Cork City

Services and Programmes

Autumn 2013 programme


 Dunne flyer Dorgan flyer    Dwyer flyer


Quinlan flyer      Walker flyer

 There’s an exciting programme of talks and other events this autumn, all events in the City Library, Grand Parade.         

Date                     Title                                                                                    Speaker / Key person

10 September       Commemoration & reconciliation                                             Prof Tom Dunne

1 October            “Ireland, as distinct from her people is nothing to me"              Theo Dorgan

2 October              Launch of James Connolly Songbook 

7-26 October         Canon Sheehan exhibition

22 October            What about the women?                                                          Dr Carmel Quinlan

19 November         Unionism, the Ulster Covenant                                                Prof Brian Walker

7 December         “They have rights, who dare maintain them”                             Gerry White


Tuesday 10 September 2013                                                                               7.30pm

 Commemoration and Reconciliation: a challenge for historians

                                                                                              Professor Emeritus Tom Dunne

Prof Dunne is the author of Rebellions: memoir, memory and 1798, Theobald Wolfe Tone: colonial outsider, and has edited, and contributed to, many other important works including James Barry, 1741-1806: ‘the great historical painter’

Commemorations have the potential to sharpen historical divisions but also to promote reconciliation. Systematic attempts at reconciliation through the development of a shared history have marked many European conflicts zones from the end of World War 2 to the present. No such attempt has been made in Ireland, and this talk will ask why, and discuss some of the issues involved.

“President Michael D. Higgins in a number of speeches combined the need to commemorate ‘in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect’ with making ‘historical accuracy a cornerstone of commemoration’.  That is where historians must take the lead.  Fear of causing offence, and obsession with ‘balance’ and all the other manifestations of this damaging ‘political correctness’ can only lead to a bland, meaningless history that may get political establishments to the end of the decade but will do nothing to promote greater understanding”.


 Tuesday 1 October 2013                                                                                      7.30pm

"Ireland, as distinct from her people, is nothing to me”

                                                                                                                            Theo Dorgan

Theo Dorgan is a poet, activist, sailor, and has been Co-Director of the Cork Film Festival, and Director of Poetry Ireland.  His poetry collections include The Ordinary house of love, What this earth cost us, and Greek; Time on the Ocean and Sailing for home are accounts of his ocean voyages.

James Connolly was not content with merely hoisting “the green flag over Dublin Castle”.  Using  Connolly’s well-known assertion – “Ireland, as distinct from her people, is nothing to me” – as his text, Theo Dorgan will reflect on what Connolly hoped for from the revolution, and how today’s Ireland compares to those hopes.


Wednesday 2 October                                                                                          6.30pm

Cork launch of Songs of Freedom: the James Connolly Songbook (plus CD), edited by Mat Callahan. Foreword by Theo Dorgan.

7-26 October                                                                               open Monday-Saturday             

 Canon Sheehan: an exhibition on the life and times of Canon Patrick Sheehan of Doneraile 1852-1913


Tuesday 22 October 2013                                                                                   7.30pm 

What about the women? How Irishwomen dealt with the Age of Revolution

                                                                                                                 Dr Carmel Quinlan

Dr Quinlan’s research interests include the nineteenth and early twentieth century Irish women’s movement, early birth control, and the history of sexuality. She is the author of Genteel Revolutionaries: Anna and Thomas Haslam, Pioneers of Irish Feminism, CUP, 2002.

Irishwomen had campaigned, with some success, for reforms in the fields of education, property and political rights since the second half of the nineteenth century.
This talk will look at how women in Ireland of different backgrounds and allegiances dealt with the many political and social questions which surfaced in the second decade of the twentieth century.


Tuesday 19 November 2013                                                                                7.30pm

 Unionism, the Ulster Covenant and Irish politics, 1912-14

                                                                                        Professor Emeritus Brian M. Walker

Professor Walker, Queen's University Belfast, is author of Ulster politics:  the formative years, 1868-86, Dancing to history's tune: history, myth and politics in
, and A political history of the two Irelands: from partition to peace, among others.   

His lecture is entitled 'Unionism, the Ulster Covenant and Irish politics, 1912-14'. He will examine developments in Ulster leading up to the signing of the Ulster Covenant, looking at some of the key politicians and events of 1912. How did they justify their actions? The consequences of these developments for Irish politics over the next two years will be examined. He will also consider the attitudes of members of both unionist and nationalist communities in Cork to these events inUlster'.

Brian’s great grandfather, Robert Orr, was a first cousin of John Lonsdale, M.P. for Mid Armagh and secretary of the Irish unionist parliamentary party during this period.  Curiously, Robert Orr was also related, by marriage, to Richard Hazleton M.P., secretary of the Irish nationalist parliamentary party.


Saturday 7 December 2013                                                               11.00am - 4.00pm

They Have Rights Who dare Maintain Them
An exhibition and talks on the formation of the Irish Volunteers    
Gerry White and others

The day will feature two talks:

  • 'They Have Rights Who Dare Maintain Them'
    The formation of the Irish Volunteers
  • 'Baptised in Blood'
    The formation of the Cork Brigade of Irish Volunteers