22-24 June 2012: Byrne Perry Summer School, Gorey

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Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan TD officially opened the eighteenth Byrne-Perry Summer School in Gorey, Co Wexford on 22 June 2012. The theme of the 2012 school was ‘A Decade of Commemorations’.



At the opening, Minister Deenihan spoke of the importance of inclusivity in commemorations, saying that ‘my goal is to lead sincere and authentic commemorations and to encourage honest examination of events as they happened, and individuals and communities as they were at the time.’


Minister Deenihan went on to note that ‘over 900 Irishmen from County Wexford died in the First World War. This means that Wexford alone lost more people in the war than the total number who died in the Easter Rising in 1916. Some of those who died are well known – John Redmond’s brother Major Willie Redmond comes to mind, but the majority of Wexford’s war dead were ordinary people. Our centenary commemorations will acknowledge these men – many not much more than boys.’


The venue for the 2012 Summer School was Gorey Library & Adult Learning Centre at the Civic Square, Gorey. Over the past 17 years, the summer school has focused on events such as the 1798 Rebellion, the Act of Union, and the 1916 Rising, amongst others.




Friday 22 June 2012:



Opening address: JIMMY DEENIHAN TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.



Gordon Wilson Memorial Lecture: The Meaning of 1916

Speaker: PAURIC TRAVERS, President, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.

Chair: JOHN GRAY, Librarian (retired), Linen Hall Library, Belfast.


Saturday 23 June 2012:




Speaker: KEVIN WHELAN, Director of the Keough-Naughton Notre Dame Centre, Dublin.


Teaching 1916

Speaker: FIONNUALA WALDRON, Head of Education, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.

Chair: CELESTINE RAFFERTY, Senior Assistant, Wexford County Council.



The Titanic: A decade of commemoration in Northern Ireland

Speaker: PETER COLLINS, Department of History, St. Mary’s University College, Belfast.



Commemorating the Great War

Speaker: BRIAN KENNAWAY, President of the Irish Association for Culture, Economic and Social Relations.

Chair: DAVID O’MORCHOE (THE O’MORCHOE), President of the Royal British Legion, Republic of Ireland.



Fieldtrip: Tour of 1798 sites and other commemorative locations


Sunday 24 June 2012:



History Ireland Hedge School: ‘2016: Who calls the shots?’

Speakers: PATRICK F. WALLACE, director (emeritus), National Museum of Ireland; ROISÍN HIGGINS, Boston College; CONOR MCNAMARA, University of Notre Dame.

Chair: TOMMY GRAHAM, History Ireland.


For Minister Deenihan’s address, click here.


For Brian Kennaway’s address, click here.


For further information about the Byrne Perry Summer School, click here. 

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