The main task of DIFP is to research and publish volumes in the DIFP series, but the project also plays its part in promoting interest in the history of Ireland and its international relations. The DIFP news pages highlight the publication of new volumes in the DIFP series and show some of the project’s outreach involvements.
Our resculpting of the potential content of DIFP X continued and as the month ended we had identified 850 high-level documents which could be considered for DIFP X.
The UN60 anniversary exhibition was on display in UN Headquarters in New York during the first week of the month.
Kate gave a workshop to Trinity College Dublin students in the Conference Room of the National Archives on 20 October. She introduced them to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ collection and online primary source material.
Kate was interviewed by the producer Pranjali Bhave who has been commissioned by RTE to make a ‘Documentary on One’ radio programme which will examine the impact that the Easter Rising had on Indian nationalists. It will be broadcast in early 2016.
On 27 September 2015 the UN60 exhibition was officially launched by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Charles Flanagan TD at the American Irish Historical Society, 5th Avenue, New York. Minister Flanagan’s remarks can be found here.
Following the Minister’s speech Michael gave a short introduction to the exhibition to the extremely well attended event.
At the launch of the UN60 exhibition in New York, 27 September 2015. (l-r) Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Charles Flanagan TD, Dr Michael Kennedy, Mr Chris Cahill (AIHS), Ambassador Anne Anderson, PRIA Professor Mary Daly.
We spent much of the month checking files, making sure all our metadata was correct and chasing down the inevitable missing files and documents. By the end of August DIFP X was really taking shape, but the next step is to trim down our initial selection of just over 1,500 into a more manageable 800 or so from which to make the final selection for DIFP X.
The fourteen panels of the UN60 exhibition were completed in July and after much checking the final exhibition content was sent for printing.
DIFP X took further shape as we finished working through the final files in the 300 series of Headquarters files. We have now a potential 1,500 individual documents from which to choose content for DIFP X.
The UN60 exhibition gets a test-run in the ballroom at Iveagh House before being sent to the Irish Permanent Mission to the UN in New York for its formal launch.
Through June Kate and Michael worked on DIFP X – particularly on Headquarters series files.
Work also continued on the joint Irish Lights – Royal Irish Academy exhibition on the history and experience of Irish Lights from 1911 to 1921.
In early June Michael spent two days working at the United Nations photographic archive unearthing never-before seen photographs of Ireland’s first years at the United Nations for a forthcoming exhibition jointly-produced between RIA and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to mark 60 years of Ireland’s membership of the UN. A full programme of “UN60” events can be accessed at http://www.dfa.ie/un60
In June Kate was interviewed for ‘1916. The Irish Rebellion’. This is a three-part landmark documentary series and feature film based on the events of 1916 and their significance in world history. It will be broadcast on RTE and American Public Television in 2016.
In mid-May Michael took part in a History Ireland Hedge School in the Guild Hall in Derry which was held to mark the arrival of the surrendered German U-Boat fleet into Derry in May 1945. A podcast of the Hedge School can be found on the History Ireland website at http://www.historyireland.com/hedge-schools/ .
Joe O’Loughlin, Michael Kennedy and Tommy Graham, at the History Ireland Hedge School, Guild Hall, Derry, 16 May 2015.
Kate gave the inaugural Spring Lecture for the Global Schoolroom http://globalschoolroom.net/ on 9 May in the Mansion House, Dublin. Secondary teachers, about to depart on volunteer work in North East India, were given a brief history on the historical connections between Ireland and India.
Robert Power (Chairman, Global Schoolroom), Dr Kate O’Malley, Kieran Dowling (DFAT), Dr Garret Campbell (CEO, Global Schoolroom), 9 May 2015.
From 13 to 18 April Michael and Kate represented DIFP at the 13th International Conference of Editors of Diplomatic Documents (ICEDD2015) at the State Department in Washington DC. Kate ran a workshop on DIFP’s experience of Social Media since the 12th Conference in 2013 and Michael chaired a session on project management in which he also spoke about project management practices in DIFP. More details here on Twitter .
Kate’s Social Media Workshop in progress in the State Dept. Washington DC during ICEDD 2015.
We spent a great deal of March working through the early records of the Irish Permanent Mission to the United Nations for the 10th and 11th General Assemblies. Like the archival collections of many missions they held a lot of surprises and many excellent documents.
On St Patrick’s Day Michael visited Liverpool Hope University to lecture on Ireland’s Second World War and Neutrality to an undergraduate class and take seminar discussion groups on the topic. It was a real pleasure to work with such interested and vocal students who enjoyed proper academic debate.
Michael speaking at Liverpool Hope University 17 March 2015
On 24 March Kate gave a DIFP outreach workshop at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.
Prof Ben Tonra, Dr Hans Zomer, Kate and Dr Maura Conway at the strategic review roundtable, Iveagh House, 31 March 2015
Kate was one of the organisers of a very successful roundtable on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) strategic review, ‘The Global Island’, held in Iveagh House on 31 March by the RIA Standing Committee for International Affairs. The targeted audience was early career professionals in specified sectors and the roundtable was vastly oversubscribed with a full attendance on the day.
Dr Kazuhiko Tomizuka (Japan), Michael, Kate, Dr Matt Jordan (Australia) at the Second World War Memorial in Washington DC during ICEDD 2015.
Work continues on DIFP X as we continue to work through the CR series. We’ve also begun research on an exhibition on Ireland’s first year in the UN (1955-6) and have found that very little detailed work has been done on Ireland’s entry to the United Nations in December 1955.
On 6 February Kate lectured at TCD on British decolonisation and Anglo-American relations during the Cold War.
Kate chaired a session on ‘Irish identity abroad’ as part of a conference on ‘The language of fractured identity’ held at the TCD Long Room Hub on 13 February.
Michael spoke at the Irish Studies Seminar at the Université de Caen in Normandy on 26 February on the development of historical memory in the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Work underway in the DIFP office on DIFP volume X
DIFP is now in a ‘research year’ for DIFP volume X. This volume will run from 1951 to 1957 and so take in the 1951-4 Fianna Fáil government with Frank Aiken in his first term as Minister and the 1954-7 Second Inter-Party Government when Liam Cosgrave was Minister.
In January we prioritised the files the DFA files we needed for the new volume and began work on the A, P and PS Series Secretaries files. By the end of the month we were moving on to Confidential Reports (CR) files from overseas missions and had a good haul of material for the volume.