Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fir Maige - Fermoy: From Gaelic kingdom to Anglo-Norman lordship | Conference

A conference focused on the medieval history and archaeology of northeast Cork will be held at Fermoy Community and Youth Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork from May 2nd to 4th 2014.

The Programme
Friday May 2nd
Dr. Paul MacCotter (Keynote speaker): Críchad an Chaoilli, a remarkable window into the past.

Saturday May 3rd
Eamonn Cotter: Introducing medieval Fermoy.
Dagmar O’Riain-Raedel: Ballyhoura saints: at home and abroad.
Tomás O’Carragáin: Críchad an Chaoilli and the Early Churches of Fir Máige.
Dr. Breda Lynch: Reform to Reformation; The Cistercians in Medieval Ireland.
Dr. Paul MacCotter: Anglo-Norman Fermoy, the Roches and the Condons.
Dr. Tadhg O’Keeffe: The Anglo-Norman castles of Glanworth and Ballyderown in context.
Regina Sexton: Food and Identity in Later Medieval Ireland.
M. A. Monk: An exploration of change in environment and agriculture in Ireland between the 10th and 13th centuries AD: the broader context for the archaeological evidence from Co. Cork.

Sunday May 4th
The conference will end with a morning tour of the North Cork region including Brigown church, Glanworth castle, and other significant sites in the area.

The Speakers
Dr. Paul MacCotter is a historian and genealogist, whose research interests include the administrative structures of Anglo-Norman Ireland and of High Medieval Gaelic Ireland. He has published four books and numerous journal papers. He is a part-time lecturer in the School of History, UCC, and lectures in genealogy with Adult Continuing Education in UCC and the Irish Ancestry Research Centre of UL.

Prof. Tadhg O'Keeffe, who teaches in the School of Archaeology in UCD, specialises in the study of Irish and European medieval landscape, settlement, and architecture. His published work - nearly 100 items across a diverse range of interests - includes four books on ecclesiastical architecture and many papers on castles.

Dr Dagmar Ó Riain-Raedel has been a member of the Department of History, UCC, with a special research interest in Medieval History. She has lectured and published widely on the Irish monasteries and, in particular, the connections between these and Europe during the Middle Ages.

Eamonn Cotter is an independent archaeologist and researcher. His main area of interest is medieval architecture. He has published numerous journal papers and recently edited and published Buttevant: a medieval Anglo-French town in Ireland, a collection of papers on the history of Buttevant.

Dr. Tomás Ó Carragáin lectures in the Archaeology Department, UCC. His research interests include early medieval architecture and sculpture, landscape archaeology and archaeological approaches to ritual practice including pilgrimage. His publications include Inishmurray: Monks and Pilgrims in an Atlantic Landscape, and Churches in Early Medieval Ireland:  Architecture, Ritual and Memory.

M. A. Monk is a retired UCC lecturer on environmental archaeology who has a particular interest in the archaeology of early farming and settlement with a focus on the early medieval period in Ireland. He has carried out fieldwork, excavation and archaeobotany studies widely in Ireland and has worked on collaborative projects in Britain, Russia and the Lebanon.

Regina Sexton, UCC, is a food historian, food writer, broadcaster and cook. She has published widely at academic and popular levels, and has worked as food history consultant with Bord Bia, Teagasc, Fáilte Ireland, RTÉ and the Irish Heritage Trust.

Dr Breda Lynch works as a Supervisor Guide with the Heritage Services section of the Office of Public Works, and is based at Jerpoint Abbey in Co. Kilkenny, one of the country’s best-preserved medieval Cistercian monasteries. She was awarded a Doctorate by NUI Maynooth in 2009 for a study on the Cistercian Order in medieval Leinster. Her book A monastic landscape: the Cistercians in Medieval Ireland followed on in 2011.

Medieval Fermoy
The medieval territory of Fir Máige extended over the north-eastern part of County Cork, north of the Nagle Mountains and approximately from Mallow in the west, to the Cork-Waterford border in the east. The territory is delineated in the medieval tract Crichadan Chaoilli (The Topography of Fermoy), which is based on original materials dating to the mid-twelfth century. Crichad contains a wealth of information on pre-Norman Fermoy, listing the tuatha and bailte of the region, the ruling families of the time, and the dedicated churches of the tuatha. This conference will present the results of recent historical studies of the Crichad, as well as looking at the broader historical and archaeological context of the Fermoy region in the Medieval period.

The conference fee is €30 per person. This includes reception, tea/coffee and all presentations. Delegates have the option of booking Saturday lunch at the Grand Hotel, Fermoy, for €12.95. There are several other options in the town. The conference dinner will take place on Saturday May 3rd in the Grand Hotel, Fermoy at 8pm. Dinner will cost €35 per person. The Sunday Field Trip will cost €10 per person. An online booking facility is available at Alternatively, and for further information, contact: Eamonn Cotter at 086-8173663 or

The conference will be held in the Fermoy Community and Youth Centre. The Centre is located in the heart of Fermoy, on the south bank of the Blackwater about 200 metres upriver from the bridge, past the Grand Hotel. Conference lectures will take place in the theatre at the Centre and the opening reception will be held upstairs in the beautiful Anderson Room, which affords spectacular view along the Blackwater.

Directions to the venue
If coming from the Dublin or Mallow direction take a right turn immediately after crossing the bridge; if coming from the Cork or Waterford directions proceed to the centre of town, follow the signs for Dublin, then turn left immediately before coming to the bridge. Proceed past the Grand Hotel to the point where the street narrows. The Centre is on the left at the corner. Google Maps: here.

The Grand Hotel is located in the centre of Fermoy town.
Corbett Court Hotel is located about 8km north of Fermoy, on the R639
In addition there are numerous B&Bs and guesthouses in and around the town, some of which are listed at

The conference is generously funded by Fermoy Town Council

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