Archive 2018

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.

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We were very pleased to support Stewart Halforty in his organising of the Nottingham screening of Unquiet Graves + Q&A

Canalhouse Bar, 48-52 Canal Street, NG1 7EH
Monday 4th March 7.30 – 9.30pm.

We joined in welcoming award-winning director Seán Murray to Nottingham for a screening of his remarkable film uncovering Britain’s secret war in Ireland.
The film was followed by a Q&A with Seán Murray. This was a well attended and very successful event.
Watch the trailer of Unquiet Graves here: https://vimeo.com/269266157

Bloomsday 2018

Thurs 14 June: Pre-Bloomsday readings at Five Leaves Bookshop.
7pm – 8.30pm. £3, including refreshments.

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 1904, the day on which he set Ulysses, his most famous work.

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 Ruaidhrí Dowling.


Sat 30 June: Recent Irish writing, Lowdham Book Festival
Dr Deirdre O’Byrne of Loughborough University presented a talk on 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.

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 who has written some wonderful poems of the Irish diaspora.

 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.
The screening was followed by a Q&A discussion.

August – October 2018

Our group 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: Dr Deirdre O’Byrne (Loughborough University)
Halloween and Irish Culture