CARTON/CSHIHE 1916 Kildare Commemorative Lecture (free of charge)

Carton House 15 February 7pm (Please note earlier than usual starting time)
1916 Commemorative Lecture: Tom Nelson (independent scholar)  Through peace and war: Kildare in the years of revolution
Followed by book launch and wine reception

Much of the interest in the Easter Rising this centenary year will focus on the men and women behind the ‘vivid faces’ who secretly planned and then so audaciously carried out the rebellion. This talk will focus more on the ‘living stream’ of everyday life on which their actions so unexpectedly erupted. Looking specifically at Kildare, the political attitudes and loyalties of the Catholic middle class on the eve of the Rising will be examined together with their response to the events in Dublin that week. That class had evolved as a politically cohesive group as far back as the land war of the 1880s and by 1916 they had been in positions of local influence for over 35 years. They also became almost totally supportive of the Home Rule agenda of the Irish Parliamentary Party under John Redmond. To a man (and, as represented on the newly formed Kildare County Council from 1899 onwards, they were all men) they had supported the calls for the National Volunteers to enlist in the imperial army in the Great War, many of them actively recruiting. They were appalled by the Easter Rising but their influence was swept aside by the rising tide of support among the younger generation for Sinn Fein. It may be said though that their views re-asserted themselves quite quickly in post–Treaty Ireland.   [Tom Nelson]

'This is a book calculated to fascinate anyone interested in power, politics and public attitudes in county Kildare during a key period. it is also a major contribution to the wider study of local government in Ireland.'      Prof RV Comerford

 'This is a ground-breaking, excellently researched and cogently written study that tells us so much about the transfer of power at local level during the extended revolutionary period in Ireland. A fascinating and captivating read.'       Prof Terence Dooley