News and Views

Landmark National Conference to reflect on Irish Civil War

28 Apr 2022
  • National Conference to reflect on political, social, cultural, military, and economic dimensions to the Irish Civil War
  • An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD to deliver Conference's opening address
  • Four-day summit to bring over 130 national and international scholars to University College Cork
  • Proceedings will be open to the public and recorded for viewing in collaboration with
A landmark four-day national conference on the Irish Civil War will mark a new chapter in the Decade of Centenaries, as over 130 experts will gather in June at University College Cork (UCC) to reflect on a bitter struggle in Irish history, one hundred years ago this year.
The Irish Civil War National Conference will be held from June 15 to 18 on the UCC campus, with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin delivering the opening address. The conference will explore the political, social, cultural, military, and economic dimensions to the Irish Civil War. The event is part of the Irish government’s Decade of Centenaries Programme. Proceedings will be open to the public and recorded for viewing in collaboration with
The Irish Civil War National Conference seeks neither a single agreed narrative, nor indeed a sense of ‘closure’. Instead, it will attempt to gather on-going academic research into the conflict. In doing so the conference will try to accomplish what the government's Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations describes as, ‘meaningful engagements with a difficult and traumatic time’.
During the first three days of the conference, speakers will deliver 20-minute papers addressing all aspects of the Irish Civil War, including international comparisons to the Irish Civil War, global contexts, military conflict, civilian trauma, gender roles, labour militancy, state violence, military strategy, propaganda, memory, ideology, agrarian unrest, prison experiences, the Military Archives, and the Beyond 2022 Project. Plenary lectures will also be delivered by Prof Anne Dolan (TCD), Prof Robert Gerwarth (UCD), Prof Helen Graham (Univ of London), Dr Bill Kissane (London School of Economics).
The conference will close with a day of ‘plenary panels’, as experts explore the topics of Trauma, Partition, Faith, Gender, Diplomacy, Politics, Labour, Disorder, Literature, and Memory. The conference will also include an evening public programme of lectures, panel discussions, and a ‘civil war walking tour’ of Cork city.
The conference is free and open to the public. Select proceedings will be streamed on, while all panels will be live streamed via, where attendees are asked to pre-register for sessions.
UCC President Professor John O'Halloran said:
This major Conference marks a new chapter in the Decade of Centenaries, as our reflections move on from Ireland’s hard-fought independence to a new contemplation of an internal struggle that divided families and friends. It is fitting that The Irish Civil War National Conference should be held in UCC. The academics and researchers from our School of History have excelled throughout the analysis of the Decade of Centenaries by leading debate, provoking thought, and challenging consensus, and I look forward to further stimulating and inspiring conversations over the four days.
Dr Lindsey Earner-Byrne, Senior Academic Leadership Initiative Chair in Irish Gender History at UCC said:

"We are very excited at UCC to have the four-day National Conference reflecting on this most important and complicated aspect of this country's history. It gives us a chance to engage with a wide audience and showcase the most cutting-edge research on the Civil War. We are particularly excited to front previously overlooked or under-researched aspects such as trauma, sexual and gender-based violence and the archaeology and material culture of the Civil War."
Dr Mervyn O'Driscoll, Head of the School of History at UCC said:
"UCC is committed to making its historical scholarship accessible to the broader community.  This four-day conference intends to bring Irish Civil War history to a broad audience in order to help better inform the debates which are sure to emerge throughout this final stage of the Decade of Centenaries".

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF