A NEW exhibition focusing on the anniversaries of two of the bloodiest years in Ireland’s history has opened at the Linen Hall Library. 

Years of Chaos & Hope is curated by Melissa Baird, a PhD researcher at Queen’s University, and focuses on the years 1922 – marked the ‘‘deadliest year of the Twenties’ conflict’’ – and 1972 which was the ‘‘deadliest year of the recent Troubles".

On the 50th and 100th anniversaries of both years, curator of the exhibition, Melissa Baird, told us what we can expect from the exhibition. 


‘‘The exhibition will include a range of artefacts on display from the Linen Hall archives and one on loan from the Fermanagh county museum.’’

‘‘There will be a range of archived posters from 1972, photos from 1922, letters from Northern republicans and a variety of things sent out by the army, Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA in 1972 about the escalating tension and attempts at community relations as well as anti-internment and anti-special powers act material.’’

Funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the exhibition launched on Monday with a keynote lecture by Dr Eamon Phoenix and will be on display at the Linen Hall Library Vertical Gallery until the 31st of August. 


A variety of events will also take place alongside the exhibition including lectures, panel discussions and curator tours which will focus on the troubled times those living had to endure.

‘The Trouble Twenties’ panel discussion will be held by historians examining issues such as ‘‘civil unrest, reprisals, internment, and the border’’ with a focus on the chaos of 1922, taking place on Monday 8 August 1pm. Free by RSVP.

A Tour of the ‘Years of Chaos and Hope’ will be guided by the curator Melissa Baird providing a further insight into the years 1922 and 1972. Wednesday 10 August 1pm and Wednesday 31 August 1pm. Free by RSVP.


‘POP goes Northern Ireland’ will display live footage from 1972 and comedian Tim McGarry and commentator Malachi O’Doherty will reflect on the violence which marked the deadliest year of the Troubles. Monday 15 August 7pm. Cost of £5 per person. RSVP here.

‘Arrests and Internment in the 1970s’ panel discussion will involve a group of ex-prisoners sharing their stories and experiences from the Troubles and the aspirations they have for the future. Wednesday 17 August 1pm. Free by RSVP.

‘Years of Hope’ panel discussion will include a group of young activists discussing present-day issues and their ‘‘hopes for life in 2072.’’ Monday 22 August 1pm. Free by RSVP.