honor Blackman. 30 x 40in. (76 x 102cm) Very good, corners clipped, edge tears, large three inch tear at the top, worth restoring.. €1,500-€2,000 (£1,230-£1,640 approx)


Gone With The Wind [1939] 1977 reissue in 70mm. Edited in ink to remove inscription for widescreen . Starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. 30 x 40in. (76 x 102cm) Fine, tear at the top, with blind stamp of distributor. €200-€300 (£160-£250 approx)  


Lawrence of Arabia 1962, post Oscars issue. Starring Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn. Won 7 Oscars including Best Picture to Sam Spiegel and Best Director to David Lean. 30 x 40in. (76 x 102cm) Very fine+. €1,500-€2,000 (£1,230-£1,640 approx) 


Rear Window 1954. Starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly and Wendell Corey. A very rare and sought after classic "Hitch". 30 x 40in. (76 x 102cm) About fine, edge tears, splitting and pinholes. €3,000-€5,000 (£2,460-£4,100 approx) 


The Seven Year Itch 1955. Starring Marilyn Manroe and Tom Ewell. Directed by Billy Wilder. The poster features the iconic shot of Monroe standing on a subway grate, the air beneath lifting her skirt seductively around her legs, which was, sadly, censored by hand in blue and pink poster paint by the Irish distributor. 30 x 20in. (76 x 51cm) Very good, quarter of an inch hole, pinholes in corners. €200-€300 (£160-£250 approx).

Whyte's vintage cinema poster auction will take place at 12 noon on Saturday 31 May

At 4pm on 31 May, Whyte's will also auction rock and pop memorabilia including two sets of Beatles autographs and Rory Gallagher's original "warm up" amplifier and a replica of  his Fender Stratocaster guitars.

Check for details of these auctions

Aloys Fleischmann - "Enemy Alien" 1916

Ruth Fleischmann told Lorcan Clancy about her German grandfather, Aloys Fleischmann senior (1880-1964) who was interned in Oldcastle Camp from January 4 1916 as an enemy alien, as a civilian prisoner of war.

He had come to Cork in 1906, aged 26, to take up the position of organist and choirmaster in the Catholic cathedral. He was from Dachau in Bavaria, a small picturesque market town surrounded by bogs much frequented by painters.


The previous year he had married an Irish graduate of Munich's Royal Academy of Music whose parents were German and had moved to Cork from Dachau in 1879 - her father Hans Conrad Swertz also a church musician.

When the war broke out, Aloys was protected by his Ascendancy musician friends; but after the sinking of the Lusitania and the increasing activities of his republican friends such as Terence MacSwiney, he was taken into custody in January 1916.


Prisoner of War Camp, Oldcastle, Co. Meath in winter, miniature water-colour, painter unknown.  (Aloys Fleischmann Diary, 27 February 1927)


Conditions were grim in the former workhouse of Oldcastle Co. Meath, where they were incarcerated. His wife had to send food parcels every week. Aloys Fleischmann was there until May 1918, when all prisoners were moved to the Isle of Man, now holding 22,000 prisoners.

At the end of the war, he was not allowed to return to Ireland - probably due to the many republican friends he had. He appealed the decision, was imprisoned in London awaiting the result, and was then deported to Germany in 1919. He was not allowed to return until September, 1920.

Aloys Fleischmann walking on St. Patrick's Bridge with his beloved dog Bran

Among his first duties at the cathedral in Cork after his return was the requiem mass of Terence MacSwiney.



Tilly Fleischmann 1904

His wife, Tilly Fleischmann, was a pianist and organist. While her husband was in the camp, the bishop allowed her take on his duties at the cathedral. (Even though no woman was allowed sing in church choirs since the motu proprio decree of 1904!) Two of her brothers volunteered to fight for the British during the war: one as a doctor; the other, the youngest, was wounded 12 times, survived the war but just after the cessation of hostilities in 1918 he died of the Spanish flu.He is buried in Belgium.   Her two brothers, both born in Cork, had clearly been well assimilated in Ireland, with no loyalties to the Vaterland.

A biography of my Aloys Fleischmann was published in 2010 at Cork University Press.

