The 7th Irish Military Seminar

The 7th Irish Military Seminar

The 7th Irish Military Seminar, supported by the County Kildare Decade of Commemorations Programme, is taking place in Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th May 2023.An exciting and varied programme of speakers and topics again feature in the programme this year, including talks on the Spanish Armada, the Irish Brigade at Monte Cassino, the War of Independence, the Niemba Ambush & a keynote address by Dr Síobhra Aiken titled Breaking The Silence: Writing the Civil War.

The full programme is available online here:

Tickets (free to attend) can be booked via or by phoning 045448327. Email for further information.


Day 1 -Friday, 19 May

Launch of Stand you now for Ireland’s Cause. A biographical dictionary of County Kildare republican activists 1913-23 by James Durney

Friday, 19 May at 19.00
Stand you now for Ireland’s cause is a unique biographical dictionary of Co. Kildare men, women and children who took part in the fight for Ireland’s freedom in three revolutionary periods: the 1916 Easter Rising, War of Independence (1919-21) and Civil War (1922-23). Over 1,200 names are included of activists in the Irish Volunteers/Irish Republican Army, Sinn Féin, Cumann na mBan, Fianna Éireann, Irish Citizen Army and the National Army.

All welcome – no need to book.

The Peacemakers of Niemba with Tom McCaughren

Friday, 19 May at 20.00
Tom McCaughren was Defence Correspondent of The Irish Times when he wrote The Peacemakers of Niemba, a detailed account of the ambush in the Congo in 1960 in which nine Irish-UN soldiers were killed by Baluba warriors. He was ŔTE Security Correspondent during the Troubles, and also reported on the Irish-UN mission in Lebanon for many years. He is the author of several books for young people and adults, many of which have been translated into foreign languages.

Note: This event is likely to reach full capacity, so please book your ticket ASAP

Book Here

Day 2 – Saturday 20th May

The Irish Brigade at Monte Cassino with Richard DohertySaturday,

20 May at 10.10-10.50
Richard Doherty is recognised as Ireland’s leading military history author. His most recent publication Monte Cassino. Opening the road to Rome is one of Richard’s thirty books about British and Irish military history ranging from the Williamite wars through to operations in Afghanistan.

Book Here

11.00-11.30 Coffee/tea break

Ireland as the ‘ever-simmering cauldron of unrest’. An assessment of the challenges faced by the Commanders of the British Army in Ireland, 1796 -1922 with Dr Tony Gaynor.

Saturday, 20 May at 11.35-12.15
Dr. Tony Gaynor taught history for twenty years in Dublin City University and was the CEO of the Royal Irish Academy. His most recent publication, Commanders of the British Forces in Ireland, 1796-1922, adopts a thematic approach to analysing the role of the British commanders in Ireland during a formative period in Irish history.

The Scariff Martyrs, War, Murder and Memory in East Clare with Tomás Mac Conmara

Saturday, 20 May at 12.20-13.05
Dr. Tomás Mac Conmara an oral historian, author, and lecturer has published six books including his 20-year collection work: The Time of the Tans and in 2021, The Scariff Martyrs, War, Murder and Memory in East Clare.  Tomás runs a heritage consultancy, leading cultural projects for national clients and local authorities. 

These two post-break events are grouped together for booking: Book Here

13.15-14.25 Lunch (not provided)

Captain Francisco de Cuéllar: the Armada, Ireland, and the wars of the Spanish Monarchy, 1578-1606 with Dr Francis Kelly.

Saturday, 20 May at 14.30-15.10
Dr. Francis Kelly is a graduate of NUI Galway and University College Cork and has written extensively about the Spanish Armada in Ireland. He is the author of the biography Captain Francisco de Cuéllar: the Armada, Ireland, and the wars of the Spanish Monarchy, 1578-1606.

Keynote SpeakerBreaking the Silence: Writing the Irish Civil War with Dr Síobhra Aiken.

Saturday, 20 May at 15.15-16.00
Dr. Síobhra Aiken is a lecturer in the Department of Irish and Celtic Studies at Queen’s University Belfast and has published widely on the social and cultural history of twentieth-century Ireland. A former Fulbright Scholar, her publications include the monograph Spiritual Wounds: Trauma, Testimony and the Irish Civil War and the edited volumes The Men Will Talk to Me: Ernie O’Malley’s Interviews with the Northern Divisions and An Chuid Eile Díom Féin: Aistí le Máirtín Ó Direáin. Her current research project, funded by the Royal Irish Academy, considers multilingual responses to Ireland’s revolutionary period.

The two after lunch events are grouped together for booking: Book Here

The Irish Military Seminar is supported by Kildare County Council’s Decade of Commemorations Committee and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-23 initiative.Email for further details.