The History of

irishnottingham

Click on the ‘irishnottingham’ link above to read Pat Murphy’s article, ‘Irish Settlement in Nottingham in the Early Nineteenth Century’.

 

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Irish storytelling for schools

We are busy working with local schoolchildren in preparation for St Patrick’s Day Parade. Thanks to St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee’s funding — all raised by volunteers — , we provide a storyteller and artist to help the children make props for the parade.
This year’s theme story is the tale of Patrick himself:  how he was captured by pirates and brought to Ireland. He was sold as a slave and worked on Sliabh Mish. More about Patrick’s story here.
Follow this link to our Story of Patrick poem  written specially for this year’s workshops.

You might even spot us on BBC East Midlands today.

Watch out for the children in the parade on Sunday 17th March. (The parade sets off around 12.00 from Hockley to Market Square.) Give them a cheer when you see them. They have worked hard on making costumes, props and banners.

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade!

 

If your school would like an Irish story and craft session, get in touch. We tell traditional Irish tales. We can provide extension literacy handouts and colouring pages if needed.

 

 


Irish Cursing: A Magical History, with Thomas Waters

Five Leaves Bookshop, 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH
Wednesday 13 March 7pm – 8.30pm
£3 inc refreshments.
Email bookshop to book a place: events@fiveleaves.co.uk

Historian Thomas Waters explores the weird world of Irish maledictions and curses. He shows that Irish folklore went well beyond fairies, banshees, apparitions and holy wells.
   Cursing was a righteous supernatural attack, which used clever wordplay and special rituals to smite evildoers. With roots in ancient times, this type of cursing remained extremely widespread during the modern era, as Ireland’s people fought over food, land, religion and politics. Although it’s declined recently, even today some people still throw angry maledictions.
   In this talk, Dr. Waters introduces the history and principles of cursing, and explains why the Irish were so good at it. If you think ordinary swearing is handy for letting off steam, you’ve seen nothing yet.
   ‘May you wither up by the fire of hell soon and sudden, may the flesh rot off your bones and fall away putrid before your eyes, and may the consolation of eternal flames come to be your consolation in your last illness, and the hearthstone of hell be your pillow for ever.’ – from a letter sent to a Limerick landlord, in 1886.

Thomas Waters lives locally, in Beeston. He’s a lecturer in history at Imperial College London and author of Cursed Britain: A History of Evil Magic in Modern Times, due to be published in August by Yale University Press.
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/t.waters

This event is part of Nottingham St Patrick’s Day Festival 2019. More info here .

 

Film News

 

Nottingham screening of Unquiet Graves + Q&A

Canalhouse Bar, 48-52 Canal Street, NG1 7EH
Monday 4th March 7.30 – 9.30pm.
Tickets: £6 (+£1 booking fee) here
This event was not organised by our group, but we will join in welcoming award-winning director Seán Murray to Nottingham for a screening of his remarkable new film uncovering Britain’s secret war in Ireland. It examines collusion between the security forces and known sectarian murderers involved in the assassinations of over 120 farmers, shopkeepers, publicans and other innocent civilians. Now known as the Glenanne Gang, the killers rampaged through counties Tyrone and Armagh and across into the Irish Republic in a campaign that lasted from 1972 to 1978. The film offers an appreciation of these tragic events from the perspective of the bereaved families, and is narrated by actor Stephen Rea.

Directly after the film there will be a Q&A with director Seán Murray

Watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/269266157

“Outstanding documentary film-making combining in-depth research and personal testimony to expose the undeniable truth of state collusion and its fatal consequences”
Professor Phil Scraton, author of Hillsborough: The Truth

Unquiet Graves offered a gritting, enraging examination of the state collusion that accommodated (and sometimes actively drove) the murderous actions of the so-called Glenanne Gang. Vital, angry stuff.”
The Irish Times

 

Fri 5th Oct, the Irish film Jimmy’s Hall (dir. Ken Loach, 2014) was shown at Espresso Café and Gallery. Deirdre O’Byrne of Nottingham Irish Studies Group gave a brief introduction to the social and political background of the film, which is set in 1930s Ireland. Jimmy Gralton sets up a community hall in Co Leitrim, and runs into trouble with the controlling authority of the church.
The screening was followed by a Q&A discussion.
Venue: Espresso Café and Gallery, 568 Woodborough Road, Nottingham NG3 5FH

August – October 2018

Activities from last year:

In 2018, NISG ran a short series of Irish Studies talks, all at Five Leaves Bookshop

Tues 11 Sept 2018: Professor James Moran (University of Nottingham)
The Easter Rising – some connections to the English Midlands


Tues 18 Sept: Dr Chrissie Van Mierlo (Erewash Museum)
The Mixed Vocations of Irish novelist (Fr.) Gerald O’Donovan (1871–1942)


Tues 25 Sept: Dr Sinéad Mooney (De Montfort University)
An Introduction to Anne Enright, focusing on The Gathering (Man Booker Prize winner 2007).


