This lecture explores the origins and history of the Irish National Stud from 1900 to 2021, and this research is the first of its kind on this subject. Initially, the stud farm was a private enterprise owned by British businessman Colonel William Hall-Walker. In 1916, he generously donated his stud farms in Ireland and Great Britain to the British government to promote and develop horse breeding. However, when the Irish Free State was established in the early 1920s, the ownership of the Stud became contentious, with the Irish and the British governments laying claim. Moreover, it was over two decades before an agreement was finally reached. In the mid-1940s, the Irish National Stud was established in Ireland, and the British National Stud was established in England.

Through analysing predominantly primary sources supplemented by secondary material and using a qualitative and quantitative approach, this lecture explores the historical path of the Irish National Stud. Essentially, there are three-time frames to consider. Firstly, from 1900 to 1916. This traces the origins and development of the Stud under Hall-Walker’s guidance, secondly, from 1916 to 1944. During this period, the Irish and British governments were at loggerheads over the stud’s ownership, particularly its high-class bloodstock. This lecture briefly analyses the critical issues behind these circumstances.

The final section of the lecture, from 1944 to 2021, traces the development of the Stud under the sole control of the Irish government and the policies they implemented. Throughout this period, several controversies arose around policies at the stud and its volatile relationship with the Irish government. Policies and governance issues at the National Stud were questioned, with the Stud unable to compete equally with the private sector.   Moreover, this lecture will examine these issues and draw some conclusions.

Dr Declan Monaghan is from Tullamore in County Offaly. As a mature student and former construction worker, he completed the Leaving Certificate in Laois/Offaly Adult Education (VEC) in 2013. In 2016, he graduated with a first-class honours Bachelor of Arts in History at Maynooth University and a Taught Master’s degree in 2017. Declan was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (Irish history) at Maynooth in 2022. He has completed a six-month postdoctoral fellowship under Professor Tom O’Connor at the Art & Humanities Institute at Maynooth University. He also works as a graduate teaching assistant with the Department of History and, occasionally, with the Department of Adult Education at Maynooth.

This talk takes place on Wednesday 21 February @ 8pm in the Seven Oaks Hotel.
Admission is free and all are welcome.


Leave a Reply