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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

One hell of a launch tonight

Irish Academic Press will be holding a reception this evening (see below) to celebrate the launch of two books under its new history imprint: Merrion. The books are:

Returning Home: Irish Ex-Servicemen after the Second World War, by Bernard Kelly.
Guest Speaker: Geoffrey Metcalfe MBE, veteran of WW2

The story of the estimated 12,000 Irish veterans who returned to Ireland after WW2 ended has been largely overlooked. They came back to a country where jobs were scarce, commemoration was a divisive issue, and the public had little understanding of the veteran's experiences. Even worse, an estimated 5,000 deserters from the Irish army faced potentially severe punishment when they returned home. Based on interviews with surviving veterans and drawing on a wide array of archival sources, Returning Home explores how Irish ex-servicemen coped with the difficult task of re-integration into Irish civilian society. The book details their impact on government policy, their economic difficulties, struggles with psychological problems, the vexed issue of Remembrance, and the treatment of deserters from the Irish forces.

Blasphemers & Blackguards: The Irish Hellfire Clubs, by David Ryan.
Guest Speaker: Patrick F Wallace, former director of the National Museum.

Prostitutes, pimps, cutpurses, murderers, and bawdy houses...What were the hellfire clubs of 18th-century Ireland? Were they really elite groups who engaged in obscene orgies, devil worship, and the ritual murder of servants? These questions have intrigued virtually everyone who has visited the supposed hellfire club meeting place in the Dublin Mountains, or heard the lurid stories that are associated with it. Cutting through this veil of myth and legend, Blasphemers & Blackguards: The Irish Hellfire Clubs reveals the truth about these mysterious societies. The book uncovers striking new information about the outrageous activities of these clubs – provocative blasphemy, taboo sexual activities, atrocities (most shockingly, the ritualistic murder of a servant), and the clubs' habit of toasting the devil.

Reception details
Venue: The Oak Room (Side Entrance), Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2.
Time: 6:30—8:30pm.
Refreshments will be served at the reception and everyone is welcome.
If possible, email Lisa Hyde to let her know you'll be attending.