23/24 August 2019

Preliminary Event, Thursday, 22 August, 6.30 pm, the Library, Cahersiveen

Kerry and the First Dail: An Exhibition

This exhibition will celebrate Kerry’s first four TDs who were elected to Dáil Éireann in the general election of 1918 and who took their seats as members of the first Dáil on 21 January 1919. The TDs were Austin Stack (West Kerry), Fionán Lynch (South Kerry), James Crowley (North Kerry) and Piaras Béaslaí (East Kerry). The Exbibition will feature letters, newspaper reports and emphemera which relate to these founders of Independent Ireland and will be introduced by Tom O’Connor, Kerry County Librarian.

Friday, 23 August, 2018, The Library, Cahersiveen

9.15 am: Introduction: Professor Maurice Bric, Director of the Daniel O’Connell Summer School.

Opening Address: Mr. Gerard Collins. During his time as TD for Limerick West (1967-97), Gerard served in a number of ministries including Justice (1977-81) and Foreign Affairs (1987-92). He also represented Munster in the European Parliament between 1994 and 2004. He is a long-time visitor to South Kerry.

9.45 am: Shaping the Irish State: Three Chapters

Moderator: Cllr. Norma Moriarty. Norma has been a councillor for South and West Kerry since 2014.


Professor Mary McAuliffe holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin and is Assistant Professor in Gender Studies at UCD. Her latest publications are We were there; 77 women of the Easter Rising (co-written with Liz Gillis), and Kerry 1916; Histories and Legacies of the Easter Rising on which she was a co-editor. Her latest research includes a major research project on gendered and sexual violence during the Irish revolutionary period, 1919-23. Mary will speak on the history of Cumann na mBan in Kerry and on the part which women played in the establishment of Irish independence.

Dr. Eucharia Meehan will speak on “the ingenuity and scientific impact of Irish women, including some from Kerry”. Prior to taking up her current position as Registrar at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Eucharia was Head of Research and Innovation at the Higher Education Authority (HEA) from 2002 to 2012 when she was appointed Director of the newly formed Irish Research Council. She is a former Chair of Women in Technology and Science as well as a former member of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of Ireland.

Professor Yvonne Galligan will speak on “Broadening the Public Sphere: the Impact of Women”. Prior to her appointment as Director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Dublin Institute of Tehcnology/Technological University Dublin, Yvonne was Professor of Political Science at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is an authority on relationships between gender and democracy and has also written on aspects of the European Union as well as on the nature and direction of Irish politics

11:15 am Refreshments

12:00 pm The Rebellion and Beyond

Moderator: Fr. Anthony Gaughan. Fr. Tony is the author of a number of books on different aspects of the history and society of Kerry.


Dr. Martin O’Donoghue, “Thomas O’Donnell, MP”. Martin will talk about O’Donnell’s career as a Kerry MP between 1900 and 1918. He will also discuss his distinctive contribution to politics and public debate after independence as well as the background to his decision to join Fianna Fáil. Martin lectures in history at the University of Limerick. His first book, The Legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in Independent Ireland, will be published by Liverpool University Press.

Professor Terence Dooley, “The Irish Big House in a Time of Revolution, 1879-1923”. Terence is director of the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses & Estates at Maynooth University. He is the author of a number of publications on the social and political history of Ireland during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including The decline of the big house in Ireland (2001); The decline and fall of the Dukes of Leinster, 1872–1948: love, war, debt and madness(Dublin, 2014) and co-editor, with Christopher Ridgway, of The Country House and the Great War: Irish and British experiences (Dublin, 2016). In 2003, Terence was commissioned by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Irish Georgian Society to write a report on the issues facing historic houses in Ireland and to make recommendations on how these issues could be addressed in the future. The report, A future for Irish historic houses? A study of fifty houses was published in 2003.

3.00 pm: The Daniel O’Connell Lecture, 2019.

This year’s lecture will be given in the format of a wide-ranging interview.

Introduction: Professor Maurice Bric

Moderator and Interviewer: Stephen Collins. Stephen is a columnist with The Irish Times. He has also been Political Correspondent with the same paper was well as political editor at the Irish Press, Sunday Press and Sunday Tribune. He was a member of the New Ireland Forum (1983-84) and is the author of a number of books on contemporary Irish politics including one on the establishment of the Progressive Democrats, Breaking the Mould (2005).

Speaker: Mr. Seamus Mallon. With a background in the Civil Rights Movement, Seamus was one of the co-founders of the SDLP, of which he was Deputy Leader between 1979 and 2001. He was also elected to the first power-sharing assembly in Northern Ireland and later to the Constitutional Convention (1979). In 1982, he elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly and in 1986, as Westminster MP for Newry and Armagh, a seat which he held until 2005. In December 1999, he became Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and served in that role until 2001. He also played Gaelic football for Armagh and still lives in Markethill where he once taught in the local primary school.

