Irish Military Seminar – June 2017

June 9th to 11th , 2017 Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare

Hosted by Kildare County Council’s Decade of Commemorations Committee and Creative Ireland: Kildare, in association with June Fest, Ireland’s Military Story and Merrion Press.

Free Admission but booking essential: / 045 448327

Ireland has a long, proud military tradition. The aim of this inaugural seminar is to look at all aspects of Irish military history, drawing chiefly on events and personnel from within our nation’s past.

Great episodes in Ireland’s history are intermingled with escapades in far-off places like Vietnam, the Balkans and the African continent.

Speakers include: Helen Litton, John Dorney, Lar Joye, Dan Harvey, James Durney, Declan Power, Justin Horgan, Wesley Bourke, Kenneth Dawson, Dr. Helene O’Keeffe and Maurice O’Keeffe of Irish Life and Lore.

Topics: WWI and WWII; 1798 Rebellion; American Civil War; Vietnam War; Irish Civil War in Dublin; The Fenian Rising (150th Anniversary); Thomas Ashe (100th Anniversary of his death); Luftwaffe POWs; Jadotville, the Congo and Beyond; Massacre at Mullaghmast – A Game of Thrones!
FaceBook: KildareDecadeofCommemorations : Twitter: @cilldara2016


Friday 9 June: Opening event and book launch followed by film clips and panel discussion on Ireland’s peacekeepers.

Saturday 10 June: Full day of presentations and Irish Military Vehicles Group indoor militaria display. On-site bookshop on Saturday.

Sunday 11 June: Site visit to Mullaghmast in association with the Co. Kildare Federation of Local History Groups: Archaeologist Noel Dunne and Griese Youth Theatre performance.

Detailed Programme:


15.15 -17.30 Congo – An Irish Affair (FILM) – a special screening

17.45 Reception in foyer of Riverbank.
Opening of the Seminar by Mayor of Co. Kildare, Cllr. Ivan Keatley.

Book launch by Brig. General Joe Mulligan, GOC, Curragh – War Memoirs of Lieut. Col. Clements, M.C., compiled and edited by James Durney and Hugh Crawford

18.30 – 19.15 Thomas Ashe – A life given for Ireland (the 100th anniversary of his death) – Maurice O’Keeffe and Dr. Helene O’Keeffe, Irish Life and Lore (Oral History Projects)

19.30 – 20.30 Blue Caps and Bulls Wool – The Congo and beyond! Declan Power, Dan Harvey and Maurice O’Keeffe.


08.45 – 09.15 Registration Tea & Coffee

09.20 – 09.25 Opening Remarks – Wesley Bourke and Conor Graham
09.25 – 10.10 The Sea was Red with Irish Blood! – Gallipoli 1915 – Lar Joye
10.10 – 10.55 The Fenian Rising – Bloodlines! – Helen Litton

10.55 – 11.25 Break Tea/Coffee

11.30 -12.15 A very uncivil affair! War in Dublin 1922-1923 – John Dorney
12 .15 -13.00 Michael Kelly Lawler, American Civil War General – Wesley Bourke

13.00 – 13.55 LUNCH (at own expense)

14.00 -14.45 Full Metal Shamrocks – Irishmen and the Vietnam War – James Durney and guest(s)
14.50 – 15.35 A Belfast Jacobin – Samuel Neilson and 1798 Rebellion – Kenneth Dawson

15.35 – 15.50 Refresher Break

15.55 – 16.40 Luftwaffe Eagles over Ireland – Justin Horgan
16.40 – 17.00 Close of Seminar Q and A

Also on throughout the day on Saturday a Weapons Display and workshop

11.00 – 18.00 McKenna Gallery Riverbank, Weapons Display and workshop – Irish Military Vehicles Group


Field trip to Mullaghmast (in association with the Co. Kildare Federation of Local History Groups)

10.00 a.m. Bus departs Newbridge

Massacre at Mullaghmast – A Game of Thrones! – a note by Mario Corrigan and James Durney
The lost Medieval Village – Noel Dunne, Archaeologist
Performance – Griese Youth Theatre

12.30 Refreshments at Burtown House
14.00 Arrive back in Newbridge

Free Admission to seminar and displays (€6.50 cost for field trip): booking essential: 448327

Contact: or or phone 045 448350 or 087 9871046