Irish Rebellion and Militancy in Transnational Perspectives

During this ‘Decade of Centenaries’ in Ireland, there has been much interest and new scholarship in Irish history. However, the history of Ireland is too often studied in conceptual isolation. The first three decades in twentieth-century Ireland saw plans for devolution, resistance to it and mobilisation for its support, Civil War(s), Revolution(s), counter-insurgency, cultural revival, new ideas of nationalism and sectarian identity, state formation and consolidation, participation in overseas wars, and communal violence. None of that was unique to Ireland, either by contemporary or historic standards, yet an ‘exceptionalist’ vein remains prominent in Irish history.

This conference aims to engage with themes of rebellion and militancy in Ireland and place them within the context of contemporary European events. Through comparative and transnational perspectives, historians may be better able to understand not only Irish history, but to address a global acceleration of paramilitary and revolutionary violence that followed the First World War. The conference will also provide an opportunity for those scholars adopting transnational and comparative approaches to meet and discuss their work.


This is subject to revision.

08:30: Registration
09:00: Introductory Remarks
09:05:Dr Maurice Walsh – Plenary Lecture
09:50: Break.

10:00: Panel A – Soldiers
Thomas Tormey: Ireland’s Vanquished; the men of 1916
Aidan Mullett: Catholicity and Irish Soldiers
Joshua Dack: How the changing motivations for enlistment amongst Irish nationalists index the discourse on the viability of Home Rule, 1914-1918

11:20: Coffee Break

11:50: Panel B – Insurgents
Dr Gemma Clark: Fire as revolution and repression: Arson in Ireland, c.1912–23
Dr Bill Kissane: Between State Violence and Fratricide: the decentralisation of state executions during the Irish civil war, 1922-23
Thomas FitzGerald: Comparing the dynamics of insurgency and counter-insurgency in Ireland, 1919-21 in comparison with South Africa 1899-1902

13:10: Lunch

14:00: Panel C – Revolutionaries
Jimmy Yan: ‘A Kiss of Death?’: Revolutionary Ireland and Australian Labour Radicalism, 1913 – 1921
Maurice Casey: ‘A Sinn-Fein Bolshevist Conspiracy’? Sylvia Pankhurst’s East London Suffragettes and the Irish Revolution, 1916-24

15:00: Coffee Break

15:20: Panel D – Reaction
Dr Rory Sweetman: Defending Trinity College; the colonial contribution to the Easter Rising.
George Evans: Land and militancy: the Edwardian Irish landed class in European context

16:25: Professor Charles Townshend – Keynote Lecture

17:25: Closing Remarks
17:30: Wine Reception

To book:
Image credit: By National Library of Ireland on The Commons – Flickr: Liberty Hall, Public Domain,

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