UCC ACE Short courses

Ireland's Great War (taught online only) COURSE CLOSED

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Ireland's Great War (taught online only) COURSE CLOSED

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    Ten weeks, Tuesdays 7-9pm, from 6 October to 8 December 2020

  • Teaching Mode

    Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications

    Cert of Attendance

  • Fees

    €230. See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Friday 25 September 2020

  • Course Delivery Method


  • Start Date

    Tuesday 6 October 2020

Course Outline

This is a military history of Ireland during the First World War.  In August 1914 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland declared war on Germany.  There were already sixteen regiments of the king's army which proclaimed themselves Irish and wore harp or shamrock as their badge. Even in peacetime, they comprised a force much larger than all the combined personnel of Ireland's defense forces today. On the outbreak of war, they were joined by tens of thousands of volunteers. These men came from a country already on the brink of sectarian civil war. The survivors returned to a country transformed and transforming in a new struggle.

These lectures examine the war from Ireland's perspective, and the changes the country underwent in those years, but it is above all about Irish soldiers: from the imperial veterans who changed their red coats for khaki in 1914, to the young volunteers who fought on the most terrible battlefields that Irish soldiery had ever known. On the highest level, we find Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, son of the landed gentry, born in Listowel, Secretary of State for War, and the face on a thousand recruiting posters. At the other end of the scale, there is Tom Barry, a corporal in the Royal Field Artillery, Mesopotamia, and Brigade Commander in the IRA, West Cork. In between were all the men, rich and poor, Protestant and Catholic, of whom more than 30,000 never came home. This course will look at the traditions of service and the realities of experience; the impulses that made men fight, and the impact of Ireland's turbulent politics on their actions and their motivations.

  1. Some Say the Devil is Dead:   Introducing His Majesty's Irish regiments.
  2. Tipperary:   Ireland goes to war.
  3. My Little Wet Home in a Trench:   The Western Front, 1914 to 1915.
  4. You'd Look Fine in Khaki-o:   Answering the call of Kitchener and Redmond.
  5. Left My Heart in Suvla Bay:   The Dardanelles campaign.
  6. The Sash My Father Wore:   36th Division and the battle of the Somme.
  7. God and the Dead Generations:   Easter 1916, on the streets and at the front.
  8. Today is the Battle of Jutland, and there won't be Make and Mend:   Ireland and the naval campaign.
  9. Most of the World's in a Sandbag:   World War, 1916 to 1918.
  10. And When the War is Over, What Will the Soldiers Do?   Home to the wars, 1919.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

Lectures presented online 

Course Practicalities

The course is a series of ten two-hour lectures, with handouts supplied as necessary. 

Short courses are non-assessed.

Who teaches this course

John Ware is a part-time lecturer in the UCC School of History and Centre for Adult Continuing Education. He specialises in medieval history, particularly the Crusades; and in military history, particularly the First World War.

Why Choose This Course

In this centenary period of the outbreak of the First World War it is worth remembering both its impact on Ireland and the part Ireland played. While the greater political picture is widely known, Ireland's military tradition is often sidelined. This course provides a broad thematic introduction to the history of the war, as well as a more specific study of the lives and deaths of those Irishmen who fought it.


Applicants must be over 18 years of age by course commencement.

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €230..

How Do I Apply

The closing date for applications is Friday 25 September 2020. COURSE CLOSED


Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact