University Events

Archive Items

1916 memories, commemoration and absences

Professor Mary E Daly, University College Dublin

Date/Time: 19th May 2016

The 1916 Rising is the most important single event in the formation of 20th-century Ireland; it was an event of international significance – a direct challenge to Britain and its Empire.

In the past the tendency of Irish historians to view 1916 in narrowly national terms, has resulted in a failure to examine some of the wider dimensions. So while the involvement of Irish America has long been acknowledged, the role played by the Irish in Britain has been neglected.

The Rising also needs to be understood in the context of the Great War and its aftermath. In Ireland, the legacy of 1916 has been complicated by partition and the civil war of the early 1920s, and by the conflict in Northern Ireland post-1969.

Speaker biography

Prof Mary E. Daly is President of the Royal Irish Academy, the first woman President in the Academy’s 229-year history, and emeritus professor of history at University College Dublin where she served for seven years as Principal of UCD College of Arts and Celtic Studies.

Professor Daly is one of Ireland’s most prominent senior historians and is a member of the government’s Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations. She has also held visiting positions at Harvard University and Boston College. She has served on the National Archives Advisory Council, the Higher Education Authority, and the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

Professor Daly was involved in the commemoration of the sesquicentenary of the great famine 1995-97, and with Dr. Margaret O’Callaghan, directed a research project on the Golden Jubilee of the 1916 Rising, resulting in the publication of a major edited work: 1916 in 1966: Commemorating the Easter Rising (2007).

Over the course of her distinguished career, Professor Daly has researched widely and published prolifically, notably: 

  • Dublin, the Deposed Capital: A Social and Economic History, 1860-1914 (1984)
  • Women and Work in Ireland (1997)
  • The Slow Failure: Population Decline and Independent Ireland, 1920-1973 (2006)

And, with Theo Hoppen, Gladstone: Ireland and Beyond (2011). Sixties Ireland: reshaping the economy, state and society, 1957-1973, was published by Cambridge University Press in March 2016.