Public talk, University of the Third Age

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


Zoom Online Talk: Communism, Sex and all that Jazz - Popular Anxieties in 1930s Ireland

In August 1933, Jimmy Gralton became the first, and last, Irishman to be deported from Ireland. Condemned by local priests as a communist whose Leitrim dancehall had become a den of prostitution, Gralton's fate illustrates the deep anxieties provoked in 1930s Ireland by communism, jazz and sexual immorality. Why did these emblems of inter-war modernity cause so much alarm in a remote corner of Ireland's most rural county? Gralton's story illustrates the success of conservative and religious organisations in stifling modern impulses in independent Ireland. This talk asks what such moral panics, and how we remember them, tell us about the Ireland of then and now.
Period14 May 2020
Held atU3A: the Bray heads, Ireland