Published in Issue 5 (September/October 2022), Volume 30


Waterford’s sporting heroes
To fans of the Déise in recent times, John Mullane is a sporting hero without rival, proclaiming ‘I loves me county’ after a Munster senior hurling championship victory in 2004. Now, the Waterford Treasures Museum presents a new exhibition at their Bishop’s Palace site, demonstrating the rich sporting pedigree of the county. From the Aintree Grand National (Wild Man from Borneo was ridden to victory by Joe Widger in 1895) to the Waterford soccer team that faced a towering Manchester United in the 1960s, the exhibition is an impressive gathering of sporting ephemera and history.

London Irish Centre
Congratulations to the London Irish Centre on the awarding of the Freedom of the City of London to several patrons and team members (including singer Ed Sheeran) on 24 June 2022. The centre opened its doors in 1955 at 50 Camden Square. On opening, the centre listed its aim as being ‘to promote the social, recreational and spiritual welfare of Irish people in London’. Visited by all from Ted Kennedy to President Higgins over the years, the centre has been an important venue for hosting historical events and talks throughout its existence. Those interested in its story and the broader tale of the London Irish will enjoy the recently updated history, An Unconsidered People: The Irish in London, by Catherine Dunne.

Photo Museum Ireland
A visitor to Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square will notice the rebranding of the Gallery of Photography to Photo Museum Ireland. More than merely a change of name, Trish Lambe of the organization behind the space hopes it to be ‘an important step toward our goal of relocating to a larger, museum-standard space on a par with Fotomuseums across Europe. It will help us to fully deliver on the potential of our flourishing contemporary photographic culture’. Recent exhibition, The Politics of Place, included much work with historic influence and importance, such as the collages of Seán Hillen (an artist whose work has previously featured in History Ireland.)

Charles Lefebvre-Desnouettes
A new plaque near Kinsale, unveiled on 3 July 2022, honours the life of Charles Lefebvre-Desnouettes. Born in 1773, Lefebvre-Desnouettes served as aide-de-camp to Napoleon Bonaparte for a period during the French Revolutionary Wars. Later taken prisoner after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, he escaped to the United States, and was eventually granted the right to return to France after numerous appeals to Louis XVIII. The vessel on which he was returning home went down off the coast of Ireland on 22 April 1822. His name is today engraved on the west pillar of the Arc de Triomphe (one absent name is that of General Humbert, victory at Castlebar seemingly meaning less than Montebello or Maestricht). The new plaque at Templetrine Cemetery was unveiled by the President of the Center for Napoleonic Studies, Dr Jérôme Beaucancou.

Raving about history
Recent months have seen interesting work around Dublin’s nightclub history, perhaps inspired by what appears to be forthcoming legislative reform around opening hours. Analog Rhythms, an exhibition curated by music website, was a well-designed journey into the story of venues such as Sides DC, the Temple of Sound and The Asylum. Throw Away, a recent publication from Ciarán Nugent and Peter Marbury, has curated historic club flyers from the late 1980s and 1990s, and is sure to appeal to design students as much as nostalgists. Going back earlier still, a new oral history project, ‘Waking the Hirschfeld Centre’, is appealing to those who ‘danced your socks off at Flikkers’ amongst others to get in touch.

Above: Seán Hillen’s WHAT’S WRONG? with the New Post Office, Sackville Street, Dublin, 1818-2016, which featured on the cover of the March/April 2016 issue of History Ireland. His collages feature in the current exhibition, The Politics of Place, at the Photo Museum Ireland, formally the Gallery of Photography, Temple Bar.

Fifty years since The Greatest
Continuing their magnificent work, RTÉ Archives have been busy uploading much content commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the victory of Muhammed Ali in Croke Park. Defeating Al ‘Blue’ Lewis before a crowd that included members of The Dubliners, film director John Huston and more, RTÉ cameraman Phil Mulally captured much of the post-fight reflections of Ali on his visit to Ireland, first broadcast on the Michael O’Hehir-presented Sport in Action. The RTÉ Archives website continues to mark significant and quirky anniversaries with gems from the archival collections.


Copyright © 2024 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568