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GAA president joins historians for Easter Rising talks at Croke

GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail joins leading historians delivering lectures to mark the Easter Rising centenary

GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail is to join a group of leading historians delivering a special series of lectures on Revolutionary Ireland in Croke Park's museum to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Starting on February 8, the talks will take place over six consecutive weeks and examine "various facets of the revolutionary period in Ireland".

Mr Ó Fearghail, is scheduled to kick off the series with a talk on the events of Gaelic Sunday 1918, when GAA clubs throughout Ireland played a series of coordinated games in defiance of the British government's attempts to interfere in the running of the organisation.

An estimated 54,000 players took part in the event as the association coordinated its response to a new requirement by the authorities that matches could not be played without an application for a special permit.

Also giving a talk will be historian Tim Pat Coogan on the topic `The 1916 Rising' when he will give an account of the "events, personalities and repercussions of the 1916 Rising".

He is to highlight "the?impact the utilisation of the Orange Card by the English Conservatives had on setting the scene for the Rising".

Military historian Paul O'Brien's lecture, `The 1916 Rising Battlefields', will give a detailed history of the various engagements that took place during Easter Week, 1916.

Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of Modern Irish History at University College, Dublin, will speak on `A Nation and Not a Rabble: The Irish Revolution, 1913-1923', exploring "new perspectives on and new sources for the key historical events that took place in Ireland during the period".

He will also discuss the emergence of the Ulster Volunteers, the Irish Volunteers, the rise of Sinn Féin and the Irish War of Independence.

Dr William Murphy's talk will centre on `Repression and Resistance: the uses of prison during the Irish revolution, 1915-1923' and explore the use of imprisonment as a weapon during the period 1915-1923.

Liz Gillis, who has worked as a guide in Kilmainham Gaol, will end the series with her talk `What Did the Women Do Anyway?', discussing the role women played in the revolution.

It will focus on many of the `lesser known', arguing that they were "vital revolutionaries who gave their all in the hope of a better future for their country".

Lectures will be held in the GAA Museum auditorium at 7pm, with tickets for each lecture are €10 or a package for all six lectures €50.

More details from www.crokepark.ie.

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