Friday, June 09, 2017

Military History Seminar this weekend

A fascinating weekend for those interested in Irish military history is promised in Newbridge this weekend with a major seminar on the subject, writes Brian Byrne.

Based at the Riverbank Arts Centre and part of the Kildare County Council 'Decade of Commemoration' programme, the event is also in association with the Newbridge June Fest.

The seminar will begin at 3.15pm with a screening of the film 'Congo — an Irish Affair', followed by an official opening by the Mayor of Kildare, Cllr Ivan Keatley. During this a book compiled and edited by historian James Durney and Kildare Archeological Society President Hugh Crawford, 'War Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Clements MC' will be launched by Brig General Joe Mulligan, GOC, Curragh.

The opening evening will include a talk on Thomas Ashe on the 100th anniversary of his death, given by Maurice O'Keefe and Dr Helene O'Keefe; and 'Blue Caps and Bull's Wool — The Congo and beyond' by Declan Power, Dan Harvey and Maurice O'Keefe.

On Saturday there will be discussions relating to Gallipoli in WW1, The Fenian Rising, the Civil War in Dublin, an Irish general in the American Civil War, the Irish who fought in Vietnam, a Belfast man's contribution to the 1798 rebellion, and the German Luftwaffe and Ireland during WW2.

Throughout Saturday there will be a display of weapons, and a workshop with the Irish Military Vehicles Group.

On Sunday there will be a field trip to the Rath of Mullamast, where local historians Mario Corrigan and James Jurney will discuss the infamous massacre there. The trip will include refreshments at Burtown House and is in association with the County Kildare Federation of Local History Groups.

Admission is free to events through the seminar weekend, but booking is essential at or phone 045 448327. There will be a nominal fee for the field trip.