Skip to Content

Event Listings

Inaugural Lecture, Professor Fearghal McGarry

April 26, 2024
Canada Room and Council Chamber, Lanyon Building, Queen's University Belfast
17:00 - 18:00

Friends of Soviet Russia or ‘Satan’s dark agents’? Anti-communism as culture war in 1930s Ireland

This lecture examines Irish responses to modernity during the inter-war era when many across Europe identified a crisis of civilization in response to the emergence of new technologies, new forms of mass entertainment, and the rise of statist ideologies on the right and left. It asks why, despite lacking a significant communist presence, the Irish Free State witnessed the emergence of a popular anti-communist movement in the 1930s. It considers how both Irish ‘fellow travellers’, and their conservative religious critics, drew on Russia’s ‘great experiment’ to imagine Ireland’s future. This lecture will argue that popular anti-communism should be seen as a form of culture war which enabled influential Catholic networks to suppress secular modernising influences across Irish society, politics, and popular discourse.


Fearghal McGarry is a leading historian of modern Ireland. Much of his research focuses on the Irish Revolution and early decades of Irish independence. He is the author of The Abbey Rebels of 1916: A Lost Revolution (Gill, 2015) and The Rising. Ireland. Easter 1916 (Oxford University Press, 2010). His most recent (co-edited) publications are Ireland 1922: Independence, Partition and Civil War (Royal Irish Academy, 2022) and The Irish Revolution: A Global History (New York University Press, 2022).

Fearghal is interested in public history and historical memory, and has been involved in various commemorative projects during the Decade of Centenaries. He advised on the development of the GPO Witness History museum, and worked with the Ulster Museum in developing its Modern Irish and Troubles galleries. He is currently a member of the expert advisory panel for the National Museum of Ireland’s 20th century History of Ireland galleries. He has led research projects on the relationship between film and history and, most recently, on the impact of global forces on the Irish Revolution. He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2019.

Registration required via Eventbrite

Friday 26 April 2024, Lecture 5pm - 6pm, followed by a drinks reception.

The Canada Room and Council Chamber, Lanyon Building, Queen's University Belfast.

This event is hosted by the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen's University Belfast.


Image Credit:

Our Boys, 5 February 1925


School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
Add to calendar
Event Organiser Details
Name Lorna O'Connor