Category: Previous Lectures

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A reluctant guest of His Majesty Some student days of Prof. Pat Larkin at UCG – 1920. Once “detained at his majesty’s pleasure”, Professor Pat Larkin B.A., was the second holder of the Chair of Education at University College Galway (1925-67) and College Bursar (1946-65). Much research will be needed in order to do justice to his very considerable and lengthy contribution to the development of that department. His appointment as Professor was particularly welcomed by the students in 1925. The U.C.G. Annual of 1925/6, a publication of the Literary and Debating Society, wrote of him in its chronicle: ‘Remembering the active part which, as a student, he took in College affairs, we cordially congratulate him, and wish him every success in his new sphere of activity’. Alone in what was even then a complex Department, he built well on the foundation laid by Prof. Ó Ceallaigh before him. His contribution was essential in the success of the new Degree courses for… Read the rest
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Angels and Angel Makers – A history of Child Protection. Rhonda Willis was the last ‘Angel Maker’ to be hung in Britain in 1907. 129 years earlier in 1778, the King of Sweden decreed that no person convicted of infanticide was to be executed; instead, they were to be “perpetually imprisoned with a public whipping, once every year on the day upon which the crime was committed”. In times past, disease was also a big killer of infants but nowadays it is almost incomprehensible for us to believe that with our advanced technology and 21st century medicine, babies died at UK NHS hospitals at a higher rate than at the now infamous St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam. One NHS hospital had a mortality rate of 43%, massively higher than any other maternity hospital in the UK.… Read the rest
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Exploring Mayo by Bernard O’Hara This lecture was based on Bernard O’Hara’s recent book entitled Exploring Mayo, which provides a wonderful appreciation of the county’s rich heritage and a guide to the attractions of its various regions.  This lecture, illustrated with stunning images, will include archaeological, historical, architectural and religious treasures from prehistoric times to the present.  … Read the rest
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“Sagart gan iomrádh”: Rev. Fr. Daniel J. Murphy (1858-1935) and sean-nós song in Pennsylvania This lecture by Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile introduces Rev. Fr. Daniel J. Murphy (1858-1935) from the Ox Mountains – Sligo’s last Gaeltacht – a man who spent most of his life working as a music scholar and collector in Philadelphia and in the surrounding coal-mining towns of rural Pennsylvania. Rev. Murphy’s efforts to document sean-nós song, folklore, and folktales were preceded by those of his friend and fellow exile, J.J. Lyons of Glenamaddy, Co. Galway. Together, over 51 years from around 1884 to 1935, they created the largest extant independently-produced collection of Irish-language song. Numbering over 1,200 songs, it… Read the rest
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“Sagart gan iomrádh”: An tAthair Domhnall Ó Morchadha (1858-1935) agus amhráin ar an sean-nós in Pennsylvania Léacht le Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile – B’as Gaeltacht dheireanach Shligigh, íochtar Shliabh Gamh, don Athair Domhnall Ó Morchadha (1858-1935), fear a chaith an chuid is mó dá shaol in Philadelphia ag gníomhú mar bhailitheoir agus scoláire amhrán. Ag saothrú sa chathair úd agus i mbailte mianadóireachta in iargúl Phennsylvania, tháinig sé i gcomharbacht ar Ghaillimheach, Seán Ó Laighin. Idir 1884 agus 1935, chruthaigh siad an bailiúchán neamhspleách is toirtiúla d’amhráin Gaeilge – c.1,200 acu – dá maireann, bailiúchán atá suntasach mar gheall ar an gcomhthéacs neamhghnách inar cruthaíodh é: lár-ionad uirbeach iltíreach tionsclaithe ar Chósta Thoir Mheiriceá. Mar a ghníomhaigh na Néilligh i Chicago ar son an cheoil uirlise, rinne Ó Morchadha agus Ó Laighean amhlaidh d’amhráin Gaeilge Philadelphia. Pléifear cúlra na mbailitheoirí, céard a spreag iad chun bailiú, an modh oibre a bhí acu, agus céard a rinne siad leis na hamhráin a bhailigh siad. Léireofar chomh tábhachtach is a bhí amhráin Gaeilge d’imirceoirí a thug leo go Meiriceá a gcleachtas amhránaíochta. Pléifear freisin saol na nGael i bPennsylvania, stát a mheall na mílte imirceach as Éirinn; úsáid na Gaeilge in Oileán… Read the rest
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…tanners, toners, tricksters and tinkers… By Paul Duffy A wry look at the history of currency forgery – the lecture offered r numismatic sidelights on some neglected aspects of Irish History.illustrated with material from the National Museum of Ireland, The Ulster Museum, The British Museum and The Galway City Museum. Harbour Hotel, Galway 8pm November 13th 2017… Read the rest
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The response of the Irish State to subversion, 1969-1981 by Dr. Sean O Duibhir This talk was derived from a PhD theses which assessed the various political, legislative and security responses employed by successive Irish governments to counter subversion within the Republic between 1969 and 1981. Structurally, the thesis begins with an analysis of events surrounding the Arms Crisis and couches this in terms of the overall approach of this Fianna Fáil Government (1969-1973) to counter-subversion, before proceeding to examine the security responses of this administration in the post-Arms Crisis period. The second part of  the talk dealt specifically with historic events concerning Iar Taoiseaech, Liam Cosgrave who had recently passed away.… Read the rest
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Recovering the lost Archaeology of the Slieve Aughty Uplands A glance at the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) would suggest that there is little by way of archaeology in the Slieve Aughty uplands. The majority of monuments recorded in the region are located in the lower slopes. However, fieldwork undertaken by the Community Archaeologist as part of his work to create greater archaeological awareness challenges that view. The… Read the rest
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Portraits, family and estate papers of the Eyres of Eyreville, Kiltormer, Co. Galway by Donal Burke Donal recently acquired the family and estate papers relating to the Eyre family of Eyreville, county Galway, junior branch of the Eyrecourt family. The documents date from the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and this evening’s talk relates to some new aspects of that family’s history derived from the same papers.… Read the rest
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The Drowned landscape of the Galway Coast Harbour Hotel Dock Road, Galway @ 8pm Monday, March 13th 2017 ‘Our coastline from Kinvarra to Inishbofin is one of the most varied and extensive in all of Ireland. Together with over 50 islands and Ireland’s only fjord at Killary Harbour, it offered a huge diversity of settlement options over the last eight thousand years. This talk will highlight some of the hundreds of new sites that have been identified and outline the research opportunities that these discoveries present. Among the new discoveries is one of the largest complexes of shell middens yet documented along the sheltered bays of inner Galway Bay. In the same area, aerial photography has revealed one of the largest and best-preserved seaweed farms in the country and an early tidal mill complex. To the west along the tangled coastline from Cois Fhairraige to Inislackan near Roundstone, winter storms have thrown up numerous examples of stone axe from a now submerged Mesolithic landscape that still survives beneath the shallow sheltered waters of Ceantair na nÓileáin. The same storms revealed a bronze age trackway at lippa and a range of early monastic and medieval burial grounds. Important early field systems… Read the rest
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