Wed 31st October 2018: Halloween and Irish Culture
Five Leaves Bookshop  7pm – 8.30pm
Halloween in Ireland is celebrated by traditional games which have their roots in pagan rituals. Dr Deirdre O’Byrne of Loughborough University will lead a discussion of the feast’s place in Irish heritage, including a look at how Halloween is featured by writers such as James Joyce and Edna O’Brien. Halloween costume is encouraged (though not obligatory).
Discover why we duck for apples, eat barm brack hoping to find a ring, and play games like Five Saucers. 
£3
inc refreshments. All welcome.


Venue:  Five Leaves Bookshop, 2018 winner of British Book Awards Independent Bookshop of the Year.
The shop is down the alley opposite the Tourist Info Centre, off Market Square.
14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH.
Time: 7pm – 8.30pm
Admission: £3 including refreshments.
Please let us know you are coming by emailing: events@fiveleaves.co.uk

More info: http://fiveleavesbookshop.co.uk/events/


Our summer included a return visit to Crawley Irish Festival, to tell old Irish tales. It’s a grand family day out. The festival was on Sunday 26 August 2018, 12 noon til about 6pm. Despite the wet weather, the welcome inside The Hawth was warm and friendly, and we had a keen audience for the old legends.
On Saturday 29 Sept, we participated in Inspire Poetry Festival by being part of the warm-up act for Maura Dooley’s Translations event at Beeston Library.
We read ‘Mise Raifteirí’, an old Irish poem, and the contemporary ‘Ceist na Teangan’ by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill. It felt particularly good to read in front of Maura Dooley, whose parents are Irish, and has written some wonderful poems of the Irish diaspora.

Bloomsday 2018

Thurs 14 June: Pre-Bloomsday readings at Five Leaves Bookshop.
7pm – 8.30pm. £3, including refreshments.
Free if you dress in Edwardian costume (as readers will). 
Live Irish music from Ruadh Duggan of Nottingham Comhaltas.
Brian McCormack and Deirdre O’Byrne read some extracts from the works of James Joyce, in honour of Bloomsday, 16 June 1094, the day on which he set Ulysses, his most famous work. Joyce chose that date to commemorate the date of his first romantic assignment with his life partner, Nora Barnacle.

Here’s a link to an excellent audio recording of Ulysses, complete, by Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ). Treat yourself – Joyce’s words are a joy to listen to. 
https://archive.org/details/Ulysses-Audiobook


Sat 16 June: Happy Bloomsday!
Some NISG members journeyed to Northampton for a short play, Letters to Lucia, written by Richard Rose and James Vollmar. It was performed outdoors at 2.30pm, at Kingsthorpe Cemetery, Northampton, where Lucia, daughter of James Joyce, is buried.

This was a Triskellion Theatre Company production.
Deirdre O’Byrne (of Notts Irish Studies Group) played the part of Nora Barnacle Joyce, the writer’s lifetime partner.
The performance had an enthusiastic audience, including Irish Embassy 
First Secretary (Irish Community & Cultural) Mr Ruaidhri Dowling.



Sat 30 June: Recent Irish writing, Lowdham Book Festival
As is now traditional, the famous Lowdham Last Saturday was free all day. Deirdre O’Byrne of Loughborough University presented a talk on the new Irish writers: focusing mostly on the women, including Sally Rooney, Sara Baume, Louise O’Neill, and Eimear McBride, who have made a stir on the 21st-century literary scene.

 

St Patrick’s Day 2018 – activities

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH
Tues 6 March 7pm – 8.30pm.
Alan Bairner of Loughborough University talked on the longstanding rivalry between Celtic and Rangers football clubs, and other manifestations of sectarianism in Scottish football. Alan is Professor of Sport and Social Theory, and has written widely on sporting culture and identity. A Scotsman, he spent several years working in the North of Ireland, and is a knowledgeable and engaging speaker. All welcome.

£3, including refreshments.
This event was part of St Patrick’s Day Festival 2018.

