What we’ve been doing this year
We attended training sessions on 19 Jan in Birmingham, provided by Irish in Britain. In the morning, we got advice on applying for ESP (Emigrant Support Programme) funding, and in the afternoon had a fascinating and useful discussion on suicide awareness in the Irish community.
Room, the film of Emma Donoghue’s bestselling novel, was recently shown at Nottingham Broadway. Deirdre O’Byrne (NISG Chair) who teaches Irish literature at Loughborough University, gave a brief introduction to the Silver Screenings at 10.15am and 1.30pm on Thurs 21 Jan 2016.
John Ford’s The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, was shown on St Patrick’s Day 17 March at Broadway, and Deirdre gave a brief introduction tracing its iconic status since its release in 1952, as reflected in Irish literature, eg in Martin McDonagh’s play A Skull in Connemara, and poetry by Maura Dooley and Bernard O’Donoghue.
We participated in the annual Irish festival, which included a colourful procession in Nottingham city centre on Thursday 17 March, Patrick’s Day. NISG provided a storyteller and an artist to work with St Teresa’s School, Aspley; the chosen theme this year was the story of Queen Maeve of Connacht and the Brown Bull of Cooley. The children made props and simple costumes to wear in the procession, based on the old tale.
In Spring 2016, we ran a short series of talks at Five Leaves Bookshop, marking the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Download a printable poster here: Spring 2016 events .
A) The Poets’ Rising Mon 29 Feb
Deirdre O’Byrne led a discussion of a range of writings of the last 100 years, inspired by the conflict.
B) The Road to 1916 Mon 7 March
At the beginning of the First World War there was very little support for an Irish Republic, but the Easter Rising in Yeats’ words meant that ‘all had changed, changed utterly’; a ‘terrible beauty’ had indeed been born. Historian Pat Murphy, founder of Nottingham Irish Studies Group, traced the story of this transformation,
C. Ireland & the Great War, Mon 14 March
Thousands of Irish men lost their lives fighting in the British army in the First World War. Michael Robinson, of the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University, explored the effects of the Easter Rising on how WW1 is commemorated.
D) Easter Rising 1916 – 2016, 21 March 2016
The Proclamation of the Irish Republic promised to pursue the prosperity and happiness of the whole nation and to cherish its children equally. Eddie Walsh, of Keep Left Irish Politics magazine, argued that progressive politics in Ireland from 1966 onwards failed to make significant lasting progress
🙂 We went on mini-tour with these talks, taking some of them to Birmingham, Leicester and Mansfield. Talk A on 1916 literature was presented to Birmingham Irish Heritage Group, on Wed 2 March 2016, and at States of Independence at De Montfort University in Leicester, on Sat 12 March, and A, B & C talks were also hosted by Mansfield and Dukeries Irish Association.