The Sheraton Hotel, Athlone, Saturday, 2 April, 2016
First speaker on-stage at 10.15 am: admission price, €5
On Saturday 2 April 2016, The Old Athlone Society will host ‘Paths to Freedom’, a day of talks that will explore the history of the Easter Rising from both a national and local perspective. The event, to be held in the Sheraton Hotel, is part of Westmeath County Council’s 1916-2016 programme of events.
The varied talks will explain aspects of the Rising that are less well-known, while also highlighting some of the surprising links between Westmeath and the events of Easter 1916.
The speakers include:
- Dr Myles Dungan, of RTE’s ‘The History Show’ will describe how the leaders of the Rising were tried by court martial and the consequences of the subsequent executions.
- Turtle Bunbury will talk about the lives and personalities of many of those, both famous and forgotten, whose memories are intertwined with Easter 1916.
- Dr Liz Gillis will discuss the vital role that women played in the Easter Rising. They were educationalists, socialists, community workers, radicals, and feminists with one common goal; independence for Ireland.
- Ian Kenneally will demonstrate the war of words, and the war of images, that preceded and followed the Rising, a time when censorship meant that no newspaper was safe. Many of the key figures of Easter Week were journalists.
- Gearoid O’Brien’s talk will bring to life the relatively unknown stories of many men and women from Athlone and Westmeath whose lives were changed by the Rising.
- Dr John Burke will explore the history and myths of the Midland Volunteer Force, an often mentioned but poorly understood event in our local history.
The Schedule is detailed below:
10.15-Introduction by Dr John Keane
10.20-Dr John Burke: The Midland Volunteers Force, Athlone
11.05 – Tea Break
11.15-Dr Liz Gillis: ‘What did the women do anyway’; Women and the Rising
12.00-Ian Kenneally: ‘We kill all our own’; Media, Propaganda, and the Rising
12.45 – Lunch Break
2.00-Dr Myles Dungan: How to Lose a Country in 16 Executions
2.45-Turtle Bunbury: Easter Dawn; Personalities of the Rising
3.30-Gearoid O’Brien: The 1916 Rising; Some Westmeath Connections
4.15 – Conclusion
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