Friday, 6 October 2017

October Lecture 2017 - Both Sides of the Wire

Our lecture series continues Thursday 19 October, at Tuam Library, High St at 8 pm. The lecture is entitled “Both Sides of the Wire - World War I: The German-Tuam Connection”.

We are delighted to welcome longtime Tuam resident Willi Kiefel as our guest speaker. Willi is now retired after a long career with Pulse Engineering, CEL Electronics and then Valeo Automotive. Willi is an OTS member for over 30 years and was instrumental in the Tuam-Straubing twinning process, originally hailing from Steinach, close to Straubing in Bavaria. He also has a keen interest in the environment and sustainability as well as being a trustee of Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability.

In what promises to be a fascinating and well-illustrated lecture ‘Both Sides of the Wire’ will discuss the tragedy of the Somme, and other WWI battles, through an exploration of the lives of local Tuam combatants and of Willi’s own family, the careers of his granduncles and his grandfather, Alfons Bielmeier, who fought in the Bavarian Infantry Regiments. ‘Both Sides of the Wire’ is a thoroughly researched study of the lives of ordinary infantrymen on both sides of that apocalyptic conflict.

Thursday, 19 October, 8 pm
Tuam Library
All Welcome

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

September Lecture 2017 - Suffer Little Children: Life in the Workhouse

The Old Tuam Society is delighted welcome back historian Dr Gerard Moran for our first lecture of the 2017-18 season. Gerard's talk focuses on the lives of children during the Great Famine. Children made up to 40% of the inmate population of workhouses during the Great Famine. They were deserted, abandoned, orphaned, illegitimate or entered with their families because they had no where to go.  Why was the mortality level so high among children who became inmates and how were they treated? This lecture examines the conditions which children endured in places like Tuam Workhouse during the Great Famine.

Dr. Gerard Moran lectured at NUI Galway and at NUI Maynooth, where he was director of the MA in Irish History. He has published extensively on 19th-century Ireland and among his publications are Sending Out Ireland’s Poor: Assisted Emigration to North America in the Nineteenth Century; Land, Famine, Emigration and Politics and The Mayo Evictions of 1860. He is also joint editor of Galway: History and Society (1996) and Mayo: History and Society (2014).

Tuam Library, High St.
21 Sept @ 8 pm
All Welcome

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Galway Centenary Conversations: War & Revolution Roadshow

The Old Tuam Society is delighted to announce its participation in a county wide initiative remembering the independence struggle in Co. Galway.

This summer will see a series of free public history events around the County organised by NUI Galway, GMIT, local history societies and Galway County Council as part of its Decade of Commemoration strategy (2013-23). Galway Centenary Conversations: War & Revolution Roadshow will take place in Tuam, Craughwell, Clifden, Portumna, Skehana and Athenry throughout June and July. Each event is free and all are welcome.
The talks will feature an array of local and national historians discussing key events, personalities and developments during the independence struggle in Galway. Topics to be examined include the aftermath of the 1916 Rebellion; the conscription crisis; the 1918 General Election; the War of Independence; Cumann na mBan and the Galway Volunteers.

Family history and memorabilia
The series is also a chance for the public to offer their family reminiscences of the period and discuss the involvement of local communities and families. National experts will be available to offer advice or support to budding researchers and encourage people to bring along material from their own family’s involvement or any relevant letters, memorabilia.

Tuam Library
The series kicks off in Tuam Library on Wednesday 14 June where the Old Tuam Society will host an event focusing on the 1918 General Election in North Galway. The event begins at 8 pm and features Dr Conor McNamara and Dr Martin O’Donoghue of NUI Galway.

Where and When:
·         Wednesday 14 June 8pm Tuam Library
·         Tuesday 20 June 8pm Craughwell Hall
·         Wednesday 28 June 8pm Clifden Station House Theatre
·         Wednesday 5 July 8pm Portumna Workhouse Centre
·         Wednesday 12 July 8pm Screene’s Lounge, Skehana
·         Wednesday 19 July 8pm Athenry Community Centre

Further details: Contact Conor McNamara, NUI Galway:

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

May Lecture 2017 - Aspects of Heraldry Around Tuam

Our lecture season for 2016-17 draws to a close Thursday, 25 May at 8 pm in Tuam Library. It is our great pleasure to welcome our guest lecturer Seamus Bellew. A native of Castleblakeney and who now lives and teaches in Dundalk. He is Honorary Secretary of the County Louth Archaeological & Historical Society and has been a frequent and welcome contributor to JOTS as well as numerous other publications. This lecture will highlight some aspects of heraldry around the town and show the connections between families and institutions which have shaped the history of the town.

