Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Aughrim Remembered Summer School | Press Release

The Aughrim Remembered Summer School is taking place on Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th July 2014 in the village of Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. The theme for this year’s Summer school is ‘From the Battle of Aughrim to World War 1’

The weekend event starts at 7pm on Friday 18th July in St. Catherine’s Hall, Aughrim, Ballinasloe with the local choir who will sing a selection of World War 1 songs. This will be followed by a series of talks ‘World War 1: some local connections. The first talk will be by Joe Loughnane and Colman Shaughnessy who will talk about ‘The Connaught Rangers and World War 1’. This will be followed by two short talks on by Helen Mannion, an Aughrim local who will talk about her father’s involvement on World War 1, while Kevin Goode, another local will also talk about his family’s involvement in the Great War.

This will be followed by a Two Act Play, entitled ‘March Away My Brothers’. The play has been written and will be performed by Brendan MacQuaile. March Away My Brothers is a one man show taken from the Book of the same name by Brendan MacQuaile; it follows the journey of a young Irish Lad, Lawrence Kelly from Bridgefoot Street in Dublin’s Liberties to the Christmas Truce in 1914, somewhere near the Messines ridge in Flanders where many Irish fought and died during the course of this terrible conflagration. But Larry’s story is not one of hell and damnation, let’s face it, he is already dead, blown to bits at the now infamous Passchendaele and remembered only as an inscription on the Menin Gate. Larry looks back with the excitement of the early call to arms still palpable, the Guinness Pals brigade forming after Kitcheners call to arms and the sheer chaos and melee of new troops arriving in France, gung ho, ready to serve the crown, and do their bit before it was ‘ Over by Christmas’.

Many of the popular songs of the time are included as an integral part of this fascinating tale. Songs such as ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ and’ There’s a long long trail a winding’ were popular hits for singers such as John McCormack and Stanley Kirby during the war years and they are sung with Gusto in this performance. Some modern reflections in song are also included. And finally to the Christmas truce, an impromptu meeting of soldiers from both sides, on a bitter cold Christmas Eve in an area known as ‘no man’s land’. Shared cigarettes, and photos. Shared experiences that revealed similarities between the troops, similarities that the Top Brass would rather keep hidden.

On Saturday 19th July in St. Catherine’s Hall, full day of lectures will be held, the theme of which is Aughrim Remembered: Military History Perspectives. Dr. Joe Mannion will start off proceeding with a talk on ‘Aughrim, the O’Kellys, and Hy Many, 1541-1601: English Expansion in a Gaelic Lordship’. Dr. Mannion is a retired Principal Teacher who holds a PhD in history from NUI Galway, awarded for his dissertation on the Tudor lordships of Clanrickard and Hy Many. His published works include a biography of Galway’s earliest known ecclesiastic entitled The Life, Legends and Legacy of Saint Kerrill, as well as a range of journal articles and book chapters on the medieval and early modern history of the western region.

This will be followed by a joint lecture by Dr. William P. Kelly and Dr. Andrew Robinson, on ‘Lundy and Luttrell: traitors compared’. Dr. Billy Kelly holds a BA Hons in Modern History from the University of Dublin and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Kelly’s primary research interests are in early modern Irish and British history. Dr. Kelly is a lecturer in History at the University of Ulster. Dr. Andrew Robinson completed his Ph D at the University of Ulster in 2013 on the political and cultural milieu of Sir John Clotworthy during the Stuart Civil Wars’. He is currently working as the lead researcher and historical consultant on a project funded by Northern Ireland Screen, the Arts Council, the Culture Company, the Community Relations Council and Besom Productions entitled 'The Trial of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lundy'. It is planned to stage an interactive and theatrical 'trial' that would finally give the Unionist arch-traitor his day in court by examining his historical and cultural reputation and allowing the public to vote on Lundy’s innocence or guilt.

Ms. Ester Barrett will give a talk on the ‘Painting the Williamite War (cavalry)’. Ester Barrett finds inspiration in local landscape, especially around her home at Granagh Co. Limerick where the ‘Three Sisters Gallery’ is located. She is also inspired by animals, particularly horses. She is the recipient of several international awards. She has come to the painting of military scenes such as the crossing at Rosnaree, or the action at Aughrim Pass from her interest in horses. Dr. Nollaig Ó Muraíle will discuss ‘Seamus dall Mac Cuarta’s uireamh Somhairle Mic Domhnaill’. Dr. Nollaig Ó Muraíle is a lecturer in Irish at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Among his many publications he produced an acclaimed edition of Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh's Leabhar na nGenealach in 2004. He was admitted to the Royal Irish Academy in 2009.

Mr. Seán Ó Brogáin will then speak on Painting the Williamite War (infantry)’ Seán Ó Brogáin lives and works in Donegal. He has a BA (hons) in "Scientific and natural history Illustration" from Lancaster University. Since 1995 he has worked on a variety projects for OPW, NIEA, Cavan County Museum, Osprey publication, Dungannon County Council, the History Press, Periskopia (Greece), Manchester Museum, Bessom Productions (NI), Arrowstorm films (USA), National Museum Ireland and produced artwork for An Post’s ‘Flight of the Earls 1607-2007’ and Christmas 2007 postage stamp issues.

