Aubane Historical Society

The Aubane Historical Society (AHS) is a historical society of amateur historians based in Millstreet, County Cork in Ireland, focusing on local history and the Irish revolutionary period. Brendan Clifford and Jack Lane, members of both the AHS and British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), grew up in the Aubane area of north Cork. The AHS has published numerous pamphlets on local history matters, often in relation to the Home Rule politician William O'Brien, the novelist Canon Patrick Sheehan, and the local poet Ned Buckley. According to Jack Lane, the AHS was originally intended to be a local history organisation, but later expanded into the role of opposing the "revisionist" movement in Irish history.[1] The Society has been highly critical of Peter Hart, whom it accuses of falsifying interview material,[2] with denunciations of Roy Foster, Brian Hanley, Paul Bew, and Henry Patterson. The AHS regularly attacks Hubert Butler (whom it accuses of being a quasi-racist defender of Protestant Ascendancy) and Elizabeth Bowen, whom it claims acted as a British spy in Ireland during the Second World War and hence lacking any Irish identity.[3] AHS has worked with some writers who might be seen as representing a more traditional republican perspective, including Desmond Fennell, Brian P. Murphy osb, Eoin Neeson and Meda Ryan.[4]

AHS has also denied that the killing of two young Cooneyite Protestant farmers at Coolacrease, Co. Offaly in 1921 was sectarian (it claims[5] they were properly executed for attacking the forces of the legitimate, democratically elected (Dáil) government). It has been associated with commentators and the Roger Casement Foundation who argue that the diaries ascribed to Roger Casement were forged by British Intelligence while arguing that Casement's published opposition to England and participation in the First World War was a correct position for Irish people to take.

It often presents itself in populist terms as a group of amateurs speaking for the plain people of Ireland as against academic historians, whom it presents as elitist snobs with sinister political agendas.[5][6]

The AHS's interpretation of Irish history has been criticised by some Irish academics.[7][8]


  • Regan, J. M. (25 January 2012). "The 'Bandon Valley Massacre' as a historical problem" (PDF). History. 97 (325): 70–98, esp p.77. doi:10.1111/j.1468-229X.2011.00542.x. Retrieved 2 February 2017.[dead link]


  1. ^ "BICO Is Dead—Long Live BICO!" by Jack Lane, A Review of What? Irish Political Review, Jan. 2009, pp. 36–37 Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ An Phoblacht "Hart Trouble Diagnosed" Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Review of the AHS' book Troubled History,which is critical of Hart
  3. ^ For the AHS' criticism of Bowen, see "The Dubliner:The Life Times & Works of James Clarence Mangan", Clifford 1988, "A North Cork Anthology" by Jack Lane, 1993, and "Notes on Eire" by Clifford & Lane 2008.
  4. ^ See, for instance, Myths From Easter 1916 by Eoin Neeson (AHS, 2007), and About Behaving Normally in Abnormal Circumstances by Desmond Fennell (Athol Books, 2007).
  5. ^ a b Coolacrease: The True Story of the Pearson Executions edited by Philip O'Connor, AHS, 2008.
  6. ^ Coolacrease Book has Numerous Axes to Grind Archived 22 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Sunday Business Post."Dublin Review of Books | Getting Them Out - Southern Loyalists in the War of Independence - Tom Wall". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2009. Spring 2009. Dublin Review of Books published a response by two of the book's authors in Autumn 2009. [1] Archived 1 August 2012 at
  7. ^ See, for instance, Jeffrey Dudgeon, "He Could Tell You Things", Dublin Review of Books, "> He Could Tell You Things". Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2009. and W.J McCormack's article "Harnessing the Fire" in Books Ireland, Dec. 2004, both critical of the AHS' position on the Casement Diaries.
  8. ^ Anthony Coughlan reviews the AHS' book James Connolly Re-Assessed. Archived 4 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Irish Democrat

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