Documents on Irish Foreign Policy
The RIA’s DIFP project is celebrating the Decade of Centenaries with a collaboration between the project and the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
The collaborative exhibition, to be complete for 2016, will channel CIL’s unique history into the decade of commemoration and will use hitherto unexplored sources to present a new and utterly distinctive view of modern Ireland’s most critical decade.
Kate was on RTE Radio One's 'The History Show' on 31 January 2016. She was talking to Myles Dungan about the impact of the Irish Easter Rising on Indian nationalism. Here is a link to the podcast: rte.ie/radio1/the-history-show
Kate will also be talking about the 1916 Rising and India at an upcoming UCD conference 'Globalising the Rising: 1916 in context'. The conference aims to inform public discourse in advance of the state centenary, it investigates the Rising both from international and interdisciplinary perspectives. The conference is free of charge and open to everyone: centenaries.ucd.ie/events/globalising-the-rising-1916-in-context
National and Trannational: The Geopolitics Of Ireland’s Lighthouses 1912 – 1923
Ireland lies on the important global sealanes from the Atlantic Ocean north and south around Ireland to the Irish Sea and the English Channel.
Ireland’s lighthouses, run by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, are part of a transnational network of beacons for the protection of international shipping along these global maritime highways.
The rich history of the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) is a unique blend of local, national and international affairs.
Founded in 1786 CIL’s distinctive experience mirrors that of Ireland itself. It is an all-Ireland, all-island institution, and its history and that of the lighthouses it operates protecting seafarers passing the Irish coastline are intrinsically linked into Ireland’s multi-layered histories.
From the lighthouse keepers and their families dotted along the Irish coast, through the world-class engineering feats of constructing of lighthouses at inhospitable locations off Ireland’s coastline such as the Fastnet Rock, and on through international problems including its cross-border all-Ireland dimension and British-Irish diplomatic wrangles over control of the Irish Lights service, the history of CIL tells modern Ireland’s story in an enticingly different way.
The story of CIL covers the great affairs of state and the local experience. Its history has never before been told. CIL has a vast archive of documents, photographs, maps and pictures which are an as yet unseen window into Ireland’s maritime, social, economic, technological, military and political past. RIA is assisting CIL in an exploratory examination of these archives.
An initial step in showcasing its history in the context of Britain and Ireland’s shared maritime experience, and in the context of North-South co-operation in Ireland, is the development by Dr Eoin Kinsella of CIL, with assistance from Dr Michael Kennedy (RIA, DIFP), of a travelling historical panel exhibition on CIL in the decade from 1912 to 1923 based on original research and using previously unseen photographs and documents to focus on issues including:
1. Irish lighthouses in the modern age: Edwardian Ireland from Ireland’s coastline;
2. CIL activities during the First World War and the impact of the war on CIL;
3. Lighthouse keepers and the First World War: personal experiences
4. The Irish Lighthouse Service and the 1916 Rising;
5. Technological progress in Irish Lighthouses in the early twentieth century;
6. Lighthouse keepers, their wives and families;
7. The impact of the Anglo-Irish War (1919-22) on the Commissioners of Irish Lights;
8. CIL and the 1921 Treaty;
9. The impact of the Irish Civil War (1922-3) on CIL;
10. Plans to hand control of CIL to the Irish Free State.