This week I have had the great pleasure of visiting Massachusetts and presenting a paper at the annual national meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies held in Boston. It was my second time attending such a gathering, having also presented a paper on Dublin poet Maeve Cavanagh MacDowell two years ago, when ACIS met in Kansas City, Missouri. This time around I spoke about the life of Dora Maguire, another woman who happened to be profiled in R. M. Fox’s 1935 book of essays Rebel Irishwomen.Whereas the likes of Maud Gonne and Countess Markievicz became legends in their own lifetimes, Dora Maguire (1889-1931) was perhaps the most obscure of Fox’s dozen ‘Rebel Irishwomen’. A friend of the author, she died aged forty-one in February 1931 after years of ill-health. During my paper I spoke about Maguire’s upbringing in England and the north of Ireland, time spent in Blackburn and London during the First World War (when she worked as a nurse and developed suppressed diphtheria and tuberculosis), decision to move to Ireland around the time of the War of Independence, and employment at St. Ultan’s Children’s Hospital in Ranelagh during the 1920s.I then focused at length on her arrest in 1925 over an incident at the Princess Cinema in Rathmines. Evolving into an ardent republican during her adulthood, Maguire was indignant at the time about the screening across Dublin of short films concerning the Prince of Wales’ recent dominion tour of South Africa. Entering the “Prinner” – as the Princess Cinema was known to locals – on 6th August 1925 with an inkpot hidden on her person, Maguire stood up and hurled her makeshift missile over the heads of the theatre orchestra as soon as the offending picture was shown, causing considerable damage to the screen and generating newspaper headlines.Surviving foyer plaque from the Princess Cinema, the scene of Dora Maguire's arrest in August 1925. Known locally as "The Prinner", the cinema closed its doors in 1960 and was demolished in 1982 (Photograph courtesy of Carol Dunne, Dublin City Libraries).This incident is the focus of The Spirit of Dora Maguire, an historical comic strip by Dublin artist Aidan J Collins. Some artwork from this creation, which came about in 2018 following a talk I gave in Dublin on Maguire’s life the previous year, can be seen below:Blueprint still from an animated video by Aidan J Collins. This is based on one of the panels from his 2018 historical comic strip The Spirit of Dora Maguire (Courtesy of Aidan J Collins).On Monday 20th May 2019 I will be teaming up with Maeve Casserly (Historian in Residence, South East Area) for a joint talk about Dora Maguire and St. Ultan’s Children’s Hospital at Rathmines Public Library. The event starts at 6:30pm and all are welcome to attend.Dr. James Curry, Historian in Residence, North West Area.Dublin City Council Historians in Residence are available to meet groups and schools, give talks, walks etc, run history book clubs and advise on historical research.
Dublin supported James II at the Battle of the Boyne, but following his defeat by William III, a protestant ascendancy resumed control of the city and began to forge links with the new and successful monarchy. This process intensified after the death of Mary II in 1695 left William III as sole monarch. Dublin Corporation added William’s arms to the City Sword; in 1697 and in the following year, the king presented a chain of office to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, carrying the monarch’s bust on a medallion, which is in use to this day.
Autumn is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf and try something new!Why not start learning a new language, try a university course, develop your digital skills for work and/or leisure, pick from over 400 free online courses or enrol for the Lord Mayor's Certificate in Oral History. Here are just some of the learning opportunities available at your library this Autumn.The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral HistoryThe Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History is offered by Dublin City Council as part of its commitment to life-long learning. The course will equip participants with skills in the preparation and conduct of oral history projects, including best practice in the collection and archiving of oral history interviews. It examines the wealth of recorded oral narrative sources in Ireland in both oral history and folklore.Classes are held on Monday evening to facilitate attendance by a broad range of people. Commencing in September 2017, the course will be taught at Pearse Street Library, Dublin 2. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 15 September 2017.Communiversity ProgrammeCommuniversity is a programme where people can attend higher education courses in the familiar surroundings of their local library. The initiative is facilitated by Dublin City Public Libraries in conjunction with the Northside Partnership, Dublin South City Partnership, Ballyfermot Partnership and the Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University. Students have completed modules in local history, politics and philosophy, economics, psychology and Chinese studies and media studies.The programme is run once a year over a number of weeks. If you are interested in attending Communiversity programme, please enquire at the following libraries: Ballyfermot, Coolock, Dolphin’s Barn and Walkinstown.Getting Citizens OnlineGetting Citizens Online is an initiative of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. This programme offers 10 hours free tuition to a complete beginner at Cabra and Coolock Libraries this November. By the end of the course, learners will know how to use the internet from setting up email, to using search engines and making calls over the internet.Other course content looks at specific government online services, social media, video, tv and radio, instructional videos on Youtube and some digital photography. The following libraries will provide this course on tablets which are very easy to use. The course is run in the mornings and afternoons.Basic internet searching will be available in other locations throughout the year. Please email [email protected] for further information.Open Learning Centre ProgrammeUpskill in languages and basic computer applications with two excellent resources available from the Open Learning Centre in the Central Library.Utalk is a language app tool widely used for improving language.With Microsoft Imagine Academy, you can access a suite of programmes such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. You can benefit from an extensive digital curriculum and certifications for fundamental technology skills as well as courses critical for success in today’s technologically evolving world.You can use the above from anywhere once you first sign up at the Open Learning Centre 01 8734333 / [email protected] Class: eResourceUniversal Class offers a unique online education experience. There are over 400 courses available on a diverse range of subjects. Learn to create a website, plan on writing a novel, overcome your fear of maths or touch up some old photos. You will never be bored with Universal Class. There is something here for everyone.The courses involve real instructors to guide your learning and video-based lessons. Register using your Dublin City Library membership card barcode number. Register atwww.LGMA.universalclass.com/register.htmlYou can learn in your own time, at your own pace.Mango Languages: eResourceMango Languages is an online resource that teaches real conversations in over 70 foreign languages. Use your library membership card barcode number to register and create a username and password. You can use Mango on your phone or tablet by downloading the Mango Languages App from Google Play - Android | iTunes - iOS. Please note that once registered for Mango, you will need to follow the link from our website whenever you wish to login and use the service (i.e. bookmarking the Mango page will not suffice).Happy learning!