Our August talk “The General Election of 1918 in North Dublin” was presented by Íde Ní Liathain on Wednesday August 29th in the Town Hall Balbriggan at 8pm. The talk looked at events leading up to the general election in December 1918, which changed Ireland forever. Íde examined how these events played out in Fingal. She also looked at the two men, John J Clancy and Frank Lawless, who opposed each other on election day: one representing the past & the other the future.
Íde, who joined the Committee of Balbriggan and District Historical Society this year, studied history in Maynooth University and has a Masters in Local History. She has worked for many years with Fingal Libraries and is now based in our local Balbriggan branch. We would like to congratulate Íde on her first talk which was a brilliantly researched and interesting talk. Íde traced the rise of Sinn Féin and the demise of the Parliamentary party as well as giving us a detailed introduction to the two candidates John J Clancy and Frank Lawless and also other 1918 events like Lá na nGael and the Spanish flu. She also used witness statements and contemporary newspaper coverage to describe anti- conscription rallies and meetings happening in Balbriggan in 1918 and the involvement of Balbriggan people like Jack Gaynor and others.