Book Review: Ireland and the Czech Lands

Growing up in Waterford city on the same street as the Kilbarry site of Waterford Crystal’s factory and visitors centre, I was only ever vaguely aware of the names of Karel Bacik and Miroslav Havel, the two men who were granted permission by Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) to begin again the business of glassmaking and glassblowing in Waterford after both men’s livelihoods were taken from them following the Communist liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1948.

Continue reading “Book Review: Ireland and the Czech Lands”

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Book Review: An Uncanny Era

vaclav-havel
Václav Havel.

In Prague there are many, many bookstores. Fortunately, there are plenty of books in English to be had in most of them and among the books related to Czech topics which I own, some come from not just one or other of the several specialist English language bookshops but from the wide array of different bookshops. One of the books which I bought most recently is an edited volume entitled An Uncanny Era: Conversations Between Václav Havel and Adam Michnik. I bought the book in the Charles University bookshop, which has books in a wide variety of languages and is well worth visiting. The book has been published by Yale University Press and is edited, translated, and introduced by Elzbieta Matynia. Continue reading “Book Review: An Uncanny Era”

No One Can Insult Our Flag: Investigating an Incident in the War of Independence in Waterford

Having recently researched some of the history around First World War commemoration in Waterford in the interwar period, I was struck by one incident in particular: the events which took place on Armistice Day in 1920 in Dungarvan at the height of the war of independence. Dungarvan, in the west of County Waterford, was in that part of Waterford that saw the greatest amount of agitation from the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Unlike in East Waterford, which included the city, Dungarvan and the surrounding area was by comparison a hot bed of raids on RIC barracks and skirmishes with the RIC. Intrigued by the incident which took place in the town of Dungarvan on 11 November 1920, I wanted to investigate further. Continue reading “No One Can Insult Our Flag: Investigating an Incident in the War of Independence in Waterford”