Wednesday 20 March 2019

Historian John Bowman opens Byrne Perry with lecture of Irish women since 1916

Cathaoirleach of Gorey Municipal District, Cllr John Hegarty with John Bowman
Cathaoirleach of Gorey Municipal District, Cllr John Hegarty with John Bowman
Michael Dwyer, Michael O’Dwyer and Gorey 400 editor Ian Kenneally
Ger Fleming, guest speaker Michael Considine and John Nangle

Sara Gahan

Historian and broadcaster John Bowman opened the 24th Byrne Perry Summer School on Friday evening in Gorey Library where more than 80 people gathered to hear his lecture on Irishwomen since 1916, from marginalisation to liberation.

This year's theme for Byrne Perry focused on change, both on a national and local level.

Mr Bowman discussed change on a wider national context. He kept the audience spellbound with his humorous anecdotes, that also served as an illustration that the Ireland of today is very different from the 1980s, and that in turn was different from the 1950s.

Another topic covered by Mr Bowman was the role of woman in the 20th century: the Waterford convent offering 1919 curriculum best suited to farmer's daughters; how marriages were brokered in Clare in the 1930s; and a Jesuits advice on whether it was a sin for a young girl to use lipstick.

Local change was the main topic for Saturday's events. In advance of the 400th anniversary of Gorey town, a group of local historians, along with historian Ian Kenneally, gave short talks to introduce the 'Gorey 400' book project.

The lecture was followed by a workshop where people were invited to present their own family story or photographic materials relating to history, heritage and culture of north Wexford. People were asked to suggest what aspects of the history of Gorey district and north Wexford should be captured in the book.

The 24th Byrne Perry School concluded Saturday afternoon with a bus tour to historic houses around the district, numerous sites from 1798, all while taking in the communities of Hollyfort, Kilanerin, Limerick and Coolgreany.

Gorey Guardian