Tuesday 4 October, 8pm
Navan and the Great War
The First World War had a significant impact on the town of Navan. On 16 January 1915 the Meath Chronicle reported that “It is stated that between reservists and recruits fully one fifth of the population of Navan is serving in the British army”. Navan men fought also in the Canadian and Australian armies. They fought in all the great battles of the Western Front, like Passchendaele and the Somme; also in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and Jutland. Some died as prisoners of war, others of their injuries back in the Infirmary in Navan. At least 120 of the approximately 1000 men who went out did not return. Their story has remained largely untold until now.
For reference see:
"Glimpses of Life in Navan during the Great War 1914-18" in Ríocht na Midhe XXVII (2016) pp. 240-68, and "Navan and its People during the Great War 1914-18" in Navan - Its People and Its Past II pp. 105-57 (part 1 of article) and in Navan - Its People and Its Past III pp.105-46 (part 2 of article).
Ethna Cantwell worked as a teacher of Geography and History in St. Patrick’s Classical School in Navan for many years. Since her retirement she has been deeply involved in the activities of the Navan and District Historical Society of which she is a founder member and secretary. For the past four years she has researched the story of Navan and its involvement in the Great War 1914-18.
Tuesday, 25 October, 8pm
The deserted Anglo-Norman town and castle at Rindoon, Co. Roscommon
The Anglo-Norman town and castle at Rindoon, co. Roscommon were founded in the late 1220’s. The settlement was deserted by the mid-14th century, and the complex is regarded as one of the best examples of a deserted medieval town in Western Europe. This lecture will explore the different elements that made up the town, paying particular attention to the castle and its associated landscape.
Dr. Kieran O’Conor is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, NUI, Galway. He has published widely on the subject of castles, on medieval rural settlement and on medieval Gaelic Ireland, and he lectures regularly in America, Britain and Europe. He is currently President of Chateau Gaillard – the European castle studies research cluster – and has recently been awarded a prestigious Samuel H. Kress lectureship by the Archaeological Institute of America for the academic year 2017-18.
See the following articles:
Kieran O'Conor, Paul Naessens, Rory Sherlock, "Rindoon Castle, Co. Roscommon. A Border Castle on the Irish Frontier" in Chateau Gaillard 26. Études de castellologie médiévale, pp 313-23 (Caen 2014).
Kieran O'Conor, Paul Naessens, Rory Sherlock, "Rindoon Castle, Co. Roscommon: an Anglo-Norman fortress on the western shores of Lough Ree" in B. Cunningham & H. Murtagh (edd) Lough Ree. Historic Lakeland Settlement, pp 83-109 (Dublin 2015).
Kieran O'Conor, Paul Naessens, "The medieval harbour beside Rindoon Castle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland" in Chateau Gaillard 27. Études de castellologie médiévale, pp 237-42 (Caen 2016).
Monday, 28 November, 8pm
The placenames of Meath and Westmeath
"A lot done, more to do"
This talk will offer an overview of research on the placenames of counties Meath and Westmeath over the past 100 years – from Fr Paul Walsh's pioneering work The Placenames of Westmeath (1915) to more recent developments. These include: the ongoing work of The Placenames Branch on the townland names of Co. Meath (available on Logainm.ie); two PhD theses on townland names in Co. Meath, and one on Co. Westmeath – all completed in the last five years; and the innovative and community-driven Meath Field Names Project.
Aengus Finnegan completed a PhD on townland names in Co. Westmeath at the Department of Modern Irish, NUI Galway, in 2012. From 2013 to 2015 he was employed in Fiontar, the Irish-language unit of Dublin City University. While there, he worked as a Research Editor on a number of Irish-language digitisation projects, including over a year as Project Coordinator of Logainm.ie, The Placenames Database of Ireland. Since 2015 he has been teaching at the University of Limerick, and was recently appointed Lecturer in Irish at the School of Culture and Communication, University of Limerick. His interests include: Irish placenames, surnames, and personal names; folklore; and the historical dialectology and sociolinguistic heritage of the Irish language in central Ireland.