The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

Towards Commemoration: Ireland in war and revolution 1912 - 1923

by  John HorneEdward Madigan
€ 17.50

Book Details

Published by Royal Irish Academy

March 2013

Paperback / softback

Number of pages: 175

ISBN: 9781908996176

This book arrives on foot of a decade of commemorations. Contemporary Ireland was founded during the fractious years 1912-1923. From the signing of the Ulster Unionists’ Solemn League and Covenant to the partitioning of the country and subsequent Civil War in the Irish Free State, a series of events shaped Ireland for the century to come. Not least of these was World War I. This volume, edited by John Horne, features essays by leading historians, journalists, civic activists and folklorists. The outstanding body of scholarship offers an array of new views in the incendiary debate on how to remember a divided past. The book is organised into three sections: histories, memories and commemorations. The first section picks through the backgrounds of war and violence in the European and Irish revolutionary contexts. In the second section personal histories drawn from community and family memories are told. The third section contains the most heated contributions on the dangers and opportunities of commemorations. This collection is framed around a ten year period, yet it takes the reader towards a richer understanding whole of the twentieth century, allowing for an open and creative engagement with the past of war and revolution.

This book is also available on JSTOR. For more information, institutions can visit Books at JSTOR or contact

You can buy the e-book here.

Solve our book cover jigsaw puzzle here.

About the authors

John Horne

John Horne is emeritus Fellow and former Professor of Modern European History at Trinity College Dublin (until 2015), where he was also founder of the Centre for War Studies (2008-2016). He has been a Member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2004. In 2012-13 he was a Fellow of the FRIAS (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Study) and in 2015-16 was the Oliver Smithies Visiting Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. He is a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Faculty of History, Oxford University, 2016-18. He has written extensively on modern France and the trans-national history of the Great War, including most recently (ed.) A Companion to World War One (Oxford, Blackwell-Wiley, 2010); (ed.) Vers la guerre totale: le tournant de 1914-1915 (Paris, Tallandier, 2010); and with Robert Gerwarth, War in Peace: Paramilitary Violence in Europe after the Great War (Oxford University Press, 2012). Since 2008, he has also worked on Ireland and the Great War. He organized the Thomas Davis radio lectures for RTE, published as Our War: Ireland and the Great War (Royal Irish Academy, 2008), and published (with Edward Madigan), Towards Commemoration: Ireland in War and Revolution, 1912-1923 (Royal Irish Academy, 2013). He is currently working on a history of France in the Great War.

Edward Madigan

Edward Madigan is the Resident Historian at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and a visiting fellow to the Changing Character of War Programme at the University of Oxford. His work combines military, cultural and religious history and his main research interests are British faith and identity in wartime, and the British and Irish experience and memory of the Great War. He is a former IRCHSS and Princess Grace fellow and Associate Director at the TCD Centre for War Studies. As a historian of the Great War and the Irish Revolution, he has appeared on British, Irish, U.S. and Australian television. His first book, Faith Under Fire: Anglican Army Chaplains and the Great War, was published in 2011.