Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Upcoming Lecture on 23 /02/24 : Irish Women's Experiences in the Great War and its Aftermath by Dr Fionnuala Walsh

"Life will never be the same again": Irish women's experiences in the Great War and its aftermath by Dr Fionnuala Walsh

Date: Friday, February 23rd 

Time:  8 pm

Venue: St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford (Eircode X91 YX61)

(left) Irish War Savings Committee, Poster No. 3 (source: Imperial War Museum Art.IWM PST 13602)

(right) Hely's Limited, Litho, 1915, unkown artist (source: Library of Congress,

In this lecture Fionnuala will explore the impact of the Great War on ordinary women's lives in Ireland.

With over 200,000 Irish men serving in the wartime British Army, the war's effects were inevitably felt at home. Drawing on extensive primary research, this lecture explores life on the home front for women.

The war caused an increase in the cost of living and women in Ireland struggled to cope with rising inflation and food shortages. The mobilisation of men for the armed forces brought distress and anxiety for those waiting at home and too many received the telegram with devastating news as the war waged on. Women were keen to do their bit in Ireland as elsewhere and thousands of Irish women participated in war effort activities at home or close to the front in the Red Cross and Irish War Hospital Supply Depot. Some also joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and Women’s Royal Naval Service. The establishment of munitions factories in Ireland, including one in Waterford, provided new opportunities for women’s employment. Many of the war’s effects on women’s role in society were short-lived and the paper briefly explores women’s lives in the aftermath of Armistice and demobilisation. There will be some local case studies of Waterford women included highlighting the commonalities of wartime Waterford with the wider national experience.

Dr Fionnuala Walsh is Assistant Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin.

 She completed her PhD and Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship in Trinity College Dublin. Her first book, Irish women and the Great War was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. It won the National University of Ireland Publication Prize in Irish History in 2021 and was shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize. She has published extensively on the social history of Ireland’s experience during the First World War and its aftermath.

Dr Walsh served as secretary of the Women’s History Association of Ireland from 2020 to 2023.

********************* FORTHCOMING LECTURES ********************** 

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society’s 2023 – 2024 lecture series continues in  February and March in St Patrick’s Gateway Centre: 

22/03/2024 Dr Shane Browne will deliver a talk titled "Playing at war"?: The Waterford National  Volunteers, 1914-17. 

26/04/2024 Prof. Terence Dooley will deliver a talk titled The Irish Land Commission and its  archives: why they should be opened to the research public 

********************* ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING ********************** 

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society’s AGM will be held in St Patrick’s Gateway  Centre at 8pm on April 12th, 2024

The committee would like to encourage any memberswho are interested in joining the committee to  contact any of the current committee members. 

The on-going success of the Society depends on  enthusiastic members volunteering a small amount of time each month.

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