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South Kilkenny Civil War talk on power of sport


Joe Doyle, speaker (centre), Eddie Synnott and Mary O’Shea.

Joe Doyle, speaker (centre), Eddie Synnott and Mary O’Shea.

Joan Healy, Joe Doyle (speaker) and Mary Ryan.

Joan Healy, Joe Doyle (speaker) and Mary Ryan.


Joe Doyle, speaker (centre), Eddie Synnott and Mary O’Shea.


Many people who attended the recent South Kilkenny Historical Society lecture, delivered by Mr Joe Doyle on the Model Schools, felt that it was the most significant positive development for the society since February 2020.

The organisers were extremely pleased with both the attendance at Mullinavat Parish Hall and online.

Mr Doyle made particular reference to the Model Schools at Clonmel, Enniscorthy, Kilkenny and Waterford, detailing how they were set up, the individuals involved, the difficulties which they encountered and their eventual decline.

The next society lecture takes place on Thursday, November 24, when Mr Patrick Mannix will discuss the topic of sport healing Civil War wounds. Patrick is a native of Co Kerry, ‘where it is well understood that the nature of how the Civil War was fought meant the conflict’s legacy was especially raw and bitter’.

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And yet, within months of its end, a Kerry team emerged, comprised of men who represented both sides of the Civil War’s ideological divide, whose stunning national successes over the next decade were widely celebrated as an example of sport’s powerful healing and unifying


In the preface of his ‘In the Name of the Game’, published in 1997, the late J.J. Barrett, a Kerryman, explained that the book ‘is the story of six exceptional men in the history of Irish sport and politics who amongst others were a shining example of how Gaelic football was

instrumental in the reconciliation of a divided Kerry, where men put political differences aside for the sake of their beloved Gaelic football’.

The lecture, which begins at 8 p.m. via Zoom, will also be shown at Mullinavat Parish Hall.

On Monday, December 5, Liz Gillis and Cathy Scuffil will talk on the lives of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, both of whom died in 1922. The title of the lecture is ‘Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins: One Forgotten, One Remembered’.

The society acknowledges funding received for its lecture programme from Kilkenny County Council, under the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2022, which is supported by the Commemorations Unit of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.

After an absence of three years, the Night of Reminiscing is making a return on Friday, December 9, when Michael Fortune will be the guest speaker.

This event will be held at the Rhu Glenn, Slieverue, commencing at 7 p.m., with colcannon and spare ribs and Christmas pudding.