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- PublicationBritish Military Recruitment in Ireland during the Crimean War, 1854-56(British Journal for Military History, 2015-11)Ireland has a diverse military historiography, principally within the confines of the British Army. Much has been written to date in relation to Ireland’s relationship with that service, particularly in recent years and with a focus upon the Great War. Yet significant gaps still remain in relation to the nineteenth century. By analysing the relationship between Irish society and the British Armed Forces, through the lens of recruitment, this article illustrates how and why the Crimean War years represent the positive pinnacle of Ireland’s relationship with the empire and the British Army and Royal Navy.
- PublicationIreland and the first media war: digestible, cultural engagements of the Crimean War 1854-6(Hellenic Association for American Studies, 2018)The Crimean War was the first ‘media war’: an international conflict experienced, not simply through the press and journals, but through a variety of ‘cultural dimensions’, including poems and ballads, and not after events had transpired but often during their occurrence. Yet its cultural historiography remains heavily Anglo- (and London-) centric, despite the war culturally impacting the entire United Kingdom. Within that Anglophonic Ireland’s popular or public response to the conflict was a mixture of martial and oftentimes imperial enthusiasm, and local or national interest, with a minority strain of criticism, opposition and nationalism. By providing fresh analysis of the same, this essay serves to both illustrate the ambiguous nature of Irish identity in the 1850s (in the wake of the Famine) – within the union and as part of the empire – and epitomise the often elusive, contradictory and paradoxical nature of the same, while also demonstrating the interest Irish people showed in the war; how that was outwardly manifest; and where that fits within the broader contexts of Ireland’s war memorialisation/commemoration tradition and the cultural impacts and legacies of war.
- PublicationThe Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association and the separation women of Dublin in 1914(Old Dublin Society, 2019-01-20)As the centenary of the First World War comes to an end and we enter the post-war and Irish Revolution commemoration and remembrance period, it remains appropriate to continue addressing topics from the wartime period. This will not only facilitate the analysis of subjects and areas that were not engaged with between 2014 and 2018, but also afford better understanding of the actions and events of the post-war year. One area that remains under-researched is that of the ‘separation women’ and their Separation Allowance on the home front. Although they numbered in their millions and were located throughout both Ireland and Britain, analysis of them, their lives and experiences and the organisations and people that helped them to survive the war, in the absence of their menfolk, remains remarkably scarce. Much work has been done to date on Irish women during the war generally, and not least of all by Fionnuala Walsh through her 2015 doctoral dissertation at TCD. This is added to the work done by Eileen Reilly, Caitriona Clear and Peter Martin, but despite this collective work, the lives and experiences of those ordinary women and, again, those that assisted them, remains little known or understood. This is no less true of Dublin. Thus, it is the purpose of this article to contribute to remedying this lack of historical engagement and general understanding.
- PublicationThe Nenagh Mutiny of 7-8 July 1865: a reappraisal(British Journal of Military History, 2020-03)Mutinies or ‘affrays’ by regular and militia soldiers were a constant feature of British military life and civil-military relations during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; neither were they absent from the early twentieth century. This article re-evaluates one such event: that by the North Tipperary Militia in Ireland in 1856. The event is set within both a heretofore lacking Irish social and political context and the broader context of British Army mutinies as a whole.
- Publication'What round tower?': the 2014 Ferrycarrig restoration project(Hogan Print, 2017)‘What round tower?’, was the response that the Wexford native and professional stonemason and conservation expert Pat Hickey received from his neighbours in 2014, when he told them that he was restoring the round tower located within the grounds of the Irish National Heritage Park, Ferrycarrig (hereafter the Park). Pat lives only twenty-five minutes’ drive from the tower, but even his neighbours, who live within the hinterland of Wexford town (and thus the Park), know practically nothing, if anything, about that monument. And they should. Not only because it is a replica round tower – 24.5m high and 3.5m diameter – that was constructed between 1857 and 1858 by local tradesmen, but because it was erected by the people of Wexford as a distinctly Irish, enduring and non-sectarian memorial to the hundred-odd men of that county who lost their lives during the Crimean War.
- PublicationLegacies of a Broken United Kingdom: British Military Charities, the State and the Courts in Ireland, 1923–29(Sage, 2018-12-01)Over the past forty years the historiography of the British Army ex-serviceman in Ireland has undergone a veritable ‘historical revolution’. Like its British and international counterparts, the historiography on Ireland has focussed on the lives and care of these men after the war within the Irish Free State, Irish government policy towards them, and ex-servicemen’s relationships with the Irish and British governments, British agencies and their own often hostile communities. Researchers continue to document the existence, organisation and activities of two British government agencies: the Land Trust and Ministry of Pensions, with brief analyses being undertaken on the British Legion and more especially the Southern Irish Loyalists Relief Association’s vital role in relieving impoverished ex-servicemen and their families. Yet far more can still be said about ‘British’ military charity in Ireland after 1922. The purpose of this article is two-fold. First, to discuss two court cases that were fought by the Irish, British and Northern Irish governments and several other Irish interests between 1923 and 1929 over the legacies of two then redundant pre-war Irish military charities. Second, to analyse the place of two court cases within the broader contexts of Irish post-war state-building and the history of the British ex-serviceman, but more especially his family in Ireland. What would their fate be in an independent Ireland?
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- PublicationPreface: The Crimean War and Irish Society(Liverpool University Press, 2015-12-17)The purpose of this book is to produce what is essentially a ‘home front’ study of Ireland during the Crimean War, or more specifically Irish society’s responses to that conflict. This will principally complement the existing research on Irish servicemen’s experiences during and after the campaign, but will also substantially develop the limited work already undertaken on Irish society and the conflict. This book primarily encompasses the years of the conflict, from its origins in the 1853 dispute between Russia and the Ottoman Empire over the Holy Places, through the French and British political and later military interventions in 1854-5, to the victory, peace and homecoming celebrations in 1856. Additionally, it will extend into the preceding and succeeding decades in order to contextualise the events and actors of the wartime years and to present and analyse the commemoration and memorialisation processes. The approach of the study is systematic, with the content being correlated under six convenient and coherent themes, which will be analysed through a chronological process. The book covers all of the major aspects of society and life in Ireland during the period, so as to give the most complete analysis of the various impacts of and people’s responses to the war. This study is also conducted, within the broader contexts not only of the responses of the United Kingdom and broader British Empire but also Ireland’s relationship with those political entities, and within Ireland’s post-famine or mid-Victorian and even wider nineteenth-century history.