The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, has launched a partnership initiative from Mná 100 and Treaty Generation Descendants Group.
The recording of a roundtable discussion, which took place on 7 March 2023, brought together descendants of pro- and anti-treaty families to reflect on the political, economic and social outcomes and impacts of the civil war, and share their personal legacies. Minister Martin sincerely thanked the participants – Nora Owen, Richard Mulcahy, Emer Nowlan and Déirdre Brugha – for their generosity and honesty in sharing their perspectives and, at times, deeply personal and painful memories.
This roundtable discussion was chaired by Dr Sinéad McCoole and recorded for Mná100, in partnership with the Treaty Generation Descendants Group, on 7 March 2023, coinciding with the centenaries of some of the greatest atrocities of the Civil War in Spring 1923. It is part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023.
The participants generously opened up their family archives and described treasured photographs to help us understand the enormity of the impact and legacy of the Civil War on their own families and on people’s everyday lives across Ireland.
Minister Martin said, “this roundtable discussion, which brings together descendants from opposing sides of the Treaty, provides us with unique insights and perspectives to help us understand better the impact and legacy of our Civil War, particularly on women and families.”
“The generosity of descendants in sharing their personal archives and family ephemera and stories gives us a more nuanced understanding of the lasting effects of the conflict, specifically as it affected these families who were central to those events. This roundtable was a historical and also a deeply personal event – a conversation with the grandchildren and great grandchildren of those who shaped our history. It is another example of the now considerable body of material collected, preserved, archived and made freely accessible to the public, in this Decade of Centenaries which will, I know, offer an invaluable resource to historians and researchers of this period in the future.”
This roundtable discussion reflects on the personal circumstances of key families involved… loss of life, loss of home and stability, imprisonment, hunger-strike, interrupted childhoods. The participants discuss how these experiences were remembered in the decades that followed.
Cathal Brugha MacSwiney of the Treaty Generation Descendants Group added, “our intention is simple: to tell our families’ stories that speak to our shared humanity and not our differences; to recollect and reflect on our difficult history so that our people – north, south, east and west – can reconcile, and inspire future generations.”
To view the roundtable discussion and the accompanying context pieces and additional archive material supplied by other family members, please visit Mná100.ie.