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Viscount Hugh Gough—an ‘illustrious Irishman’ and controversial British military commander
2018-07, Walsh, Fionnuala
In 1986 an equestrian statue depicting Viscount Hugh Gough and describing him as an ‘illustrious Irishman’ whose achievements have ‘added lustre to the military glory of his country’ was sold to a private buyer by the Office of Public Works, allegedly on condition that the statue leave Ireland. The statue, originally erected in Phoenix Park in 1880, had been beheaded by vandals in 1944, and was blown up by the IRA in 1957. The OPW kept the broken statue in storage for almost three decades until a buyer was found and it eventually ended up in the possession of a distant Gough relative in England. Just who was this ‘illustrious Irishman’ honoured in this way but later so reviled his statue had to be exiled? Hugh Gough, a Limerick Protestant, was a renowned commander in the British Army but was later denounced by anti-imperialists for his colonial role in the Chinese Opium War and the Sikh Wars in India. The National Library recently catalogued and made available the Gough papers, a collection relating to Hugh Gough and his family. The papers reveal much about the life of this ‘illustrious Irishman’ and his lengthy military career.
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'We work with shells all day and night': Irish female munitions workers during the First World War
2017-04-01, Walsh, Fionnuala
The ‘munitionette’ or female munitions worker is one of the most familiar images from the British home front during the Great War. The role of women in munitions industries is central to the histories of women and war and to perceptions of changing identities in wartime. These women have been variously described as challenging ‘gendered taboos’ through their active participation in the ‘culture of death’ and as ‘powerful symbols of modernity’. Angela Woollacott argues that British munitions workers undermined class differences through their increased spending power while simultaneously challenging the gender order by performing non-traditionally female roles. There were over one million women employed in munitions work in Great Britain during the Great War. They generated a significant amount of commentary in the contemporary press with attitudes varying from praise for women’s patriotism to criticism of their supposed extravagant spending of their wages. The Irish munitions industry was much smaller than that in Britain but it nonetheless offered expanded employment opportunities for Irish women from diverse backgrounds and a chance to participate directly in the war effort. This article briefly examines the extent of munitions work in Ireland, the class backgrounds of the munitions workers and their motivations for entering such work.
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Too old for a paediatric emergency department? It’s complex
2020-11, Bennett, Michael, Vecchia, Claudio Dalla, Blackburn, Carol, Walsh, Sean, Barrett, Michael
Background: In Ireland, the paediatric emergency department (PED) is tasked with acute healthcare provision to children and adolescents under 16 years of age. The population > 15 years attending the PED remains undescribed. Aims: The objective of the study is to describe the presentations of patients > 15 years to the PED of a national tertiary academic paediatric hospital. Methods: A retrospective review of electronic records identifying all patients (> 15 years) who presented from January 2014 to December 2015. Patient demographics, presenting complaint, diagnosis, treatment and disposition were recorded. Results: A total of 71,082 patients attended during the study period; of whom, 426 (0.6%) patients were aged 16 to 61 years. Over half were identified as having clearly defined chronic complex conditions. Three hundred and forty-five (89%) patients were known to the hospital paediatric services and under the care of specialist with 131 (34%) patients admitted locally, all of whom had chronic complex conditions (CCC). There was a total of 44 (11%) patients who presented to the PED with de novo issues and had a variety of acute presenting complaints with minor injuries, syncope and chest pain being most common. Conclusion: This is the first Irish study demonstrating a significant population (> 15 years) with medical complexity that requires a suite of services in a paediatric hospital which is accessed in an unscheduled manner through an emergency department. We recommend further research to describe paediatric CCC attending Irish emergency and hospital services.