DROGHEDA BASED historical and literary group, The John Boyle O'reilly Society of Ireland hosted its educational seminar ' From the Earth A Cry – Symposium on the Fenian' at the Westcourt Hotel on Saturday.
The symposium was the first in a series of planned events for the Society this year, and was proudly supported by Drogheda Borough Council, Mayor and Patron Kevin Callan, Flynn O'donnell Solicitors. Other sponsors included Castleview Homes and Lakeside Landscaping.
The Group, also announced its schedule for a series of Boston-drogheda Twinning Cultural Events, which will focus on the Irish diaspora and The International Commemoration of the Irish Famine of 1847 which will be held in both Boston and Drogheda. The Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino has invited Drogheda's Mayor Kevin Callan to Boston for the St Patrick's Day celebrations, while the Drogheda Mayor will invite the Mayor of Boston to Drogheda for the Famine Commemoration later this year.
Commenting on the forthcoming plans, Chairman of the John Boyle O'reilly Society of Ireland, Richie Culhane said, 'As Drogheda was the second largest port of departure from Ireland for the more than one million people forced to emigrate during the Famine years we are respectfully honoured to host this event. Previous international commemorations of the Famine have been held in Canada, New York and Liverpool.'
The seminar revealed new information and facts on the life and times of Drogheda man, John Boyle O'reilly. The centre piece of the symposium was a lecture from bestselling author and historian, Ian Kenneally, who highlighted the very latest information about the poet which was uncovered while writing his bestselling book, "From the Earth A Cry." He spoke in-depth about O'reilly's early life covering the period up until he became a journalist with Boston's The Pilot. While in the second part of his lecture, Ian analysed this great man's writing, his journalism and his dedication to civil rights.
Former Taxing Master, James Flynn and proud owner of Netterville Manor, Dowth, Co. Meath the birthplace of John Boyle O'reilly spoke about the administration of justice. His lecture focused on the 'aristocrats and royal rascals' as referred to by John Boyle O'reilly as the ruling classes in Ireland.
Other lectures included Dr David Doyle of UCD School of History and Archives who spoke about "Boyle O'reilly's America: Another World;" while Michael Kenny of The National Museum of Ireland discussed the topic of, "From Nicgaragua to New Zealand. The international dimension of the Fenians'.