City Hall Lunchtime Lecture Series
The theme for this year's City Hall lectures is Death and Disease in Dublin and Dublin City Archives have put together a brilliant line-up of speakers covering a whole host of macabre and morbid topics.
Times & Dates
Tuesday 6 April at 1pm: The Great Pandemic: The 1918-19 Flu by Dr Ida Milne.
The ‘Spanish’ flu (1918/19) has the largest death toll of any influenza pandemic on record. As it spread through the city, communities would go silent, public buildings and schools were closed, trade stilled, events were cancelled and sports fixtures postponed. It struck at the core of families, often flattening every member and sometimes killing multiple members of one family. During this talk, Dr Milne will look back to that event, and compare it with the Covid-19 pandemic, and reflect on how the city’s chief medical officer at the time, Sir Charles Cameron, and other authorities reacted to reduce the impact.
Tuesday 13 April at 1pm: The history of psychiatric hospitals in Dublin by Professor Brendan Kelly
Professor Kelly's talk will examine why, in the mid-1900s, Ireland had proportionately more people in psychiatric hospitals than any other country in the world. This talk looks at the place of "Grangegorman Mental Hospital" (St Brendan's) in this history, alongside St Patrick's, St Ita's (Portrane) and Dublin's other psychiatric hospitals.
Tuesday 20 April at 1pm: Soldiers and Sex-Workers: Venereal Disease in Early 20th Century Ireland by Dr Susannah Riordan
In this talk, Dr Riordan assesses the efforts of the first independent Irish governments to detect, prevent, and treat these diseases in the national army and, subsequently, in the civilian population, in the contexts of military exigency, medical politics, and moral judgement. The title refers to the fact that initially, the blame for this problem was placed on relationship between prostitutes and the British military, but investigation suggested that it was in fact rampant in the civilian population throughout the country.
Tuesday 27 April: Black Death in Dublin by Dr Simon Egan
The plague arrived on Ireland’s more heavily settled eastern seaboard in 1348 and quickly spread across most the island. This talk will explore the arrival and consequences of the Black Death in Ireland’s colonial capital, Dublin. It will consider how plague impact upon urban society but also look at how the plague reshaped Irish politics during the mid-to-late fourteenth century.
Book now on Eventbrite. #DeathAndDiseaseInDublin
Dr Milne has written extensively about Spanish influenza in Ireland, and her book which deals with this topic, Stacking the Coffins, Influenza, war and revolution in Ireland 1918-1919, was published in 2018.
Professor Brendan Kelly is Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght University Hospital. He is the author of several books including "Hearing Voices: The History of Psychiatry in Ireland".
Dr Susannah Riordan is a lecturer at UCD Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland.
Dr Simon Egan is an Assistant Professor in Medieval Irish and British History at Trinity College Dublin