Since 2012 the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs have hosted a series of commemorative lectures, with the purpose of recalling significant events in Irish history. Known as the Iveagh House Lectures, these talks have examined topics as diverse as Irish Unionism, John F. Kennedy and The Christmas Truce of 1914. Speakers have included UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, former President of Ireland Professor Mary McAleese and former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major. On 9th June last the latest in the series, on the topic of ‘Ireland, the Irish and Civil War America’ was delivered at Iveagh House (HQ of the Department of Foreign Affairs and former home of the Guinness family) by Professor Patrick Griffin of the Department of History, University of Notre Dame. Among those in attendance were Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr. Charlie Flanagan T.D., United States Ambassador to Ireland Mr. Kevin O’Malley, and the Papal Nuncio. Official responses to the lecture were delivered by Dr. David Gleeson, Professor of American History at Northumbria University, and our own Damian Shiels, who has spent a number of years examining the Irish experience of the American Civil War. You can read a bit more about the event here and more details about the evening will shortly be available on the Department of Foreign Affairs website. It was a privilege for Damian to be involved in what was a very special evening, marking the 150th anniversary of the conclusion of the American Civil War. Here’s hoping it marks the beginning of a growing interest in Ireland of the experience of these 19th century emigrants!