Thursday 19 October 2017

Six stimulating summer talks for Blake project

Prof. Kevin Whelan
Prof. Kevin Whelan
Prof. Ray Bates
Noel Whelan

David Looby

A series of six talks are being held over the coming weeks at Hook Lighthouse to raise money for the Helen Blake replica RNLI lifeboat to be housed in Fethard-on-Sea.

Hook Residents Association in conjunction with Hook Lighthouse have organised the talks, which will take place at the monastery level of the lighthouse at 8 p.m. on Wednesday evenings between July 12 and August 16.

Expert speakers will lead a talk on a variety of topical issues. In advance of each talk refreshments will be served at the lighthouse from 7.30 p.m.

On Wednesday, July 12, Professor Kevin Whelan from the University of Notre Dame will speak on the theme, 'What do we see when we look out from the Hook?'. The talk will focus on the maritime tradition of a peninsula. The County Wexford native, who is Director of the University of Notre Dame Global Gateway in Dublin, has written or edited 20 books and more than 100 articles, and he has lectured on Irish topics in 14 countries.

On Wednesday, July 19, barrister, author and political analyst Noel Whelan - who is founder of the Kennedy Summer School and former Chair of the JFK Trust, New Ross - will take to the stage. Noel will speak about the Kennedy connection and building on the Wexford angle. On Wednesday, July 26, nature and wildlife photographer Edno Delaney will offer audiences an in-depth look at 'Fur & Feather through Wildlife Photography'. Edno's work has appeared in many Wildlife journals and magazines. Many of Edno's pictures can be seen as a background to the nightly weather forecast we see on RTE, the latest being the Murmurations, (a collection of many thousands of Starlings), that were captured at Ballywilliam last autumn and which he will show with its unusual commentary in the summer talk at the Hook.

On Wednesday, August 2, Brendan Power, Chairman of the Helen Blake Lifeboat Project, will discuss Helen Blake: The Tragedy, The Benefactor. Born in Fethard on Sea, Brendan is a former broadcaster and journalist who spent some time on the 'pirate' radio stations of the 1960s before joining Radio Antilles on Montserrat - the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean. He was involved in the launch of commercial radio in the UK as a producer on the Birmingham station before moving into financial services. He is a founder and past President of the Professional Speakers Association and has spoken to audiences in more than a dozen countries. Now retired and living on the Hook Peninsula, he is chairman of the community group that is building a replica of the Helen Blake lifeboat.

Jimmy FitzGibbon of New Ross Historical Society will take to the podium on Wednesday, August 9, and he will host a talk titled 'It said it on paper - New Ross Standard, May 5th 1916.' Jimmy is a member of the New Ross Historical Society and is custodian of what has become known as the 'Cavanagh Collection'.

On Wednesday, August 16, is Professor J. Ray Bates, Adjunct Professor of Meteorology, UCD, will discuss 'Climate change: planetary emergency or long-term threat?' Prof. Bates grew up in Kilmore Quay and is a past pupil of St. Peter's College, Wexford, where he was a classmate of the late Dr. Billy Colfer. He obtained a B.Sc. in Physics from UCD and a Ph.D. in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has worked at Met Eireann, was a senior scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre, a professor of meteorology at the University of Copenhagen and is now Adjunct Professor of Meteorology at UCD. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy. Each talk is a limited to 50 persons.

Tickets are available via or by calling 051 397055. Tickets to each talk are €10 and include refreshments. All proceeds will be donated to the Helen Blake Lifeboat Project.

New Ross Standard