4:30 Coffee Room: Book Launch of An t-Oileánach by Micheál Lyne, Valentia.

7:00: Mass in the Penal Church, The Lane

When Thomas Reid visited Cahersiveen’s Penal Church in 1822, he noted that the congregation was so large that only a third of it could be accommodated within its walls. While this later led to plans for a larger building, this Penal Church was where Daniel O’Connell was baptised in 1775 as well as from where his parents were buried in the Old Graveyard, just across the lane. In 1823, the church was moved to a new site just below where the O’Connell Memorial Church now stands.

This will be the first celebration of Mass in the Penal Church in nearly 200 years and will be offered in memory of Geoffrey and Sheila O’Connor.

Saturday, 24 August 2019. Derrynane House, Caherdaniel

10am: O’Connell and His Time

Moderator: Dr. Ruth Barrington, Dublin and Castlecove


Professor Fergus D’Arcy is Professor Emeritus of History at University College, Dublin where he was also Dean of Arts between 1992 and 2004. His has written extensively on Irish history including the Turf Club (1991) and most recently, on the Carmelite priest, Fr. John Spratt (2017), one of the leading campaigners for social justice in Ireland during the first half of the nineteenth century. Fergus is also one of the leading authorities on the history of the labour movement and will talk on O’Connell and the Trade Union movement in Dublin during the 1840s.

Deaglán de Bréadún, “Daniel O’Connell and the Irish Language”. Deaglán is an award-winning journalist who for a number of years, worked with the Irish Times where among other positions, he was Northern Editor, Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Political Correspondent. He is currently a columnist with the Belfast-based Irish News. He has published a number of books, most recently, Power Play. The Rise of Modern Sinn Féin (2015). He is also a member of the Press Council of Ireland.

Cormac Ó Gráda, “Kenmare during and after the Great Famine”. Cormac is Professor Emeritus of Economics at University College, Dublin. He has published extensively on Irish economic history as well as on the history and nature of famine, both in Ireland and abroad. His Ireland. A New Economic History (first published in 1994) has been praised as a seminal work. His latest researches have focused on emigration from Kerry during the nineteenth century with a particular focus on how this was affected by the Great Famine of the mid-1840s.

11.30am Refreshments

12.00pm South Kerry and the Sea

Moderator: Mary Lyne, Ballinskelligs


In “Aspects of Mackerel Fishing in South Kerry and West Cork from the 1880s to the 1920s”, Mary McGillicuddy will look at the role and function of women within the fish curing industry. Mary was awarded an MA in Local History from the University of Limerick in 2008. She has also studied in New York, UCC and South Bank University in London from which she holds an MSc in Environmental and Development Education. Based in Kerry, she worked for over 20 years in a Development Education centre in Tralee.

Fionnbarr Moore, “The Underwater Archaeology of South-West Kerry”. Fionnbarr is Senior Archaeologist at the National Monuments Service where he heads the Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU). Among other tasks, including underwater survey and excavation, the UAU deals with the impact of development on underwater cultural heritage. It also maintains the Wreck Inventory of Ireland Database (WIID) and the online interactive Wreck Viewer which can be accessed through the National Monuments Service website. Fionnbarr has contributed papers and chapters to a variety of journals and books on underwater archaeology and maritime history. He is currently directing the UAU investigation of the Spanish Armada wreck sites at Streedagh, Co. Sligo.

2.30 pm

The International Impact of O’Connell

Moderator: Fiona de Buis, Waterville.

Fionnghuala Sweeney, “Daniel O’Connell, Frederick Douglass and the Campaign against Slavery”. Fionnghuala is Senior Lecturer in American Literature at Newcastle University. Her research concentrates on the African-American and Caribbean literature and visual culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, literary connections between Ireland and the Black Atlantic, and Afromodernism. Among her numerous publications is the much-acclaimed Frederick Douglass and the Atlantic World (2007)

Hugh Gough, “Fifty Years On: General de Gaulle’s Visit to Derrynane”. Hugh is Professor Emeritus of French History at University College, Dublin. He has published extensively on the history of the French Revolution as well as on contemporary France. He also addressed the earlier O’Connell School during the 1980s. He recently published a second edition of Terror in the French Revolution.

Closing Remarks: Mary O’Connor, Chairperson of the Organising Committee.

Sunday, 25 August, 2016, St. Crohan’s Church, Caherdaniel

9.30 am: Memorial Mass for the O’Connell Family, followed by Reception in the Caherdaniel Community Centre.

Registration Closed