Sack of Balbriggan Commemorative Seminar

The Sack of Balbriggan Commemorative Seminar, featuring six speakers giving a broad perspective on the events of September, 20 1920 and also including a new digital version of a video from 1992 of three eyewitness accounts of this tragic night, was recorded in the Bracken Court Hotel on Friday September 18, 2020.

The evolution of the Balbriggan & District Historical Society Sack of Balbriggan Commemorative Seminar is of historical note in itself. Originally planned as a major public event where we hoped to welcome an enthusiastic local and visiting audience, by August 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions it was clear that this wouldn’t be possible. We decided rather than cancel to go ahead and record the lectures and make them available via Youtube. There was one final twist as the date of the Seminar – September 19, 2020 – loomed and due to a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, particularly in Dublin, on Thursday 17th it became increasingly clear that no indoor gatherings would be possible from Saturday 19th. A frantic evening of phone calls and quick decisions from our Committee, and a very cooperative venue The Bracken Court, videographer Eric Campbell and our fantastic speakers ensured that the Seminar could go ahead a day earlier on Friday 18th. Please now enjoy the six talks giving a broad and varied perspective on the tragic events of September 20, 1920.

But first……..

Eyewitness Accounts of the Sack of Balbriggan

It is a particular honour for the present Committee to bring to you remastered in digital format on Youtube a Video made in 1992 by the Jim Walsh and Tom Coughlan from Balbriggan & District Historical Society where we interviewed local people about their experiences of the Sack of Balbriggan. The video features Michael Hammond, Mrs Kathleen McGillivary and Mrs Bridget Daly

Diarmaid Ferriter: The War of Independence in Ireland in 1920

Diarmaid Ferriter is one of Ireland’s best-known historians. A Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin, his main research interest is the social, political and cultural history of 20th century Ireland. He has written a number of books, including the critically acclaimed biography, Judging Dev, an insight into one of Ireland’s most influential leaders, Éamon de Valera. He also contributes widely on radio, television and to the print media.

Jim Walsh: The Sack of Balbriggan, September 1920

Born in 1948, Jim attended Balrothery N.S. and Skerries De La Salle College. He served as librarian with Dublin City and County Library Services from 1966 to 2010. He completed a thesis on printed sources relating to North County Dublin, and was awarded a fellowship of the Library Association of Ireland in 1979. He was a co-founder of our Society in July 1981. His passion for, and in-depth knowledge of, local history is legendary.

Jim Herlihy: The Black & Tans in context

Jim Herlihy is a retired member of An Garda Síochána and co-founder of the Garda Historical Society. He has written three books on the Royal Irish Constabulary, two books on the Dublin Metropolitan Police and one on the Irish Revenue Police.

Brendan Matthews: Balbriggan 1920,the Rise & Fall of a Thriving Community

Brendan Matthews is an independent historian, with his speciality focusing on community history research and all that it entails – settlement, transport, industry, health, education, justice, crime, etc., and the establishment, progression and/or decline of communities over periods of time.

Frank Whearity: Aspects of the life and times of Ellen Costello and her family in Clonard St., Balbriggan, in September 1920, now 100 years ago.

Frank Whearity is a local historian and member of Balbriggan & District Historical Society. He holds an M.A. in Local History from Maynooth University. Frank’s book Balbriggan a History in Maps 1655-1900 was published by Balbriggan & District Historical Society in 2016. 

Jim Glennon: The Sack: A family’s reflections

Jim Glennon is a former TD, Senator, and member of the British & Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body. A company director and chairman, he is currently Chairman of the Fingal Age Friendly Alliance. He is also a former Irish international rugby player and coach of Leinster Rugby