Saturday, 6 August 2011

Oral History Network Ireland Conference Programme

For those who are interested in attending the Oral History Network conference in September (mentioned here previously), I have provided the programme of the conference. E-mail the organisers to get your place if you would like to attend.

  • Venue: Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny
  • Showcase of Oral History projects in Duchess Room throughout conference
§         Conference Proceedings:
Friday 16 September
1.00 – 2.00 pm          Registration
2.00 – 3.30 pm          Workshop: Doing Oral History
                                                Tomas MacConmara and Catherine O’Connor
3.30 – 3.40 pm          Coffee
3.40 – 5.00 pm          Workshop: Using Oral History for Research Purposes
                                                Mary Muldowney and Alistair Thomson

Conference participants free from 5 to 6.30 to enjoy Oral History Showcase

6.30 pm                      Wine Reception
7.00 pm                      Keynote Address: Alistair Thomson
8.30 pm                      Conference Dinner

Saturday 17 September
9.00 – 10.00 am        Registration
10.00 – 10.30            Welcome and Opening Address: Why a Network?
                                                Regina Fitzpatrick
10.30 – 12.30            Documenting Orality and Memory
This session will examine the practice, status and financing of oral history in Ireland at the present time. It will include discussion of oral history in academia and in the community.
Chair:                          Cliona O’Carroll
Opening Remarks:    Alistair Thomson
Panellists:                  Mike Cronin, Marie Mannion, Maura Cronin, Mary O’Driscoll

12.30 – 2.00  Lunch and time to enjoy Oral History Showcase and Kilkenny Castle
2.00 – 4.00                The Archives
This session will focus on the essential and urgent issue of the archiving of oral history collected in Ireland
Chair:                          Eunan O’Halpin
Opening Remarks:    Guy Beiner
Panellists:                  Cristóir MacCartaigh, Caitriona Crowe, Claire Hackett

4.00 – 4.15    Coffee

4.14 – 5.30                Chair and Rapporteur: Maura Cronin
                                    Concluding Round Table Discussion

Friday, 5 August 2011

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Wagnerian Economics: Cork Launch of Conor McCabe's 'Sins of the Father' at Solidarity Books

'Sometimes I would finish writing and have to have a shower in digust at what they've done to us'

My day began on a sour note involving a carpet and cat vomit but ended rather well with the Cork launch of Conor McCabe's Sins of the Father. The attendance was good, bigger than any of the previous historical discussions hosted by the wonderful Solidarity Books and the dicussion that followed the main talk was varied and interesting. With Conor's permission I recorded the majority of the meeting. Any problems with sound and so on I take full responsibility for (still getting used to digital recording). As usual, I must plug Solidarity Books and heartily recommend them for anyone living in / passing through Cork.

Having found every wma hosting site I've came across to be run by a bunch of cunts with little or no interest in whether their sites actually work, I have emailed the files to Donagh who will post them on Dublin Opinion.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Swing to the Left - A Night of Big Band Swing with Gary Baus

Anyone who happens to be in Cork oughtta call down

Here is Gary playing sax with the God-Fearing Folk:

and here's a recent interview:

Gary Baus Interview from Maciek Klich on Vimeo.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Seán Swan on Eoghan Harris

While researching his highly interesting phd thesis (later self-published book) Official Irish Republicanism, 1962-1972, political scientist Seán Swan was forced to interview bloated moron and Sindo crank-in-chief Eoghan Harris. While there are flaws in the book, Swan should be congratulated for his committment to history as the U.N now actually consider time spent in Eoghan Harris's company as a violation of basic human rights. Having received a request to make available Swan's description and analysis of Harris (itself valuable as a medical record of male menopause) I present to you Seán Swan's greatest undertaking. Please note that the following passages occur after a lengthy quotation from Harris. I attempted typing Harris's full quotation but my laptop actually got physically sick from inflicting such shite on its hard drive and vomited the quotes back out. They are now on my kitchen floor, being mopped up with old copies of the Sunday Independent while my cat, despite not posessing language, gazes upon them with a primordial feline contempt:

Getting through to the Unionists appears to have become an end in itself. The ultimate and inevitable end station of this process was to become unionist, as Harris did. Harris did not get through to the Unionists, they got through to him. The only conversion he was responsible for was his own conversion to Unionism. If this is gettinng through to the Unionists it is only in the most abject sense. Far from advancing socialism or republicanism's 'common name', it represented simply their rejection in order to gain an audience with unionists on unionist terms. The missionary of republicanism became a convert to unionism.

