Volume 20


Notes on Contributors

Cathal Billings is a lecturer in Modern Irish at University College, Dublin, where he is director of the de Bhaldraithe Centre for Irish Language Studies. He received his PhD from University College, Dublin in 2015 for a thesis entitled ‘The Irish Revival and Sport, 1884–1934’. His main research areas are the Irish Revival, sports’ history and translation.

Ken Fox is principal lecturer and school director of learning and teaching in the School of Creative Arts and Industries, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent. Ken teaches and researches representations of landscape and cityscape in cinema and television. His most recent publications include: ‘The Authenticity Paradox and the Western’, in Jane Lovell and Sam Hitchmough (eds), Authenticity in North America: Place, Tourism, Heritage, Culture and the Popular Imagination (2019); and ‘Paddy the Cope, Michael Powell and the Story of the Unmade Film’, The Donegal Annual: Journal of the Donegal Historical Society, no. 71, 2019.

Karina Holton was awarded a PhD from Dublin City University in 2015. Her thesis explored the evolution of Valentine Lawless, Lord Cloncurry (1773–1853), from late eighteenth-century radical to nineteenth-century liberal. She is the author of several books and articles on nineteenth-century Irish history. She works as a senior inspector in the Irish Department of Education and Skills.

Barry McCarron is a faculty fellow at Glucksman Ireland House, New York University. He earned his PhD in history from Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

Elizabeth Malcolm is an honorary professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne. She is the author, with Dianne Hall, of A New History of the Irish in Australia (2018). Her Famine orphan ancestor, Margaret Cooke, arrived in Sydney in November 1849 from Edenderry workhouse in County Offaly on board the William and Mary.

Kevin Molloy is principal librarian, Victorian and Australian Collections, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne. He completed his PhD degree at Trinity College, Dublin and researches and writes on international Irish print networks, book history and the nineteenth-century Irish-American novel. He is currently working at Monash University on a project dealing with post-war Irish migration.

Val Noone is an honorary fellow in the School of Philosophical and Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne. In 1995, he was the founding convenor of the Melbourne Irish Famine Commemoration committee and continued as chairman until the committee was wound up in 2019.

Ellen Orchard received an MA degree in poetry from Queen’s University, Belfast in 2019, following the completion of a BA in English at Trinity College, Dublin. Her master’s thesis explored the complex meaning of ‘family’ in the poetry of Sinéad Morrissey and Michael Longley, reading it biologically, sociologically, psychoanalytically and intertextually. She is currently working on a PhD proposal to continue her research in Irish poetry.

Rodney and Robin Sullivan are honorary research associate professors in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland, Brisbane.


Mary Ellen Rose MacGinley (Sr Rosa MacGinley PBVM)
Rodney and Robin Sullivan

From Depths of Despair to Temples of Enchantment: Berkeley Lennox 1828–57
Karina Holton

ABSTRACT: While the destiny of the eldest sons of aristocratic families was marked out from birth, their younger siblings and their respective offspring were often faced with challenges when endeavouring to find their place in the world. Unless they were fortunate enough to be educated for trade, to carve out a successful career in the army, or to marry well, they sometimes found themselves in reduced circumstances. This was the case with Berkeley Lennox, a young man whose familial connections were among the most influential in nineteenth century society in England and Ireland. A talented and clever individual, he was unfortunately without the financial means and the family support to exploit his talents. His story exemplifies the difficulties of being born into an aristocratic family, but being unable to capitalise on opportunities and connections to carve out a successful career. It serves also, to illustrate the lasting repercussions of a youthful indiscretion on a high-born young man’s life and career prospects.  

‘Can Irishmen not take a lesson from the Boer?’ The Gaelic League Ideal and the Boer War, 1899–1902
Cathal Billings

ABSTRACT: The Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902) was the biggest international news story of its day and was accompanied by a deluge of print and pictures such as was never seen before, assisted by developments in print and circulation. The recently established Irish-language journals, Fáinne an Lae and An Claidheamh Soluis, both associated with the Gaelic League, eagerly covered the war with weekly columns, editorials, sketches and letters on events in the Boer Republics. While their military stand against the empire was a source of particular inspiration to Irish nationalists, the Boers’ linguistic, cultural, and economic independence, as well as their pastoral way of life, provided a parallel context through which the Gaelic League could promote its own ideals.  Drawing on original newspaper sources, this article will examine how the Boer context was utilised by Irish writers as a medium through which to promote the Gaelic League’s cultural, economic and social ideals, before, during, and even after, the Boer War. It will also address the inconsistencies and moral concerns related to Irish nationalists’ idealisation of the Boers, which necessitated playing down, or even ignoring, major aspects of Boer national identity of the time that were not as exemplary. Finally, it will consider how the Boer context also left space for the growth of other ideologies that were in conflict with the Gaelic League’s non-political ideal and that had a profound and lasting effect on the organisation. 

Invisible Irish? Ulster Link and Northern Irish Post-War Migrant Networks in Australia
Kevin Molloy

ABSTRACT: This paper addresses the issue of the identification in post-war Australia of Ulster or Northern Irish migrants from the Protestant unionist tradition. Through a detailed examination of the journal Ulster Link (Melbourne, 1960-88), the official publication of the Ulster Society, the paper will determine what conclusions can be drawn about the Ulster Protestant cohort in terms of its ethnic identity, information culture, networking capacity, demographic profile, youth culture, and its general social and cultural presence within Australian society. Further, the paper will assess what evidence we find in Ulster Link for on-going Ulster Protestant migration, assistance to migrants and the fostering of ideas of home, political identity, separateness and Britishness. How successful the journal was in achieving its intended outcomes will also be explored. The conclusion will argue that Ulster Link acted as an important conduit for Ulster Protestants migrants, fostering networks for a determined proportion of new arrivals, while supporting contacts for established Ulster migrants, and generally maintaining a sense of Ulster identity in Australia during the post-war era. 

