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TLRH | The History of the Irish Pub

Friday, 12 March 2021, 1 – 2pm

TLRH | The History of the Irish Pub

With many Irish people mourning the closure of their local pub, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by asking what place the Irish pub holds in our history and culture. How did people use pubs in the past, and what was the popular attitude towards them? Famous the world over, is the Irish pub indeed an imagined space embedded in the concept of “Irish hospitality”? In this panel discussion chaired by Dr Ciaran O’Neill, Deputy Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub, speakers will look at Irish pubs through the ages and the perception of public houses a century ago; the place of the pub in the history of folk music and revolution; what the pub means in Irish theatre, and what it tells us about ‘Irishness’ and performance of culture.

Prior to the panel discussion, four musicians from the Traditional Music Society of Trinity College Dublin (Claire Stafford, Sarah McKenna, Simon O'Connor, and Oisín Cullen) will be playing live music - make sure to tune in from 12:50 pm to catch some live tunes!

Book here


Dr Ciarán Wallace

The pub has never been just a place where you bought alcohol. How did people use pubs in the past? Who went to pubs, who didn't? What was the popular attitude towards them? Ciarán will look at pubs in some cartoons published a century ago to see what they can tell us.

Dr. Ciarán Wallace is a Historian and Deputy Director of Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury at Trinity College Dublin. Dr Wallace’s research interests include urban history during the early modern and modern periods. This includes the role of civil society in national and community identity formation. His doctoral thesis involved a social and economic analysis of local election candidates. He has worked on the history of Dublin, and is interested in Scottish-Irish comparisons, civic pageantry, political cartoons and ephemera.

Trish Murphy, Director of the College Health Service
What is the personal impact of the pub environment on people’s lives and communities? This talk will examine the personal story of growing up in a pub in a small town in the West of Ireland--both the good and the bad. The story will also highlight the skills that were developed from pub culture, and how this speaker used these when working in detention centres, prisons, and travelling alone in far flung places.
Patricia Murphy is a qualified and accredited psychotherapist, mediator and trainer. She is the Acting Director of the Student Counselling Services of Trinity College Dublin. Trish is the author of two books- #Love: 21st century relationships and The Challenge of Retirement. A regular media commentator, she has made many guest appearances on TV3-am, Prime Time, The Afternoon Show, Frontline, Live at 3, and many radio programs.  She is also a regular contributor to the print media in national newspapers, including a weekly column in The Irish Times.

Jack Sheehan

If the pub is to Irish folk music what the coffee house is to American folk music, what does that say about Ireland? From the White Horse Inn of Greenwich Village, where musicians mixed with politicians, writers and radicals, to the Bogside Inn of Derry, where music accompanied planning for revolution, how can we describe the musical culture of the Irish pub?, Jack Sheehan’s talk will be emotional rather than intellectual, a slightly shaggy wander in and out of various times, places and of course, pubs.

Jack Sheehan is a PhD candidate in the Department of History in the School of Histories and Humanities. His research focuses on the collection, collation and usage of folk music for political purposes by states, groups and individuals in the twentieth-century in Ireland, the UK and the USA. This project aims to illustrate the conflicts over the meaning and ownership of folk music between collectors, musicians, state organisations and audiences. He holds a B.A. in History, an M.Phil. in Creative Writing and a non-foundation scholarship from Trinity College Dublin. His writing has appeared most recently in The Baffler, Popula and The Cardiff Review.

Moonyoung Hong

What are the links between two performative spaces – theatre and the pub – and their significance in Irish history and culture? The talk will examine the political, literary and cultural implications of J. M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World (1907), Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars (1926) – both of which caused riots at the Abbey Theatre – as well as the works of other contemporary Irish playwrights who use the pub as their plays’ setting, to interrogate the (problematic) ideas of “Irishness” and “platiality” (Chaudhuri, 1997).

Moonyoung Hong is a PhD candidate in the School of English at Trinity College, Dublin. Her research explores the works of Tom Murphy from the perspective of everyday space. She is a recipient of the Ussher Fellowship and the Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship, and holds an Early Career Research residency in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute (2019-2021). She has published in The Yeats Journal of Korea, Trinity Postgraduate Review and Études Irlandaises (forthcoming).

Please indicate if you have any access requirements, such as ISL/English
interpreting, so that we can facilitate you in attending this event. Contact:

Room: Online webinar
Research Theme: Creative Arts Practice, Manuscript, Book and Print Culture
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Lectures and Seminars, Library, Public, Special events
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free but Registration Required

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