Harris's position here is special pleading at best; pure can at worse. Opposition to sectarian violence must be aimed at both sides. The Provisionals were the product of northern nationalists and were no more Harris's 'own side' than were the Unionists. Northern Nationalists differ profoundly from the population in the Irish Republic. But this is exactly what is to be expected, given the profoundly different social realities under which both groups lived since 1920 - indeed, since the Seventeenth century. . .

Harris' 'anti-sectarianism' was shown in a different light in the context of his fanatical support for the invasion of Iraq. The invasion and the reduction of the state if Iraq to a state of nature through the deliberate destruction of the Iraqi state, opened the gates of hell for that unfortunate country. It unleashed the forces of sectarianism and terrorism on a country where they were previously absent.

The mythical 'WMDs' never materialised. The claim that the invasion will bring about democracy in Iraq is equally spurious - the creation of a Black Water run puppet state, unofficial partition or a theocracy are far more likely. Whatever the final outcome, it will have no meaning for the 2.5% of the Iraqi population, who died as a result of this 'liberation' up to July 2006. This is what Harris's cheerleading for war helped facilitate and it is in this context that his position on Northern Ireland must be judged. His 2007 advice to the UUP to join the DUP is also difficult to understand in terms of any 'anti-sectarian' (as opposed to anti-nationalist) strategy. Like many of Harris's ideas it is fatally flawed and could help destroy any remaining common feeling between the British public and Ulster Unionists by luring the unionists into making a party viewed in Britain sd religious fundamentalist, bigoted and unmistakeably 'other', their exclusive political face. This is doubtlessly not Eoghan Harris' intention but then so many of his previous good intentions have later paved the way to hell. [Nor is he fully trusted by unionists, being accused of 'confused thinking on the nature of terrorism' by the liberal unionist Cadogan group.]

-Official Irish Republicanism 1962-72, pp.396-397.

Seán Swan: Neither of us are, to my knowledge, homosexuals. Nevertheless, I wish to marry you and bear your children.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Oral History Network Ireland


A major step forward for oral history in Ireland was heralded recently with the formation of a national organisation dedicated to co-ordinating and strengthening the work of oral history practitioners and groups across the country. The Oral History Network of Ireland is supported by some of the leading oral historians and organisations in the country. It will be formally launched at a major international conference to be held in the Parade Tower of Kilkenny Castle on 16/17 September 2011.One of the main purposes of the September conference is to establish the position of oral history in Ireland and to ascertain how best to advance its cause. Librarians would be particularly welcome to participate in this discussion. The group aim to establish contact with a view to supporting and encouraging anyone interested in the preservation of Ireland’s oral heritage and invite interested parties to email

Oral history in Ireland has been practiced by many committed individuals and groups for centuries.  Embracing practitioners both at community level and within the Academy, and extending to Ireland, North and South, the Oral History Network of Ireland represents an exciting new departure.  For the first time in Ireland, a unified network of practitioners is emerging: this will provide a long overdue opportunity for oral historians to pool resources, share information about best international practice and, more importantly, to identify  issues relating to the preservation and promotion of Ireland’s oral heritage.

There has been a major growth over the last number of years in the area of oral history and tradition with community groups and individuals across Ireland making significant efforts to record the oral heritage of their area.  Many librarians and heritage officers throughout the country have contributed significantly to this development.  The evidence suggests that there is a need for support at all organisational levels for individuals and groups practicing oral history in Ireland.  The conference in September aims to seriously and comprehensively discuss these issues and to begin to address them in an inclusive and hopefully decisive way by providing a forum where people can seek and share advice on best practice.  The founding of the Oral History Network of Ireland is a very significant initiative which will facilitate the voluntary interchange of ideas, experience and expertise between people using living memory as a key historical source.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Johnny Cash Concert Interrupted by IRA Bomb Threat.

From 'Strawberry Cake', a live album recorded by Cash in the London Palladium in 1976. The venue had to be evacuated due to an IRA bomb threat.