Reclaiming the Irish Border in Contemporary Cinema
Kenneth Fox

ABSTRACT: This article analyses the regimes of vision and proposes the functions served by the Irish border in contemporary cinema narratives as a way of reclaiming the border as a peopled landscape in cinematic space and place. Surprisingly, given the range of films covering the period of the Troubles in Northern Ireland there appears to be a dearth of analysis about the role of the Irish border. Among a range of film examples, the article focuses on the work of Shane Connaughton, screenwriter on My Left Foot (Sheridan, 1989), author/screenwriter of border films The Playboys (Mackinnon, 1992) and The Run of the Country (Yates, 1995) shot in the 1990s, before the Belfast Agreement (1998). Both films provide a rich representation of how the border impacts on the lives of those who exist on either side of the divide. Since the Belfast Agreement and the disappearance of border posts and army barracks across the region, movement has been transformed as have representations of crossing over. The article will argue that in Johnny Gogan’s post Agreement films, Mapmaker (2001) and Black Ice (2013) and Brian Deane’s short film, Volkswagen Joe (2013) the representations of the border’s liminal spaces embrace in-betweeness as a key element of borderlander identity, and in doing so, help to reclaim the border as a peopled landscape. 

O’Donnell Fellowship Essay 2018
‘Make it too hot for them to stop in the colony’: The Irish Stance on the Chinese Question in Australia, 1851–1901
Barry McCarron

ABSTRACT: There is a rich body of work on the history of the Irish in Australia. The same can be said for the Chinese. However, scholars have only scratched the surface in exploring the comparative experiences and contributions of both groups in Australia. Looking at a broad range of individuals such as miners, labourers, trade union leaders, politicians, diplomats, and merchants, and drawing on an array of primary sources including archival records, newspapers, and memoirs, this article examines the nature and significance of relations between Irish and Chinese people in Australia from the mid-nineteenth-century gold rushes to Federation in 1901. This article finds that the dominant pattern in relations between Irish and Chinese people was racial conflict, economic competition, and uneasy coexistence. Irish immigrants played a central role in the anti-Chinese movement in Australia to advance their socioeconomic mobility, maintain boundaries between themselves and Chinese immigrants, and project themselves into positions of power and influence. This restricted Chinese mobility, undermined Britain’s relations with China and colonial Australia, and helped lay the foundations for a White Australia Policy. Irish actions, attitudes, and perceptions towards the Chinese were not a monolith. A few Irish publicly denounced the anti-Chinese movement, a small number of Irish women married Chinese men, and there was coexistence and cordial relations between both groups. While the Chinese viewed some Irish as allies in their fight for a better life, they more commonly clashed with their Irish adversaries.

ISAANZ Postgraduate Essay Prize 2019
‘Canny Womb with a View’: Northern Irish Poetry and the Womb
Ellen Orchard

ABSTRACT: This essay surveys the recurrent portrayal of the womb in Northern Irish poetry, suggesting the ‘womb poem’ as a symbolic trope. It focuses on Derek Mahon’s ‘An Unborn Child’, Medbh McGuckian’s ‘The Unplayed Rosalind’, Michael Longley’s ‘The Freemartin’, Leontia Flynn’s ‘Poem for an Unborn Child’ and Paul Muldoon’s ‘The Sonogram’, discussing how these poets use the womb as metaphor for their own poetic parentage and for developing conceptions of selfhood, in exploring the complex coexistence of mother and child, creator and created. Also discussed and questioned is the notion of motherhood, read outside of a national context and the ‘Mother Ireland’ trope.

Research Notes
Forgetting and Remembering the Irish Famine Orphans: A Critical Survey
Val Noone and Elizabeth Malcolm

Book Reviews

Barry Houlihan (ed.), Navigating Ireland’s Theatre Archive: Theory, Practice, Performance
James Little

Shonagh Hill, Women and Embodied Mythmaking in Irish Theatre
Jeda De Brí

Marguérite Corporaal, Oona Frawley and Emily Mark-Fitzgerald (eds), The Great Irish Famine: Visual and Material Cultures
Maggie M. Williams

Niamh Ann Kelly, Imaging the Great Irish Famine: Representing Dispossession in Visual Culture
Katie Markham

Peter D. O’Neill, Famine Irish and the American Racial State
Patrick F. McDevitt

Mark S. Quintanilla, An Irishman’s Life on the Caribbean Island of St Vincent, 1787—90: The Letter Book of Attorney General Michael Keane
Jennifer McLaren

Bettina Bradbury, Caroline’s Dilemma: A Colonial Inheritance Saga
Elizabeth Malcolm

Brenda Niall, Josephine Dunin And Frances O’Neill, Newman College: A History, 1918–2018
Kevin Molloy

Elizabeth Malcolm and Dianne Hall, A New History of the Irish in Australia
Christopher Morash

Ciarán McCabe, Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland
Joe Curran

Cara Delay, Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
Sophie Cooper

David Fitzpatrick, The Americanisation of Ireland: Migration and Settlement, 1841–1925
Elizabeth Malcolm

Philip Bull, Monksgrange: Portrait of an Irish House and Family, 1769–1969
Ciarán Reilly

Louise Ryan and Margaret Ward (eds), Irish Women and Nationalism: Soldiers, New Women and Wicked Hags, new ed.
Susie Deedigan

John Dorney, The Civil War in Dublin: The Fight for the Irish Capital, 1922–1924
Charlie Francombe

Brendan Kelly, Hearing Voices: The History of Psychiatry in Ireland
Stuart Clancy

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