Thursday 24 October 2019

Major 1916 conference in Mullinavat to draw crowds

David Looby

The South Kilkenny Historical Society has organised a comprehensive programme of events to commemorate Easter 1916 including a conference in Mullinavat in May.

The community participation strand of the national centenary programme is being led by the local authorities and the society, which was established in 2007, has organised its programme in close cooperation with Kilkenny County Council, and in particular its programme coordinator Brian Tyrrell.

To date the society has held three lectures and the conference scheduled to take place on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21, will be the high point of its commemoration programme.

This conference, which takes place at the Rising Sun, Mullinavat, will be officially opened by Muriel McAuley who is the granddaughter of Thomas MacDonagh, one of the seven signatories of the Proclamation, who taught in Kilkenny, at 7.30 p.m. The official opening will be followed by the announcement of the winner of the primary schools competition which is being organised locally.

Ms McAuley has been heavily involved in activities planned to commemorate the Easter 1916 Rising and played a key role in the Remembrance Ceremony held in the Garden of Remembrance on March 26.

The keynote lecture on May 20 will be delivered by Dr Shane Kenna. Dr Kenna is a doctor of modern Irish history who has lectured at Trinity College, Dublin. He has published several books on Irish history, including a biography on Thomas MacDonagh and the Fenian Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa whose funeral in August 1915 is seen as the precursor to the Easter Rising.

Three debating sessions will take place on Saturday, May 21. These sessions will examine the Easter Rising itself, reflecting on the 100 years that have passed while looking forward to the next 100 years. The participants confirmed for this event include well-known national figures, while students can also participate.

New Ross Standard