The Hist & Edmund Burke’s Club

By: Ross Hinds , Declan Budd

Publication Date: October 1997


The Hist & Edmund Burke’s Club by Declan Budd and Ross Hinds

The College Historical Society has been a microcosm of the politics of Ireland since the first discussions in Edmund Burke’s Club in 1747. As a student debating society it has always debated the burning issues of the day, sometimes being expelled from the College in consequence.

This anthology brings together writings on the Hist over a period of 250 years, which convey the essence of the Society – debate on great and small issues within a highly formal, even legalistic, set of procedures, and yet with a leavening of humour. The opinions expressed by the key figures in Irish Society in their time are reflected, both in youth and in maturity. The Bicentenary in 1970 saw one of the great occasions of the Society. Statesmen and politicians debated Burke’s philosophy, freedom and order, and Northern Ireland. Their speeches are still relevant.

Past members have contributed their memories of their own time in the Hist. And the records of the Society have been mined for material which illustrates its development. These include part of the minutes of Burke’s Club, the topics for debate over the years, and some Sub-committee reports, which tackle even very small issues with the full rigour of a Judicial Tribunal Report.

‘An admirable and varied anthology.’ – Frank Callanan, The Irish Times

‘This valuable history sheds a number of important sidelights on Irish history over more than two hundred years. The Hist, like Trinity itself, has often stood, during this period in a difficult and fraught relation with the rest of Ireland. But there is something in such a relationship that can stretch the mind and stimulate the talents. And in no case is this more evident than in that of Edmund Burke, Trinity’s most illustrious son, founder of ‘the Club’ and ancestor of the College Historical Society.’ – Conor Cruise O’Brien, President of the College Historical Society


DECLAN BUDD is a Vice-President and Honorary Member of the College Historical Society. He was Record Secretary and Silver Medallist for Oratory in 1967-68. A Foundation Scholar of Trinity College he graduated in history and law. He was called to the Bar in 1968, took silk in 1981, and was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 1991.

ROSS HINDS is an Honorary Member of the College Historical Society. He was Librarian in 1966-67. A graduate in physics of Trinity College he has been a teacher, a senior civil servant, a lecturer in computer science, Assistant Chief Executive with An Post and is currently Managing Director of IPC Technology SC, based in Brussels.



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Weight 1.5 kg
Dimensions 170 × 250 mm
Publication Date

October 1997


Hardback, 438pp

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