This Conversation will provide a concise (but comprehensive!) look at the numerous attempts by rebel Irishmen (and women) to resist British rule over Ireland from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. We will discuss: the 12th-century Anglo-Norman invasion; the base of English rule in the 'pale' (from where the phrase 'beyond the pale' originates); the establishment of the Kingdom of Ireland under Henry VIII; the efforts of Oliver Cromwell to conquer the island, and the devastation of the resultant Irish Confederate War. We will focus on the United Irishmen Rebellion of 1798, a guerrilla uprising against British rule led by (the Protestant) Theobald Wolfe Tone, and how this set in motion over a century of efforts to assert Irish independence, often through violent means.
Our main emphasis will be on the revolutionary period of the early twentieth century, particularly the years 1912-23, during which were formed both the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) - two of the main antagonists in the more recent period of the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland. We'll look at the Irish campaign for 'Home Rule' - called by its detractors 'Rome Rule' - and how this was disrupted by the outbreak of WWI. We'll cover the dizzying history of the Easter Rising of 1916, an attempt by Irish republicans to stage a coup d'etat while Irish soldiers died in droves at the Battle of the Somme. The Rising ended in devastation for Dublin city centre and the execution of its 15 leaders - including Roger Casement, hanged in London - by British authorities, and we'll see how the rebels became martyrs even for those who hadn't sympathised with their standpoint. We will understand how the new Irish Republic was able to establish its own government after WWI, how the country was split into two with the formation of the new territory of Northern Ireland in 1921, and how the Irish Civil War which killed, among hundreds of others, Michael Collins, would play out.
Finn grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to England to study and later teach in the department of Film and Literature at the University of Warwick. He completed his doctoral study on German folklore and popular cinema in 2012, and has published extensively in the fields of Film Studies and Gender Studies. Since 2008, he has been living and guiding in Berlin. He now works as a historical advisor for television and film productions set in Berlin, particularly during the Weimar era or Third Reich. He is a journalist for the 'Siegessauele', Europe's foremost Queer magazine, and organises events at Berlin's English-language bookstore 'Another Country'.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.