As part of the festival, Nottingham Irish Studies Group worked with the children of Holy Cross School, Hucknall. We told the story of The Salmon of Knowledge, and the children made banners based on the story, to carry in the parade on St Patrick’s Day.

We also did storytelling in St Philip Neri School in Mansfield.

Adults were not forgotten, as we told the tale of the King with Horse’s Ears at Beeston Tales. On the Open Day at Nottingham Women’s Centre, we told a selection of stories about remarkable women in Irish legends. 
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On Wednesday 7th March, Deirdre O’Byrne gave a talk for Birmingham Irish Heritage Group, on Irish Famine immigrants using the British Welfare system.

 

Vagrant Irish Storytelling

“Christmas at the Workhouse event” @ Southwell
Spent the weekend of Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd December in character as a vagrant immigrant from Ireland. My character was a storyteller who was forced to leave home because of the famine. I was dressed in ragged clothes and told old Irish legends, interspersed with snippets of factual information, telling people a little about the history of the 1840s and Irish emigration to England. There are lots of parallels with current immigration and refugee stories.

Loogabarooga Festival Storytelling

Children in the parade

Loogabarooga Festival is an annual celebration of illustrated children’s books. To highlight the many wonderful children’s versions of old Irish tales, Deirdre will be telling old Irish legends in Charnwood Museum,
11am – 12.00, Thurs 19 Oct 2017.
£2. Fun for all the family.
More info, and booking: 
http://www.goleicestershire.com/Loughborough/thedms.aspx?dms=3&venue=2522751&festival=4332&feature=1052&pvieflag=E

An Evening with Eimear McBride

The award-winning Irish author Eimear McBride visited Nottingham on Wed 1st Nov 2017, 7.00-8.30pm, at the newly-refurbished Beeston Library.

Eimear McBride’s debut novel, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, won the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction, the first Goldsmith’s Prize for experimental fiction, and the Irish Novel of the Year Award. Her new novel, The Lesser Bohemians, is set in 1990s London, and features a naive young Irish student who falls in love with an older actor.

Deirdre O’Byrne of Nottingham Irish Studies Group interviewed the author, who was very articulate and forthcoming on many aspects of her writing career, techniques and style. The room was packed, and the audience showed their appreciation by buying lots of books to be signed.

This event was co-hosted by Five Leaves Bookshop and Nottingham Irish Studies Group.

£5. Email events@fiveleaves.co.uk or tel. 0115 837 3097.

Recent events

We were at Crawley Irish Festival on Sunday 27th August 2017, telling Irish stories. As usual, we had a lovely responsive audience, and even some help with dramatising the stories – thanks, Alicia!
The biggest hit this year was the story of the Giant’s Causeway.

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On Tues 12 Sept, Deirdre told Irish legends featuring wondrously wise and witty women, at Nottingham Women’s Centre Open Day.
This was a popular session, and got lots of good feedback.
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Broadway Cinema Nottingham showed The Journey, a film about Martin McGuinness & Ian Paisley as political colleagues, from 5 – 18 May 2017.
The 1.30pm screening on Thur 18 May was preceded by a brief introduction by Deirdre O’Byrne of Nottingham Irish Studies Group.

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Wed 8 March 2017, 7.00 – 8.30pm
Five Leaves Bookshop
Professor Azrini Wahidin, Irish Republican Women
This presentation discussed women’s involvement in the Irish Republican Army, political protest and the prison experience in Northern Ireland. Through the voices of female and male combatants,  Wahidin demonstrated that women remained marginal in the examination of imprisonment during the Conflict and in the negotiated peace process. However, as the book shows,  women performed a number of roles in war and peace that placed constructions of femininity in dissent.
Azrini Wahidin is the author of Ex-combatants, Gender and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland: Women, the Prison Experience and Political Protest. She is now Associate Dean at Teesside University. 

An International Women’s Day event.

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Wed 15th March 2017 7.00 – 8.30pm
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop
Poetry of the Irish in Britain with Cathy Galvin and Deirdre O’Byrne
Cathy Galvin read her own poetry, primarily from Rough Translation – a collection described by David Constantine as being about “the sea, islands, coastal places,  family who lived very differently from how we do now, the loving connection with them”, drawing on Cathy Galvin’s Irish family past.
The ‘support act’ was Deirdre O’Byrne reading a selection of Irish-in-Britain poetry, from such writers as Maura Dooley, Ian Duhig, Eavan Boland, Bernard O’Donoghue and Catherine Byron, with commentary.
 
£3 on the door. Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham