Trio in Cork for history lectures

Authors will attend History Roadshow in May, says GRAINNE McGUINNESS
Trio in Cork for history lectures

David McCullagh.

FRESH from the success of the Cork World Book Festival, Cork City Libraries are hosting what should be another absorbing author-driven event next month.

The 2022 History Roadshow, with Flor MacCarthy, Liz Gillis and David McCullagh is taking place in the City Library on Grand Parade on Saturday, May 14, and audiences can look forward to a full day of fascinating lectures from the leading authors and academics.

Cork-born journalist and broadcaster Flor MacCarthy’s book The Presidents’ Letters features letters of congratulations, and of resignation. There is a handwritten note from a President to a queen, a message sent to the moon, and a fond farewell from a poet.

There are begging letters, threatening ones, correspondence sent from parliaments and prisons, from war zones, refugee camps and homeless shelters.

The book “reveals a personal and unexpected history of Ireland since the inauguration of our first president, Douglas Hyde. Most (of the letters) have never been published before and many never seen by the public”.

In this illustrated talk, Flor concentrates on two ground-breaking women presidents, the Marys Robinson and McAleese.

Liz Gillis was born and raised in the Liberties of Dublin. Her love of history was instilled in her by her father Mick.

She completed her degree in Irish history, and has worked as a local history researcher for the St Nicholas of Myra Centre.

Since 2006, Liz has worked as a tour guide in Kilmainham Gaol and has carried out research for a number of historians, while also doing her own research on the revolutionary period.

She has written three books: Ireland Over All, The Fall of Dublin, and Revolution In Dublin. She has also developed a walking tour of the Liberties, focusing on the revolutionary history of the area, and has taken part in a number of conferences and lectures on the period.

In her talk, Treaty Women, Liz provides an insight into the women who worked with the delegates in London during the Treaty talks.

The final lecture, Wading Through blood: de Valera’s 1922 And The coming Of Civil War, is by RTÉ journalist and author David McCullagh and is based on volume one of his biography of Éamon de Valera.

de Valera began 1922 as President of the Republic, the undisputed leader of Irish nationalism. He ended the year in hiding, in real danger of execution if he was caught by the Government of the Irish Free State.

How had he endured such a fall from grace? And how much responsibility did he bear for the Civil War which ripped Ireland apart in 1922?

David traces the dramatic events of a year which would define de Valera’s career.

The 2022 History Roadshow takes place at The City Library on Grand Parade on Saturday, May 14, from 10am to 4pm. Tickets are free and can be booked at

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