Monday, 5 May 2014

Irish genealogy and history events this week: 5–11 May

The National Commemoration of the Famine is now underway in Strokestown, Co Roscommon and includes a week-long programme of events. You can download the full programme here, but I've included the lectures in the daily listing below:

Monday 5 May: The Quaker involvement in famine relief, with Rob Goodbody. Host: County Roscommon Historical & Archaeological Society. Venue: Strokestown Famine Museum. 7.00pm. Tel: 090 6626400.

Monday 5 May: The Famine Irish, lecture, with Dr Ciaran Reilly, and exhibition launch: The Famine Irish – Faces from County Roscommon. Host: Stokestown Park House. Venue: Strokestown Famine Museum. 8:30pm.

Tuesday 6 May: Professional genealogy, a workshop for those working towards becoming a professional Irish genealogist. Host: The Association of Professional Genealogists of Ireland (APGI). Venue: Helen Roe Theatre, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Booking essential. Details:

Tuesday 6 May to Thursday 8 May Genealogy talk, with Mary Skelly. Host and venue: Strokestown Genealogy Centre, Co Roscommon. Daily: lecture at 2pm; Centre open 10am to 3pm. Details: 071 9633380.

Tuesday 6 May: Belfast's industry and infrastructure, 1750 – 1911, with Dr Fred Hammond. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Must book by email to or telephone 02890 534800.

Tuesday 6 May: Do the Irish Speak English? with Dr Terry Dolan. Host: Kilmacanogue History Society. Venue: Glenview Hotel, Glen of the Downs, Co Wicklow. 8:30pm. Entry: €2 members/€3 non-members. All welcome.

Wednesday 7 May: Ceili Tales - Performance and Community Ceili Evening. Culmination of children's research project focussing on Irish migration to Northeast England. (Research co-ordinated by the Irish Genealogical Research Society). Venue: Daltons, The Customs House, South Shields NE33 1ES, UK. 7pm. Free. Email for tickets.

Wednesday 7 May:
Plain people of the famine, with Professor Mark McGowan exploring strategies for uncovering Roscommon migrants of 1847 from the Canadian side. Venue: Strokestown Famine Museum, Co Roscommon. 8pm.

Wednesday 7 May: Not just Ned, the Irish in Australia, with Dr Richard Reid. Second in the History Downunder Talks series. Host: Keith Cameron Chair of Australian History, UCD. Venue: Boston College, 42 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. 6pm. Free. Open to all. Details.

Wednesday 7 May: Michael Collins - Irelands Greatest, a screening and discussion. Host: Birmingham Irish Heritage Group. Venue: The Connaught Bar, High Street, Deritend, Birmingham, UK. Free. 7pm. Tel for info: +44 0121 604 6111.

Thursday 8 May: Enniskerry in 1914, with Jim Scanell. Host: Enniskerry Historical Society. Venue: Powerscourt Arms Hotel, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. 8:30pm.

Thursday 8 to Friday 9 May: The country house and the Great War – the European experience, conference. Host: Centre for the Study of Irish Historic Houses and Estates. Venue: Aula Maxima, South Campus, NUI Maynooth. Programme and booking.

Thursday 8 May: Na Blianta Luatha – The Early Years of the Irish Language Movement in Northern Ireland, with Aodán Mac Póilin. This talk will be delivered in English with some Irish. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Must book by email to or telephone 02890 534800.

Thursday 8 May: Forgotten heroes – women, children and charity during the Great Hunger, with Professor Christine Kinealy. Venue: Strokestown Park House, Co Roscommon. 8pm.

Thursday 8 May:
The wrecking of the RMS Tayleur, with Gill Hoffs. Venue: Irish World Heritage Centre, Irish Town Way, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 0AE, UK. 7:30pm. £5.

Friday 9 May: One minute's silence will be observed throughout County Roscommon to commemorate the Famine. 12noon.

Friday 9 May: The Early years of the Irish Language Movement in Northern Ireland, with Aodan Mac Poilin. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1-2pm. Free, but booking is essential at or tel: 028 9053 4800. The talk will be delivered in English with some Irish.

Friday 9 May: The plight of females in the Famine, with Dr Ciarán Reilly. Venue: Strokestown Park House, Co Roscommon. 8pm. For details: John O Driscoll 071 9633013.

Friday 9 May: Traditional American Wake. A re-enactment. Hosted by SCDA. Venue: Hayden’s Cottage, Bridge Street, Strokestown, Co Roscommon. 9:30pm. For more details phone Henry Owens on 087 907 4869.

Saturday 10 May: Irish Genealogical Research Society Open Day & AGM. 10:30am to 3pm. Two lectures: Unlocking your deep and recent ancestry with DNA, with Maurice Gleeson, and Irish Heraldry: an overview for the genealogist, with Gerard Crotty. Venue: 34 Chepstow Villas, Bayswater, London. £25 members; £30 non-members. Includes light buffet and refreshments. All welcome. Booking essential. Details.

Saturday 10 May: The Famine, an afternoon of lectures. ’There is no person starving here’: Australian responses to the Great Famine, with Dr Richard Reid at 1:30pm; Remembering and commemorating the Great Famine in Australia, with Dr Perry McIntyre at 2pm; The making of the Irish National Famine Museum at Strokestown, with Professor Terence Dooley at 3pm; The Great Famine and the Great War – Writing the history of calamity, wtih Professor Vincent Comerford at 4pm. Venue: Strokestown Park House, Co Roscommon. More details: John O Driscoll 071 9633013.

Saturday 10 May: Genealogy Workshop – practical tips, with Mayo Genealogy Group. Venue: National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo. 11am–1pm. Free. Non-members welcome. Details.

Sunday 11 May: National Commemmoration of the Great Famine. Ceremonies taking place across Ireland, but the National ceremony will be taking place in Strokestown at 2:30pm. This event is open to the public and everyone is invited to come along to the solemn and fitting commemoration of the Great Famine.

Sunday 11 May: The Great War trench systems of the Curragh and a site visit to Flagstaff Hill. Host: Kilcullen WW1 Commemoration Group. Venue: Heritage Centre, Kilcullen, co Kildare. Admission free. Email for details, or tel: 045 482193.