“Seeds that grew the tree” Winter Lecture Series

Wednesday, 12 December, 2018
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The years between 2013 and 2023 commemorate the centenaries of some of the most important events in our history that have served to define us as a nation and as a people. The Decade of Centenaries initiative includes events such as the Dublin Lockout, the Great War, the Easter 1916 Rising, the first Dáil, the War of Independence, the signing of The Anglo-Irish Treaty and the ensuing Civil War. These events have touched most communities in Ireland as each are commemorated locally to recall and remember great people and great deeds. The Skehana area is delighted to be a part of these thus far and will continue to be into the future.

Skehana and Districk Winter Lecture SeriesWe  are half  way through  these commemorations,  in time, but arguably a more divisive period might lie ahead. For that reason it is important that we continue to try to better understand the reasons why  and how individuals and groups negotiated their chosen paths. In keeping with that theme Becky and Jimmy Screene have compiled a broad and diverse Winter Lecture Series. As a package the series seeks to broaden our thinking and give a balanced view on events and individuals. To facilitate this they have arranged four renowned contributors to deliver topics that will generate a huge level of interest. We envisage it will be a case of ‘questions answered and  answers questioned’ from ‘what  was so  great about  the Great War?’ to ‘why were the herdsmen of the fast receding vast local estates neither shepherds nor bailiffs but a compound of both?’ Forward we go the oft times enigmatic duo that was The Big Fella and Dev to see some other sides of these individuals  as told by their grand relatives. All considered this promises to be a most informative and thought provoking series. It is dedicated to the memory of the late JP Screene who sadly passed away in March of this year. As a keen local historian and a curator of our historical past, JP was always willing to share with and learn from all generations. The Skehana & District Heritage Group is delighted to give it its endorsement and full support to the series and we congratulate Becky and Jimmy on all of their preparatory hard work and we strongly encourage you to support their efforts for these events.

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Skehana & District Heritage Group Winter Lecture Series 2018/2019

“SEEDS  THAT GREW  THE TREE”

Wednesday 12 December 2018 at 8:30pm

WHAT WAS SO GREAT ABOUT THE GREAT WAR

by John Cunningham

John was born in Tuam .He was educated By the Christian Brothers and NUI Galway. He now lives in Mountbellew Co Galway with his wife Annmaire and children.

John has a B.A. LL.B H Dip Education Law. He is currently a Law Masters Student in NUI Galway.  He is a Social Rights Advocate and Campaigner, (disability rights and access to education), a Member of Mountbellew Heritage Group and has a keen interest Local History and History of the First world war

in particular. He researches individual soldiers records in order to get a greater understanding of the topic and has a large collection of medals and ephemera from the War.  He believes that it is

important to understand history, especially the history of conflict if we are to prevent mass slaughter in the future.

WHAT WAS SO GREAT ABOUT THE GREAT WAR

Synopsis:

John’s main focus is to debunk some of the more common myths and to give a greater understanding as to why the war happened. Why it was so different and the reasons Irish men joined up and its effect on the Irish economy.


Wednesday 23 January 2019 at 8:30pm

A  CLASS  QUITE DISTINCT  ~ WEST OF IRELAND  HERDSMEN IN THE NINETEENTH  CENTURY

by John Cunningham

John  was born  near Belclare,  Co. Galway. He was  educated in Castlehacket  National School; St Jarlath’s  College, Tuam and University College  Galway. John is Director of the MA History programme at NUI Galway, and a recent editor of Saothar: Journal of  Irish Labour History. He has published several books on Irish labour and local history. He is currently writing the biography of Tom Glynn (1881-1934), the son of a herdsman of Gurteen, Co. Galway,  who became a notable radical journalist and anti-war campaigner in Australia.

A  CLASS  QUITE DISTINCT  ~ WEST OF IRELAND  HERDSMEN IN THE NINETEENTH  CENTURY

Synopsis:

West of Ireland herdsmen, according to one expert in the 1890s, formed ‘a class quite distinct from any employed in any of the English districts,  being neither shepherds nor bailiffs and yet a compound of both’. Numerous in Counties Galway and Roscommon, where they were employed by landlords and large graziers, they were responsible workers,  liable for damage to their employers’ stock, whether caused by ‘hogs,  dogs, bogs,  or thieves’,  in their  own phrase. This illustrated talk will describe the anachronistic working conditions of the herds, and consider the efforts of their Herds’ Associations through which they defended their position against employers and tenants’ movements during the land war and after.


Thursday 21 February 2019 at 8:30pm

ÉAMON  DE VALERA  ~ A  PERSONAL  PERSPECTIVE

By Éamon Ó Cuív

Éamon  Ó Cuív  was born  23 June 1950.   He is the grandson  of Fianna Fáil founder and former Taoiseach and President of Ireland Éamon de Valera. Éamon grew up in Dublin 4 and was educated at Oatlands College, Mount Merrion, Dulbin and University College Dublin. Before entering politics he was the manager of a Gaeltacht Co-operative  which was involved in agricultural services, timber milling, tourism, cultural and Irish language promotion.

Éamon was elected in 1989 to the 19th Seanad on the Cultural and Educational Panel.  He served there until the 1992 general election when he became TD for Galway West. He has been a TD for this constituency since.

He  served  as a Minister  for State from 1997  to 2002 in two Departments. Following the 2002 general election he was appointed to  the cabinet and served in cabinet until 2011. Amongst the Departments he served  in were the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department   of Social Protection. He introduced as Minister the Official Languages Act, the first such act in this jurisdiction, which created the Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga.He served as Deputy leader of Fianna Fail from 2011 to 2012.

ÉAMON  DE VALERA  ~ A  PERSONAL  PERSPECTIVE

Synopsis:

My talk will be a historical talk on Éamon De Valera, but it will be flavoured by the perspective of a family member. I was 25 years of age when he died and therefore I knew him well. Furthermore, I would have heard a lot about him from my Mother, who died in 2012 and was full  of fascinating insights into him.


Wednesday 27 March 2019 at 8:30pm

MICHAEL  COLLINS ~ A  MAN OF DIVERSITY

by Nora Owen

Nora   Margaret   Owen (née   O'Mahony) is   a former Fine Gael politician.   Nora was born in Dublin in 1945. She is a sister of Mary Banotti and a grandniece of the revolutionary leader Michael Collins.   She was educated at Dominican Convent, County Wicklow and University College Dublin (UCD) where she qualified as an industrial chemist.

She was first elected to the Dáil Éireann in 1981, serving until the 1987 election when she lost her seat. She returned to the Dáil in

1989 becoming Deputy Leader of Fine Gael in 1993. The following year she became Minister for Justice, remaining in that post until

1997. Journalist Veronica Guerin was murdered in 1996 and in its aftermath Owen introduced the highly successful Criminal Assets Bureau to crack down on organised crime.

Nora  is the  patron of  the Collins  22 Society, which  works to keep the memory and legacy of Michael Collins in living memory. In  February 2012 she was made a Vice President of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.

MICHAEL  COLLINS ~ A  MAN OF DIVERSITY

Synopsis:

Michael Collins is remembered by many as a soldier who fought for Irish Independence.  Others will remember him as a politician and Minister for Finance. His family members will remember him as a son, a brother, an uncle and grand-uncle who worried about the effect his life had on his family.