Tuesday 8th December, 2020 at 6:30pm (AEDT) on Zoom
Prof Jeff Kildea
November 11 – that other dismissal: the expulsion of Hugh Mahon from the Australian parliament in 1920
November 11 is a date that resonates in Australian history: on that day in 1880 Ned Kelly was hung, in 1918 it saw the armistice that brought an end to the fighting on the Western Front, and in 1975 the governor-general, Sir John Kerr, dismissed the prime minister, Gough Whitlam. But more than a half century before Kerr’s coup, November 11 was associated with another dismissal, one not so well known, but one which mired the nation in deep political controversy. For, on that day in 1920, another prime minister, Billy Hughes, successfully moved a motion for the expulsion from parliament of the Labor member for Kalgoorlie, the Irish-born Hugh Mahon for his criticism of British rule in Ireland. In this talk Jeff Kildea, whose biography of Mahon has recently been published by Anchor Books Australia, will discuss how that dismissal came about and how the echoes of the controversy continue to be heard down to the present.
Dr Jeff Kildea is an adjunct professor in Irish Studies at the University of New South Wales. In 2014 he held the Keith Cameron Chair of Australian History at University College Dublin. He is the author of Hugh Mahon: Patriot, Pressman, Politician Vol 1 1857-1901 (2017) and Vol 2 (2020). He is also the author of Tearing the Fabric: Sectarianism in Australia 1910-1925 (2002); Anzacs and Ireland (2007); Wartime Australians: Billy Hughes (2008), and co-author of To foster an Irish spirit: The Irish National Association of Australasia 1915-2015 (2020).
The seminar will start at 6:30pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Melbourne); 8.30pm New Zealand Daylight Time (Wellington); 7:30am Greenwich Mean Time (Dublin)