Bertram Windle: The Honan Bequest and the Modernisation of University College Cork, 1904-1919

Overview

Windle was a privileged participant in Irish public affairs with friends in the British Government, Dublin Castle, the Irish Parliamentary Party, the Gaelic League and the Catholic Church. The son of a Church of Ireland rector, he studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin. A convert to Catholicism in the early 1880s, he became a Professor of Anatomy in Birmingham, helping to found Birmingham University. He took up his post as President of Queen’s College Cork in 1904, transforming the university during the ...

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Overview

Windle was a privileged participant in Irish public affairs with friends in the British Government, Dublin Castle, the Irish Parliamentary Party, the Gaelic League and the Catholic Church. The son of a Church of Ireland rector, he studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin. A convert to Catholicism in the early 1880s, he became a Professor of Anatomy in Birmingham, helping to found Birmingham University. He took up his post as President of Queen’s College Cork in 1904, transforming the university during the following decade and a half into a modern institution with an enhanced curriculum, more staff, a growing student body and new buildings and facilities. He was responsible for the building of the Honan Hostel and Honan chapel.

Windle viewed with great concern the rise of radical nationalism and the growth of Sinn Féin. He was a strong supporter of the British government’s participation in World War 1, a critic of the 1916 rising, and a member of the Irish Convention which sought to resolve the "Irish question" in 1917/1918. Windle had no sympathy for the new radical nationalist coalition which contested the general election of 1918. In the context of the decline of the Irish Parliamentary Party and the rise of Sinn Féin led by Eamon de Valera, he launched his second unsuccessful bid to establish an autonomous university of Munster. Thwarted by a combination of nationalist intransigence and the weakness of the British government, he left Ireland for Canada in 1919 thoroughly disillusioned by the politics of UCC, the Irish Catholic Church and the emerging independent Irish state.

Students of Irish history, politics, culture, society and education will find the work of interest together with those who wish to see Windle in his role as a scientist and commentator on evolution and on religious matters. Windle, given his background and formation, provides a unique view of Irish politics, history and education. The work is all the more important because of the richness primary sources on which it is based.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Drawing extensively on the extraordinarily candid papers of Sir Betram Windle, the renowned president who presided over the transformation of Queen's College into University College Cork after 1908, Ann Keogh and Professor Keogh sketch not only a memorable portrait of a remarkable personality, but illuminate the world of the university and of the rising Catholic middle classes in a manner that enriches understanding of the social and cultural inheritance of the Irish state."

"Ann Keogh and Professor Keogh draw on extensive archival material to explain how Sir Bertram Windle laid the foundations for the modernisation of University College Cork. In doing so they show the relationship between university and national politics, and the way in which both contributed, in the end, to the professional and private tragedy of a great academic administrator."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859184738
  • Publisher: Cork University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dermot Keogh is Professor of History at University College Cork, Jean Monet Emeritus Professor, a member of the Royal Irish Academy and is the author of Jack Lynch: A Biography (2008).

Ann Keogh is a specialist in the history of religious art and architecture in twentieth century Ireland.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction 1

1 The Early Years, 1858-1904 11

2 The 'University of Munster' and the Founding of the National University of Ireland 36

3 The Modernisation of QCC/UCC, 1905-1913 58

4 The Catholic Church and the Honan Bequest 111

5 Radical Politics, the First World War and the 1916 Rising 140

6 The Rise of Sinn Féin and the Irish Convention 172

7 The Conscription Crisis and the 'German Plot' 202

8 The University of Munster - Windle's Last Hurrah 226

9 'Years of Harvesting': Canada, 1920-1929 257

Notes and References 285

Bibliography 329

Index 343

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