Time: 8 pm
Date: 25 May, 2017
Venue: Tuam Library
All Welcome

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Free 6 week Publishing and Archiving course

The Old Tuam Society has great pleasure in announcing a free upcoming 6 week workshop dealing with all aspects of publishing and archiving methods. This course will be of interest to individuals and groups. We are pleased to partner with Galway County Council and the Heritage Council in running this course.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

March Lecture 2017 - Tom Glynn: A Galway Born 1916 Rebel in Australia

Tom Glynn (1881-1934) is notable as one of the ’Sydney Twelve’ charged with treason in 1916 (though convicted of the lesser charge of seditious conspiracy) for opposition to Australian participation in World War and to conscription. Another of the ‘Twelve’ was Peter Larkin, brother of ‘Big Jim’.

We are delighted to welcome back lecturer Dr. John Cunningham, Dept of History, NUI Galway. John has been an esteemed contributor to our talks and JOTS over the years and this lecture should prove equally engaging. A former editor of Saothar: journal of Irish Labour History, John's research interests include Irish local history, the moral economy, and global syndicalism and his numerous include St. Jarlath's College, Tuam: 1800-2000 and ‘A town tormented by the sea': Galway, 1790-1914.

Born in Gurteen, Co. Galway, to a family with strong Monivea connections, Glynn emigrated at 17 with a brother to join uncles in Kensington, Melbourne. He subsequently became a trade union activist and was imprisoned in South Africa in 1911 for his role in organising two tramway strikes.

Returning to Sydney, he was the founding editor of the Industrial Workers of the World’s (IWW) Australian newspaper, Direct Action. On the outbreak of World War One, Direct Action became an outspoken and provocative opponent of  ‘militarism’, frequently breaching censorship laws. In its pages, Glynn drew on his experience as a teenage soldier to denounce war. As the conflict advanced, his IWW union was the left-wing of a broader movement against conscription which included Archbishop Mannix and feminists like Adela Pankhurst.

A consequence of Direct Action’s outspokenness was the proscription of the paper and the incarceration and deportation of many of the IWW’s principal agitators. The travails of the ‘Sydney Twelve’ in prison, were described by one of them, Donald Grant, in Through Six Gaols (1921).

Glynn was among the ten of the ‘Sydney Twelve’ freed in 1920, following a vigorous campaign by a Release Committee. Head-hunted by the nascent Communist Party, he was the first editor of its periodical The Australian Communist. Soon disenchanted by the fractious Communist milieu, however, he became a supporter of Jack Lang, a member of the Labor Party, and a writer on economics on The Labor Daily.

Glynn suffered from poor health in his later years, attributed by his family to ill-treatment in prison. On his death, aged 53, in December 1934, the Labor Daily eulogised a ‘steadfast fighter who served the Australian Labor Movement staunchly and selflessly during one of the momentous periods of its history.’

Thursday, 23 March, 2017 @ 8pm
Tuam Library, High Street.
All Welcome!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

February Lecture 2017 - An Gorta Beag

Our Lecture series recommences this Thursday, 23rd of February at Tuam Library, High St at 8pm. The lecture is entitled “An Gorta Beag - how the 1880 Famine affected west of Ireland families and the parish of Williamstown”.

The lecture will deal with the less well-known famine of 1879-80, or An Gorta Beag, and its effects on the parish of Williamstown, and by extension the west of Ireland. Our guest speaker is Leo Finnegan, a retired primary teacher, who has been involved with a number of community organisations over the years, and is currently chair of the Williamstown Heritage Society. Recent projects of this very active Society include the purchase and full restoration of the disused Templetogher corn mill in the parish, and the publication in 2013 of a voluminous book, tracing in great detail family histories, and including maps and local features - a priceless source of information on family histories in Williamstown.