Two talks: 75th Anniversaries of significant Polish actions in WWII

Two upcoming talks by historian James Durney in late August and early September on World War Two should be of particular interest to the Polish community. The talks commemorate Polish involvement in significant Allied actions towards the end of the war. Details below:

God, Honour, Country – The Polish 2nd Corps at the Battle of Monte Cassino, 1944.

Date/Time: Tuesday 27 August 7.00pm
Venue: Naas Community Library

To commemorate the 75th Anniversary, historian James Durney will give an illustrated talk on the Polish 2nd Corps at the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944.

This is a free event, although booking is required.
Tel: 045 879111
email: naaslib@kildarecoco.ie

The Shortest Way – The Polish Brigade at the Battle of Arnhem, 1944.

Date/Time: Tuesday 3rd September 7.00pm
Venue: Newbridge Community Library

To commemorate the 75th Anniversary, historian James Durney will give an illustrated talk on the 1st (Polish) Independent Parachute Brigade at the Battle of Arnhem in 1944.

This is a free event, although booking is required.
Tel: 045 448353
email: newbridgelib@kildarecoco.ie

Behind the Walls: The Curragh Camp – radio doc

‘Behind the Walls: The Curragh Camp’ – a new one-hour radio documentary to be broadcast on KFM on Monday 18th March at 6pm

‘Behind the Walls: The Curragh Camp’ is a radio documentary for KFM Radio and was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland through the Television Licence Fee.

Background

The Curragh is synonymous with the military dating back to prehistoric times when it was famed as the practice ground for the warriors of Na Fianna, along with having links to Henry II in the late 1100s and the Jacobite Army in the late 1600s, but its status as a permanent military post dates back over 160 years to 1855 when established by the British Army. Its earliest uses by the British included the setting up of a training camp to train soldiers for the Crimean War at that time, followed by the Boer War from 1899 onwards and not long afterwards, World War 1.

Before its hand-over from the British Army to the Irish Free State on 6th May 1922, the camp had become a thriving community with approximately 6,000 British Army troops and 4,000 civilians living and working in the camp. Following its handover, it evolved into a far more joyless place of internment and detention during the ensuing Civil War, and again during The Emergency in World War 2, when it also housed both allied and German internees in an unusual arrangement for the time. Gaining the name of ‘Tin Town’ during this period, it is estimated that approximately 2,000 men passed away in the camp during this period. Over the years, the camp boasted many facilities including a swimming pool, a gymnasium, many shops and a cinema and was considered to be a great place to grow up.

Documentary

‘Behind the Walls: The Curragh Camp’ takes the format of a guided walking tour around the camp, intercut with recordings looking at important historical artefacts from the museum, and an interview with the current Chief of Operations and Training in the Curragh Camp. The guided tour is expertly led by Reggie Darling, member of the Curragh Local History Group, who worked as a barber all his life on the Curragh, having been born and bred there.

The museum segments are led by retired army officer Ray Stewart, again an expert on the Curragh having grown up on the camp, along with spending most of his army career stationed there. With Ray’s assistance, we explore and visually describe the many wonders the museum has to offer, including the Brown Bess Musket and the Sliabh na mBan Rolls Royce Armoured Car, part of the convoy that accompanied Michael Collins during his ambush and death in 1922, amongst many other historical treasures.

The Curragh is now well-known as the main Training Centre of the Irish Defence Forces with the Command and Staff School, the Cadet School, the Infantry School, the Combat Support College, the Combat Services Support College, the Equitation School, a logistics base, a supply and services unit, and the United Nations School. With the help of Lt Col Shane Bradley (Chief of Operations and Training Oversight in the Defence Forces Training Centre in the Curragh Camp), we explore the current training activities at the camp.

These interviews and tours, along with music and sound effects, allow the listener to experience the rich and varied history of the Curragh Camp, including the many historical objects and places of interest behind its walls, along with its historical and social impact on the locality and the wider Kildare community.

These interviews and tours, along with music and sound effects, allow the listener to experience the rich and varied history of the Curragh Camp, including the many historical objects and places of interest behind its walls, along with its historical and social impact on the locality and the wider Kildare community.

Series Information

‘Behind the Walls: The Curragh Camp’ is one of five one-hour documentaries being broadcast on local radio stations across the country that explore the history of Defence Forces barracks situated within the region. It follows on from the recent documentary for LMFM Radio in Louth/Meath on Aiken Barracks and will be followed by future documentaries on Collins Barracks Cork and the recently closed Columb Barracks (Mullingar) and Connolly Barracks (Longford).

This radio documentary series seeks to travel behind the walls of Defence Forces barracks and camps across Ireland in doing so, offer listeners a chance to aurally explore what lies behind them, with the stories of the history they encompass told by those who know them best. Through interviews with defence force members, local historians and key members of the local community, we explore the history of these places through the stories associated with key buildings, artefacts and places throughout their campuses.

The documentary was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee and produced by Little Road Productions Ltd, based in Co. Louth

@littleroadprods – Twitter
@littleroadproductions – Facebook

Upcoming talks of interest to military historians

Two upcoming talks that may be of interest to military historians will deal with recent international military history experienced by Irish Military personal on international service under the UN.

The first talk will take place on Wednesday 20th February at 8pm in the Curragh titled ‘Peacekeeping, an Irish Perspective’ and the second talk takes place on Tuesday 26th February at 8pm in Naas titled ‘Investigating War Crimes’. More details below.

Peacekeeping – an Irish Perspective – Wednesday 20th February at 8pm

Newbridge Local History Group’s next talk will take place in the Curragh and will be given by Lt. Col. Tim O’Brien on Peacekeeping, an Irish perspective.

We are all well aware of the contribution Ireland has made to peace-keeping operations all over the world. From our own town many military personnel have gone to places like Egypt, Israel, the Congo, Western Sahara, Kashmir in India to name a few.

Lt. Col. Tim O’Brien, head of the UN Training School in the Curragh (UNTSI) will give our February talk which will highlight that contribution, putting it all in perspective.

Time and Location: The talk will take place in the UNTSI HQ in the Curragh Camp on Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 8pm.

Investigating War Crimes – Tuesday 26th February at 8pm

At this talk Col. (Retired) Desmond Travers will speak about aspects of the investigations of crimes of war instancing events he has investigated in Palestine, the Yugoslav civil war, the Sri Lankan Tamil war and other conflicts.

Desmond Travers is a former soldier and is currently Vice-President of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (www.iici.global). Based in The Hague, the Institute is the sole means available to teach and advise into the investigation of  crimes of war and genocide.

His military expertise is sought and he has been military adviser and analyst into such conflicts as: the Sri Lanka – Tamil war (2009), events during the Bolivian Presidency of 2002 and the Israel – Hisbollah conflict in S. Lebanon (2006). Additionally his services have been sought relating to events in Syria, Libya, the West Bank, Sudan and on the high seas (MV Marmara incident 2012). In 2010 he was appointed to the UN Fact-finding Mission into the Israeli forces attacks in Gaza in 2009.

Time and Location: The talk will take place in Naas Town Hall on Tuesday 26th February 2019 at 8pm.