Event: League of Nations exhibition and publication to mark the end of the Decade of Centenaries
23.09.06 Stories from the archives
Exhibition, presented in Dublin, Geneva, and the UN in New York, will mark 100 years since Ireland joined the League of Nations, heralding its arrival on the Global Stage
The League of Nations was the first worldwide state-level political organisation, created in the aftermath of the First World War. Ireland joined the League on 10 September 1923, and did so to emphasise that it was a sovereign state and an autonomous actor in world affairs. League membership was an essential part of independent Ireland’s first steps on the international stage.
Marking the centenary of Ireland’s membership of the League of Nations, the National Archives, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Irish Academy, has created an exhibition featuring records from its collections relating to Ireland’s membership of the League. The records, which have never been on public display before, feature official documents, photographs, recollections, letters and ephemera, and chart the exciting early adventures of the new State as it began to forge an international position for itself.
From its earliest years in the League of Nations, Ireland advocated a peaceful world order and the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means. These were the key goals of the League and Ireland knew that, as a small state which lacked great military and economic power, membership of a group of like-minded states such that the young League of Nations offered, was its best chance of surviving, and thriving, on the world stage.
The exhibition, On an equal footing with all, Ireland at the League of Nations 1923-1946, will be presented at both the Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska and the Dublin Festival of History before travelling to the UN in Geneva and New York.
This exhibition is presented as part of the Government of Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries’ 2012-2023 National Programme by the National Archives, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Irish Academy.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the launch of the Book, On an Equal Footing with All, Ireland at the League of Nations 1923-1946 a programme of panel discussions and curated talks to encourage historical enquiry and the understanding of the impact and legacy of the events that helped shape the State.
United Nations Building Geneva
Palais des Nation, 10 Geneva Dr 12533
26 September – 6 October 2023
Ploughing Championships, Ratheniska, Co. Laois
19 – 21 September 2023
Culture Night, National Archives Foyer
Dublin Festival of History
Print Works, Dublin Castle
29 September – 1 October 2023
United Nations Headquarters, New York
405, Lexington Avenue, 10174 New York
20 November -1 December 2023
An international gift that was never presented – The Geneva Window.
Saturday 30 September, 1pm
Dublin Festival of History, Printworks, Poddle Room
The Cosgrave administration officially asked renowned stained glass artist Harry Clarke to design a window as Ireland’s present to the International Labour Office building in Geneva in 1927. The window was finished before Clarke passed away in January 1931, but it was never displayed.
Join Dr. John Gibney and Dr. Roisin Kennedy in discussion with Aoife Bhreathach to learn about the work of Harry Clarke, the commissioning of the window and how the censorship of literature impacted on the visual content and the attitudes of the people who commissioned the windows creation.
On an Equal Footing with All, Ireland at the League of Nations 1923-1946
Tuesday 3 October, 7pm
Royal Irish Academy
Chaired by Rory Montgomery, Former Diplomat, a panel discussion with historians Dr. Michael Kennedy and Dr. John Gibney, Royal Irish Academy, on Ireland’s entry to the League of Nations, its presence in Geneva from its early beginnings to the final years leading up to the League’s dissolution in 1946.