Milestones in 19th Century Irish History

Local history talks by S Alex Blair

On Tuesday 13 March, local historian S Alex Blair continues his popular series of talks looking at milestones in 19th century Irish history.

This month’s talk A Nation Once Again, is the third of four topics which produced significant change in Ireland and had special interest for local people.

No sooner had the Act of Union been passed than many in Ireland were determined to get rid of it. They wanted Ireland to retain a separate position with its own government.

Irish nationalism began to assert itself once again and in the 19th century it took a number of forms. There was its parliamentary form headed by men like Daniel O’Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell. There was a more extreme physical-force form showing itself in such movements as Young Ireland, the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Fenians. There was also cultural nationalism with the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Gaelic League, as Ireland rediscovered its Gaelic past.

In this comprehensive talk, Mr Blair will review all of these aspects of nationalism and how inspirational much of it was. However, he will also point out some of the problems which developed – especially the fact that some people built up in their hearts an ideal Ireland which bore little resemblance to the real Ireland in which they had to live.

The final talk in the series, Home Rule is Coming, is on Tuesday 3 April. All talks take place at 8pm in Ballymoney Town Hall. Admission £2 includes refreshments. The series is promoted by Ballymoney Borough Arts Committee in conjunction with Ballymoney Museum.