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Galway City Museum’s programme of events caters for a variety of audiences and interests, comprising gallery tours, illustrated talks, art and craft workshops, art classes and lectures. Enjoy our current series of online workshops here!

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SEMINAR: Military Courts of Inquiry in Galway, 1920–21. Lessons for Today

May 11 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm UTC+0

[Fr Griffin. Military Court of Inquiry]

During the War of Independence, under the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act of 1920, Coroner’s Inquests were largely abolished and replaced by Military Courts of Inquiry. The presiding officers did not have to have a medical or legal qualification. They were all military personnel. The rules of evidence were relaxed and the public and press could be refused entry. The end-result was that a lot of ‘suspicious deaths’ went without proper scrutiny.

In Galway, in November 1920 alone, Military Courts were held to inquire into the killings of Fr Michael Griffin, Eileen Quinn and the Loughnane brothers, Patrick and Harry.

To explore the workings of these Military Courts, how they distorted the truth, and their relevance in today’s world, join us at Galway City Museum on Saturday 11 May at 1.30pm.

This seminar brings together two clinical research projects at the Law School of the University of Galway – one looking at how the Military Courts operated in Galway and one looking at contemporary international standards on how such bodies should function today (e.g., in Palestine).

This event is free of charge but, as places are limited, advance booking is strongly advised. For further information or to make a booking, please contact the Museum at (091) 532460 or

Suitable for adults and young people aged 16+




Eithne Verling

Director, Galway City Museum

Brendan McGowan
Education Officer, Galway City Museum


Mr Justice John McMenamin
Supreme Court of Ireland (retired)


Military Courts of Inquiry – What they Were, How they Functioned

Prof (emeritus) Gerard Quinn
School of Law, University of Galway


Some Examples of Military Courts of Inquiry from the Galway Region in 1920

Sarah Grunenberg
Final Year LLB student & clinical project on Military Courts, University of Galway


Lessons from the Past for the Present:
What international standards exist to govern how investigations are conducted into ‘suspicious deaths’

Ellen Given
Final Year BCL student & clinical project on Military Courts, University of Galway



Pat O’Connor
Solicitor & County Coroner (Mayo)

Q&A and Close


May 11
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm UTC+0
Event Category:


Galway City Museum
(091) 532 460
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Galway City Museum
Galway City Museum
Spanish Parade, Galway H91 CX5P Ireland
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(091) 532460
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