Political Imprisonment and the "German Plot" 1918

Dr. Will Murphy of the Mater Dei Institute of Education whose new book deals with political imprisonment during the years 1912 to 1921 put Aloys Fleischmann's internment into context for us (the use of the Defence of the Realm Act during the war to intern Germans and Austrians residents in Ireland and Britain).

He also talked about the camp in Ireland at Oldcastle. Its origins, how many people were held there, the conditions and camp culture and its shutting down.

Oldcastle Concentration Camp

Links to the Rising in 1916: General fears about co-operation between Germany and Irish nationalits confirmed for the authorities in 1916 with the Rising (Casement, German guns, etc).

Also importantly, those interned at Frongoch after 1916 were jailed using the exact same part of DORA (hostile associations) as the Alien Internees. They were held in a similar camp, under similar rules, inspected by the same people who inspected the alien internee camps, and the committee they could appeal to was a version of the same committee that alien internees appealed to (the Sankey Committee).

With Sinn Fein's rise and the conscription crisis in Spring 1918, the authorities again used fears of collaboration between radical nationalists and Germany as a pretext for interning the leadership of Sinn Fein. There was also a by-election in East Cavan at the time in which Griffith was the SF candidate. These are the so-called German Plot arrests which begin with a sweep of senior SF figures on 17/18 May 1918. De Valera, Griffith, Markievicz, Cosgrave, Desmond FitzGerald, Darrell Figgis and many more are arrested (92 interned at one point). Michael Collins and Harry Boland evaded arrest, and it has been argued that they used the absence of the others to shift the revolutionary movement to a more radical position.

The internees were held in smallish groups at seven prisons across England (Usk, Lincoln, Birmingham, Gloucester, Reading, Durham, and Hollaway).  

The internees were treated leniently.  They associated, played lots of sport, produced manuscript newspapers, they smuggled lots of material in and out of the prisons.

Will also talked about their status as prisoners and its relationship to their candidacies at the 1918 general election (28 German Plot prisoners were elected to the first Dail).

In relation to prison escapes, while a German Plot prisoner, de Valera made his famous escape from Lincoln prison.

The context of their release in March 1919:  the end of the war, increased protest inside and outside the prisons, influenza, and the growing belief on the authorities part that these internees may actually be moderates who they might be able to do business with, as distinct from the radicals still on the loose who were starting to shoot people.



Irish Association of Professional Historians Directory

Irish Association of Professional Historians: Directory of historians is now available online at


The IAPH Directory holds details of professional historians and their areas of research. It provides the public with access to an impressive range of experts and subject areas.

Ireland has more professional historians today than ever before. The IAPH represents this richly diverse community. It aims to operate as a network for cooperation among historians and provide access to quality assured professional historical services for individuals, groups and organisations. Launched on 15 April by Minister Jimmy Deenihan, this is a new and exciting development.

 A unique feature of the IAPH website is its Directory of its members. This is a searchable database of all members and includes information on their areas of expertise. This offers a significant resource for anyone who wants to locate experts or compile collaborative projects in Irish history. It is an important development in the exchange of knowledge between the historical community and the wider public. The IAPH Directory also gives public visibility to professional historians including those who work in institutions such as museums, libraries and archives, as well as those working in different sectors.

The IAPH Directory connects historians around the world to their colleagues in Ireland and makes it possible for individuals and groups to find experts in Irish history across the globe.

Membership of the IAPH is open to historians trained or working in Ireland as well as international historians and scholars with an expertise or interest in historical studies. Members will have a PhD or have made a significant contribution to the field of history. Graduate membership is also available to those who are enrolled in a PhD programme.

About The Show

Bringing the past to life! Discover how our world was shaped as Myles Dungan and guests explore events ranging from medieval times to the recent past.

We want to help explain ourselves to ourselves. We will search out fresh angles on familiar topics, seek out the unfamiliar and will not shy away from bizarre or controversial issues. Our ultimate goal is to make The History Show the primary port of call for those with an intense or even a modest interest in the subject. We want to entice the casual and the curious to join us in celebrating the past.

Our aim is to create informative, reflective, stimulating and above all, entertaining radio.

Join us on Sundays from 6.05pm for The History Show with Myles Dungan on RTÉ Radio 1.

A Pegasus production for RTÉ. 



Contact the Show

Presenter: Myles Dungan

Producer: Lorcan Clancy


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