Locals take a look back at Wexford life before 1916 at annual lecture
THe annual George Hadden Memorial Lecture is always a popular event in the Festival calendar and this year, almost 100 guests were given a glimpse into Wexford life prior to 1916.
Renowned Historian Catriona Crowe presented this year's lecture which focused on socioeconomic conditions in the county in the years prior to the Easter Rising. Catriona is known by many as the Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland and Manager of the Irish Census Online Project. She began her latest lecture by looking at the effects than the Lockout had on Wexford before she dipped into subjects such as Richard Corish, trade-unionism and the role of the Redmond family in the Wexford society.
'She stressed how influential they were,' said Jarlath Glynn, Chairperson of the Wexford Historical Society. 'Their memory was still very strong in Wexford coming up to the Rising.'
At the core of Catriona's lecture was a microlook into life on Keyser's Lane, which proved extremely interesting for all in attendance. By profiling the residents of ten houses that once stood on the street, she was able to depict what life would have been like in Wexford at that time.
'One of the interesting figures was the child mortality rate which was higher than anywhere else in the country,' explained Jarlath.
In contrast, Catriona spoke about the Esmonde family who resided in the magnificent Ballinastraw House before it was burned down in 1923. She shared images of the inside of the house, which Jarlath described as 'magnificent'.
'It was really interesting to see how the other half lived,' he added.
The George Hadden Memorial Lecture is an annual tradition that honours the founder of The Wexford Historical Society, George Hadden. According to Jarlath, it has been running for over 20 years and continues to be a great success.