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New series of commemorative talks commence

10 October 2018

A new series of ‘Remembering the Future’ talks will commence later this month as part of Mid Ulster District Council’s programme of commemorative events.

The programme, which will explore the decade of anniversaries, will consist of six talks and a concert taking place across the district culminating in a final panel debate entitled ‘A Dividing Ireland in a Dividing Europe’, on Thursday 31 January 2019. All events are free to attend but must be booked in advance as places are limited.

The series kicks off on Thursday 25 October at 7.30pm at Ranfurly House, Dungannon with the talk ‘The Irish Convention of 1917-18: The Last Chance to Avoid Partition?’ delivered by Dr Éamon Phoenix. Dr Phoenix will explore the origins, membership and role of the Irish Convention- the last all-Ireland attempt to solve the Irish Question short of partition.

The second talk, ‘Ireland in Transition, 1918-20: Nationalism and Unionism from the Conscription Crisis to the First Dáil and Partition’, will take place on Thursday 1 November at 7pm at Parkanaur, Dungannon. The lecture will again be delivered by Dr Éamon Phoenix and will trace the eclipse of the modern Irish Parliamentary Party by Sinn Féin in response to such transformative factors as the threat of compulsory military service, coercion and the so-called ‘German Plot’ of June 1918.

‘Ireland and The Great War 1917-18: From Messines Ridge to The Armistice’ is the title of the third talk which will take place on Thursday 15 November at 7pm at Lissan House, Cookstown. Professor Laurence Kilpatrick will deliver the talk which will explore Irish involvement in the First World War.

New to this year’s programme, a concert entitled ‘Boys of the Island’ will take place on Saturday 17 November at 7pm at the Bardic Theatre, Dungannon. The commemorative concert will feature music from Tracey McRory, Richard Laird and a host of Mid Ulster’s finest musicians.

The remaining three talks entitled: ‘Women, the Vote, the War and the Irish Revolution’, ‘Labour Must Wait: The Labour Movement and the Irish Revolution 1916-21’, and ‘Great Empires have been overthrown (Winston Churchill): The Versailles Treaty’, will take place during December and January.

Speaking about the series of talks, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of this series of informative talks exploring the events of this important period. We want to engage all communities to explore the historical element in a manner that allows for open debate and shared understanding of this period both from our local Irish historical context and from a wider political perspective on events that were happening throughout the world at this time.

“I would advise groups or individuals to register early for all or any of the individual events taking place as they are sure to book up fast.”

For more information on the programme, including details on all the talks, go to: www.midulstercouncil.org/remembering and to register for the historical talks, concert  or the final debate which are all free to attend, please contact Louise Hall on 03000 132 132 Ext: 24608 or Email: louise.hall@midulstercouncil.org.

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