Thursday 23 February 2017

Irish independence 'inspiration' to others in Empire

Ciara Treacy

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki meets UCD students Craig O Morain (BA Irish, Economics and History) and Mapeele Kouame (MA International Development). Photo: Jason Clarke
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki meets UCD students Craig O Morain (BA Irish, Economics and History) and Mapeele Kouame (MA International Development). Photo: Jason Clarke

The inspiration drawn from Ireland's revolution by other countries under British rule is being examined in a major conference this weekend.

As part of its 1916 centenary commemoration programme, UCD is examining the shared experiences of countries which followed Ireland.

Among the speakers at the 'After Empire' conference yesterday was Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa from 1999-2008.

Also on the panel was former president of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa and Salman Khurshid, who served as an Indian government minister.

"We decided it was important to contextualise the Rising in light of what came next," UCD director of communications Eilis O'Brien said.

"Ireland was one of the earliest to leave the British Empire but there are a number of countries which subsequently left and we all have a common legacy.

"All the speakers had an expert knowledge of Ireland past and present. Because of our shared struggle for independence, they would have looked to Ireland for inspiration."

Today and tomorrow, UCD will host 'Globalising the Rising: 1916 in context'.

Featuring renowned national and international speakers, the conference will consider the impact and legacy of 1916 on global political systems.

The 1916 Rising was itself shaped by international forces, including the end of empire, the growth of nationalism and the First World War. The Rising was also watched closely by radicals and aspirant revolutionaries as far away as India and Russia.

Dr Fearghal McGarry, of Queens University Belfast, will present a keynote address entitled 'A Land Beyond the Wave: Transnational Reflections on Easter 1916'.

Dr McGarry is the author of 'The Abbey Rebels of 1916: A Lost Revolution (2015)' and 'The Rising. Ireland: Easter 1916 (2016)'.

The conference will conclude with a panel discussion involving three of Ireland's leading history professors Diarmaid Ferriter from UCD, Eunan O'Halpin from Trinity College Dublin and Susan Schreibman from NUI Maynooth.

Tickets are free to be booked on the web at: centenaries.ucd.ie/events/globalising-the-rising-1916-in-context/

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News