Throughout the Decade of Centenaries, Waterford City and County Council supported the creation of short films to explore events during the Decade of Centenaries and the impact of these events on the people of Waterford. There has also been a strong programme of talks and conferences and a number of talks have been made available online.
Waterford County Museum and local volunteers with the support of Waterford Commemorations Committee created a short online film on the Burgery Ambush. Watch the film here.
A short film offering a fascinating insight into the troubles of the time and what motivated people to take up arms was created and premiered as part of the Imagine Arts Festival in October 2021. This film was written and directed by James Doherty. The cast were Shane O’Sullivan and Kieran Walshe.
The scene is Waterford in 1921 a young reporter is dispatched from a leading English newspaper, his brief is straightforward but not without risk. Find out what’s happening in Ireland by meeting with an I.R.A commander. The journalists brief is to return to England with hitherto unheard of viewpoint ... that of the “Rebel”.
The Siege of Waterford in July 1922 was a highly significant event in the Civil War. Key locations involved in the Siege were Mount Misery (site of Free State Artillery), the site of the old Gaol, Gyle's Quay and Ferrybank where Free State troops crossed the river, Granville Hotel, Reginald’s Tower and the Munster Express Office were all buildings wired to be demolished by Anti Treaty forces and two barracks were damaged in the fighting. Local historian James Doherty traces the sequences of events in this documentary.
"The Dying Days - The Final Journey Of General Liam Lynch 1923" was produced by Dungarvan based Videographer John Foley and directed by Deirdre Collender. The film evocatively captures the principles and ideals of those who fought for and against the treaty and the ordinary people whose lives and homes became intertwined in the activity around the Knockmealdown and Comeragh Mountains. The film weaves the national and local historical context provided by the excellent Gerard Shannon, Michael Desmond and Nora Levis with vivid re-enactments and accounts by family descendants of the safe houses and premises used by Liam Lynch and the IRA in March-April 1923 before his capture and death leading to suspension of operations, a ceasefire and the end of the Civil War.
A 10 year research project by Christina Knight O’Connor and Eddie Cantwell culminated in the launch of Waterford Women of the Revolution 1914-1923 on International Women’s Day on March 8th 2023.
Attending the launch were daughters, grand daughters, great granddaughters and extended family of many of the women featured in the book and a selection of their stories are eloquently captured in a short film by John Foley.
As part of its Decade of Centenaries events Waterford City and County Council is delighted to make available this series of talks exploring 1920 in Waterford and the voices that were fighting to be heard in the creation of a new Ireland ... an independent Ireland.
Waterford and the 1920 Local Elections: Fighting for a Voice and a new Ireland
1920 was a very turbulent year for local authorities in Ireland. It was an election year for local government and newly elected councils, including Waterford Corporation and Waterford County Council, immediately pledged their allegiance to Dáil Éireann. This resulted in the withdrawal of funding by the British Local Government Board; raids on local authorities and the arrest of elected members and staff. Local authorities struggled to collect rates but continued to provide services as best they could and maintained their commitment to Dáil Éireann. This network of local political and administrative support was an important part of the success of Dáil Éireann and demonstrated the commitment of the Irish people to the goal of an independent Ireland.
At the same time local government was pledging to Dáil Éireann a new courts system was established for the nascent state, operating under the radar and parallel to the official courts system and were soon leaving the officially sanctioned courts with no cases as the Irish people moved to have their voices heard and their legal cases handled in the Dáil Courts. 1920 also saw significant labour unrest and what has been referred to as a Waterford “soviet” was fighting to have its voice heard. Cumann na mBan too were hard at work in Waterford in 1920, supporting and serving the War of Independence and trying to make a place for women in the new Ireland they were struggling to create. Our speakers will explore 1920 in Waterford looking at the issues of the time and exploring the voices seeking to be heard in the 1920 local elections. Click on the link to watch each talk on You Tube.
Dr. Pat McCarthy is a native of Waterford city and past pupil of Mount Sion. He is the author of The Irish Revolution 1912-1923; Waterford and the 1916 Rising and has published extensively in the Irish Sword and Decies journals. His most recent book, "The Redmonds and Waterford – A Political Dynasty 1891-1952" was published in 2018.
Joanne Rothwell, Waterford City and County Archivist, facilitator of the Waterford Commemorations Committee. Joanne is Chair of the Irish Archives Resource www.iar.ie and is committed to the provision of access to archives to facilitate researchers and improve our understanding of the past.
Aindrias O’Cathasaigh has written widely on the revolutionary period. His latest book Ainm na Saoirse: Gaeilge Dháil Éireann 1919-1922, has won awards from the Aermican Conferences of Irish Studies and from Oireachtas na Gaeilge. This talk is given as Gaeilge, subtitled in English.
Heather Laird is a lecturer in English at University College Cork. She is the author of Subversive Law in Ireland (2005) and Commemoration (2018). She is editor of Síreacht: Longings for Another Ireland, a series of short topical books that seeks to re-invigorate the social imagination and encourage speculation on alternatives to current orthodoxies.
Dr. Emmet O’Connor, Department of History at the University of Ulster. Emmet is an honorary president of the Irish Labour History Society and has published widely on labour history, including: Reds and the Green: Ireland, Russia and the Communist Internationals, 1919-1943; Big Jim Larkin: Hero or Wrecker? and Derry Labour in the Age of Agitation, 1889-1923.
Christina O’Connor, committee member of Waterford County Museum and project manager of the Community Archaeology Project: Gallowshill. Christina has carried out extensive research on Cumann na mBan in Waterford, working with Eddie Cantwell, leading to an exhibition in Waterford County Museum. They published a book on Cumann na mBan in Waterford in 2023.