Thursday, 2 March 2017

March Lecture 2017

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

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.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Launch of JOTS 13

The Old Tuam Society has great pleasure in announcing the launch event for the 13th edition of the Journal of The Old Tuam Society. JOTS 13 will be officially launched by historian Dr. Joe Mannion in the Corralea Court Hotel, Tuam at 8.00 p.m. on Friday, 18 November, 2016. This edition continues our traditional mix of articles drawing on the wide history and heritage of the district. There is sure to be something to interest everyone. JOTS 13 includes articles on 40 year’s of the Marian Choral Society, a Czechoslovak electrician in the Sugar Factory, Tuam’s own 18th century Bank, and the first in a series, of what should prove to be a fascinating study of the diverse history of Shop Street. To tie in with the “Decade of Centenaries” our cover story is a delightful article, written by their families, looking back on the eventful lives of 3 Tuam ladies who reached the wonderful milestone of a century in 2016. We look forward to seeing you at our launch!


Time: 8 p.m.
Date: 18 November, 2016
Venue: Corralea Court Hotel, Tuam

Saturday, 15 October 2016

October Lecture 2016

The 2016 October lecture will be entitled´The Tuam Beat´, which will examine the early work of renowned playwright Tom Murphy and the music that intertwines his work. Tuam became a centre for showbands in the 1960s and in subsequent generations a long list of new bands emerged in many different styles. This lecture will examine music and literature as an optic for wider social change and the small Irish town as the real looking glass of Irish Life.

Our lecturer is Tuam native Jonathan Hannon, a PhD candidate at NUI Galway working with the School of Political Science and Sociology and the School of History. He has previously presented and researched work in the areas of cultural sociology, critical theory and nationalism.  He is a founding member of the Irish Centre for Histories of Labour and Class (ICHLC).


Thursday, 20 October, 2016 @ 8pm
Tuam Library
All Welcome!

Monday, 12 September 2016

September Lecture 2016

The Old Tuam Society is delighted welcome back historian Damien Quinn for our first lecture of the 2016-17 season. Damien's talk centres on his great-grandfather Joseph Quinn, a Tuam man who found himself in the 4th Battalion Dublin Brigade under the command of Éamonn Ceannt in Dublin 1916 and later fighting in the countryside around Tuam during the War of Independence 1919-1921.
Damien's area of specialist research is Irishmen who served in the British Army and he previously delivered a excellent lecture to the Society on this theme in March 2013. Damien's M. Litt, entitled 'The Connaught Rangers and the Wars of Empire 1793-1922' is a survey of one Irish regiment's experience and involvement in imperial conflicts. In addition, Damien was invited to guest curate ‘Galway and The Wars of Empire’ for the Galway City Museum which examines the involvement of Galway men and women in the Wars of Empire between 1796 and 1922. Damien is currently editing "The Connaught Rangers and the Wars of Empire 1793-1922" for publication. His previous publications include "Galway War Dead 1914 – 1918" (Jan 2015) and he founded Military History Ireland – A research resource on the men and women of Ireland who served in national and international conflicts.


Venue: Tuam Library. High St
Date: 22 September 2016
Time: 8:00 pm

Friday, 10 June 2016

Upcoming documentary featuring Lt. Aengus Murphy

A date for your diary....
The Old Tuam Society has contributed to an upcoming RTÉ documentary titled, "The Blue Line" which traces 40 years of UNIFIL's Irish Battalion in Lebanon. It will include a profile of Lt. Aengus Murphy from Tuam. Aengus was killed on UN peace-keeping duty 30 years ago this August which was commemorated in our local history journal, JOTS.
It is scheduled to be on RTÉ 1 at 9.30pm, 12 July.


Friday, 3 June 2016

June 2016: Farming and Country Life 1916 Event, Athenry


Teagasc, in partnership with Galway County Council are hosting a major national event on Friday, 10 June and Saturday 11 June in Teagasc, Athenry to commemorate Farming and Country Life 1916. Event website.

This free event will be of interest to all generations and is not to be missed. Experience the sounds, smells, textures and tastes of rural Ireland in 1916 as you go back to rural life in Ireland 100 years ago and reflect on the developments in farming and country life over the last century.

The Old Tuam Society is delighted to contribute to this event, preparations for which have been underway for months. The Society will present photographs and memorabilia to document the life of Tuam's unsung hero, Liam Langley at the Teagasc Farming & Country Life 1916 event on 10th & 11th June, Athenry.

Liam Langley gave a lifetime of devoted service to the national cause, and was a friend and confidant of many whose names stand high in our country’s roll of honour. The display will also include photographs from Tuam's 50th anniversary celebrations of the 1916 Easter Rising in 1966.