1 April 2022 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

A new book by a leading historian from Co. Monaghan on the history of the Big House in Ireland during the time of the Great War and the Irish Revolution has been launched in Dublin by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, a native of Carrickmacross. It coincided with the opening of an exhibition on ‘Burning the Big House: The Story of the Irish Country House in Revolution, 1920-1923’, curated by Professor Terence Dooley, Director of the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates at Maynooth University, with support from Minister Martin’s Department. The exhibition and book are the culmination of years of research work by Professor Dooley. It introduces a new perspective to the Decade of Centenaries Programme – the experiences of the Irish aristocracy or former landed elite who found themselves caught up in the War of Independence and the Civil War.

Seen through the prism of the burning of country houses, more generally referred to in Ireland as the Big Houses, the exhibition presents the stories of a broad sample of these Big Houses from across the country, including a number from Co. Monaghan. The exhibition will be showcased in the Irish Architectural Archive in Dublin until 27th April, when it will relocate to Maynooth University. Minister Martin said: “The burning of the Big Houses is one of the rarely discussed aspects of the Irish revolutionary period. As Minister with responsibility for leading the Decade of Centenaries Programme, my aim has been to support interesting and imaginative opportunities to encourage all of us to explore our shared history, in all of its complexity, in a respectful and supportive environment.”

“This exhibition by Professor Dooley is the culmination of years of research into the destruction of our Big Houses. The exhibition, the accompanying lecture series, and Professor Dooley’s new publication will provide invaluable supports to everyone interested in gaining a greater understanding and new insights into this period in our history, grounded in the factual evidence and primary sources. I commend Professor Dooley and…

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