Dr. Paul Naessens will speak on ‘Where are the Bodies Buried?’ Battlefield Archaeology and Geophysical surveying at Kilconnell. Dr. Paul Naessens is an archaeologist and his Ph.D thesis takes an interdisciplinary approach in examining the nature of Gaelic settlement in Iarchonnacht and other maritime Gaelic lordships in the later medieval period with particular reference to the Uí Fhlaithbheartaigh. From the time of their expulsion from Magh Seola in the later thirteenth century to the mid-seventeenth century they occupied the territories of Iarchonnacht to the west of Lough Corrib. His PhD research takes an in exploring the nature of Gaelic lordly settlement on the Atlantic seaboard. 

The last word of the day will be from Dr. Padraig Lenihan who will deal with Questions, Discussion and Focal Scoir. Dr. Pádraig Lenihan lectures in history at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His main research interest lies in European military history from the Thirty Years War to the War of the Spanish Succession, with special emphasis on warfare in Ireland. His publications include 1690 Battle of the Boyne. Currently he is writing a biography of Richard Talbot Earl of Tyrconnell (d.1691) and co-editing an Irish Jacobite epic poem (over 5,000 lines) with Prof. Keith Sidwell.

In addition to the above Aughrim Heritage Park will be the site of living heritage displays and presentations all day Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th July. 

Living History will be provided by Oireas, Claíomh, North Irish Dragoons and others.
This will be a Living History bivouac in the Village Green.

We will have a number of Living History groups who will be displaying various aspects of Ireland’s long and distinguished military heritage and Irish military diaspora. Groups will provide an expert Interpretation of various military sites, personalities, weapons and much more. 

Tomás Ó Brógáin of Oireas will be looking at the Irish man of war of the late 17th to early 18th century, from their service in far flung locations such as Tangier under Charles II, to the battle of Sedgemoor 1685 and Aughrim 1691 (under James II), the glories of the Wild Geese from Marsaglia to Fontenoy and delve into the spectre of Rappareeism and the War of Outpost winter 1690-91. At 1pm and 3pm he will provide an interactive battlefield ‘walk through, talk through’ utilising the large 3d topographical map in the green. 

Dave Swift of Claíomh will be providing a display focusing on Montrose’s Irish who campaigned in Scotland during the 1640’s and 50’s, Claíomh will discuss their exploits such as, the battle of Tippermuir and Carbisdale along with much more. This formidable force is often neglected in the turmoil and confusing nature of the War of the Three Kingdoms, at Aughrim Claíomh will be bring this fascinating subject back home and back to life. 

North Irish dragoon will be displaying a Williamite war / Cogadh na Dá Rí themed camp this will allow the visitor to experience the day to day life of a Soldier in Ireland during the three long years of conflict (1688-1691). Pike drill, Musket drill, camp discipline, exercising in the sword, pike and bayonet for the infantry man. 

Meet Ricardo ‘the Spaniard’, a member of the Spanish Tercio, these were the most feared opponent one could encounter on the battlefields of Europe from the 16th to mid-17th Century. Their tactics and formation referred to as the Tercio (Third) remained virtually undefeated from its inception in the 16th century until the battle of Roc Roi in 1643. If an Irish man went to serve in Spain, it was in one these Tercio he campaigned. 

We will also have some other surprises in store at the event, so come along to an action packed family day out in our Living History area. 

Open Saturday 11am-4pm and Sunday 11am -3pm.

Saturday evening dinner will take place at Valerie’s, Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway at 7.00pm and is called ‘Bully Beef and Biscuits’ The after dinner speech is: In Flanders Fields: A personal journey: by Joe Loughnane. To book this dinner ontact Valerie Seale Tel: +353 (0)90 9673734 or Mob: +353 (0)86 2830673 or email valeriesofaughrim@gmail.com 

Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre will be open all weekend and there will be an av presention running all day at the centre. On Friday at 1pm Ms. Carmel Duffy, Athlone Castle will give a talk entitled “The Siege of Athlone” & “Connections with Aughrim”. This is a free lunch time event and all attending will get to hear the talk and have a free light lunch after the event. This is part of the Visitor Centres ‘Heritage Bites’ lunchtime talks that takes places each Friday and are free of charge.

On Sunday 20th at 2pm there will be a free puppet show called "The Little Red Battle Of Aughrim". It will be performed by Little Gem Puppets this will be followed by paper bag puppets making . Puppet show sponsored by Our Lady of Lourdes Credit Union, Ballinasloe. In addition to this there will be free craft displays in the centre over the weekend. All the events in Aughrim Heritage Park and the Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre are free of charge on Saturday and Sunday.

For further information please contact:
Ms. Julie Cruise, Manager, Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre, Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. Phone: 00353 9096 73939 or email jcruise@galwaycoco.ie 

Ms. Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer, Forward Planning, Áras an Chontae, Galway County Council, Prospect Hill, Galway. Tel: 00353 91 509198/087 9088387 or e-mail mmannion@galwaycoco.ie

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