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Fighting for a Voice and a new Ireland

As part of its Decade of Centenaries events Waterford City and County Council is delighted to make available a series of talks exploring 1920 in Waterford and the voices that were fighting to be heard in the creation of a new Ireland… an independent Ireland. 1920 was a very turbulent year for people in Waterford and there are lots of issues to explore. You can explore this time on the Council website and check out the talks online in your own time.

There is a great line up of speakers :

Dr. Pat McCarthy, Waterford native and Mount Sion alumni is sharing his extensive knowledge of the period in his talk “At Length converted from the error of its ways”: politics in Waterford City 1916-1921. Find out just what those errors were and how things changed in 1920. Waterford City and Couty Archivist, Joanne Rothwell, will provide a picture of the consequences for Waterford County Council in their support for Dáil Éireann in her talk Waterford and the 1920 Local Elections. In tandem with Dáil Éireann the newly elected local councils in 1920 were keen to espouse their nationalist identity through the use of Irish and Aindrias O’Cathasaigh will talk about Local Government and the Irish Language in 1920. In keeping with the theme of his talk, this talk is presented in Irish, with subtitles in English.

However, there were other voices in Waterford clamouring to be heard in 1920. The labour movement in Waterford was particularly active and historian Emmet O’Connor will introduce us to Waterford in “the red flag times”. Alongside local politics a new local courts system was developed and Heather Laird will discuss “Illegal Law”: The Dáil Courts 1920-1924. Women too, were looking for a chance to play their part in 1920 and Christina O’Connor provides a talk on Cumann na mBan in Waterford.

As the nights draw in and we cannot travel too far from home why not try travelling a little in time to find out more about Waterford and the people who played their part in shaping its path. All the talks are available on the Waterford City and County Council You Tube channel and you can find the links on our website

This series of talks is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative and Waterford City and County Council Commemorations Committee.

If you would like to find out more about local authorities and the 1920 local elections throughout Ireland you can download the publication “Democracy and Change: the 1920 Local Elections in Ireland” commissioned by the Dept. of Housing, Local Government & Heritage from the Local Government Archivists and Records Managers to commemorate the 1920 local elections. Edited by archivists Niamh Brennan (Donegal) and Grainne Doran (Wexford) it includes documents from Waterford City and County Archives Service.

To find more events for the Decade of Centenaries check out

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