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Spies, Rebels and Informers 2.

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The post-conflict lives of Liam Tobin & Joe McGrath, the role of women in the intelligence war, and Ned Broy - the Spy from Rathangan.

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Spies Rebels and Informers 2 features presentations by Brian Hand, Liz Gillis and Seamus Cullen. Brian Hand’s presentation Once an Intelligence Officer always an Intelligence Officer examines the post conflict careers of Pre-Truce IRA Intelligence Officers - in particular those of Liam Tobin and Joe McGrath. In Women and the Intelligence War Lis Gillis takes a detailed look at the contribution of women to the intelligence war, challenging accounts which render women invisible, obscure their contributions and ignore the risks they took. Seamus Cullen’s presentation – Ned Broy – The Spy from Rathangan focuses on Broy’s role as an advisor to Collins when he was building up his intelligence unit and Broy’s work as a double agent.

Once an Intelligence Officer always an Intelligence Officer

In this presentation Brian Hand will examine the post conflict careers of Pre-Truce IRA Intelligence Officers - in particular those of Liam Tobin and Joe McGrath.

Brian Hand is an artist and Head of Department of Sculpture and expanded practice NCAD. Hand’s art practice is broadly concerned with creatively exploring and researching events, spaces, agents and ideas from the past. Hand has made many temporary public works and time-based installations often in site-responsive ways to connect with historical narratives. In the past, he believes, we can find alternative images that disrupt the naturalness of the present. Hand has worked on several long term projects around the famine, the suffragettes, hidden histories and the life of his grandfather Liam Tobin.

Women and the Intelligence War

The intelligence war - a central part of the IRA'S campaign during the War of Independence - yet the role women played has often been overlooked. Far too many accounts of the intelligence war render women invisible, obscuring their contributions and the risks they took; yet without them the intelligence war could not have succeeded

Liz Gillis is a historian and from the Liberties and is the Historian in Residence for Dublin South County Council for the Decade of Centenaries. She is the author of six books about the Irish Revolution including ‘Women of the Irish Revolution’ and ‘The Hales Brothers and the Irish Revolution’. Liz has worked as a researcher on numerous publications, television and radio documentaries covering the period and is the Researcher for the History Show on RTE Radio. In 2018 she was a recipient of the Lord Mayor’s Award for her contribution to history. She is also the co-organiser of the annual conference on the burning of the Custom House in May 1921.

Ned Broy:- The Spy from Rathangan

Ned Broy is arguably the most successful double agent in the history of Irish espionage. Engaged in assisting the independence struggle by providing intelligence from 1917, and by advocating particular approaches to counterintelligence, Broy’s work in this area was a significant factor in Michael Collins’s decision to adopt intelligence as a tool in the struggle for independence. The presentation will give a full evaluation of Broy’s role as an advisor to Collins when he was building up his intelligence unit and his expertise as a double agent.

Seamus Cullen is a historian based in North Kildare. He is the author of a number of publications including Kildare the Irish revolution, 1912-23 which is the Kildare volume of the Irish Revolution series. His various published history articles can be viewed on his website, www.seamuscullen.net

Registration - 9.40 - 10.00

Commences 10.00

Ends 1.00 pm


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Organizer Creative Rathangan Meitheal

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