Creating New Icons of Irish Saints

Wednesday, 1 April 2020 at 8pm

POSTPONED (new date to be set)

An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, originating in the cultures of the churches of the East. It employs a characteristic, and very ancient, artistic style often referred to as the Greek/Byzantine style. This talk covers the research involved in designing and painting new icons of Irish saints in this style. Over the past seven years Colette has developed thirteen new icons of Irish saints for several churches around Ireland. Her talk will be based on her work in preparing those icons: from the selection of the wooden support, the drawing of the saint being portrayed, the etching, gilding, painting, down to the final varnished completed piece of work.

COLETTE CLARK initially studied Medical Laboratory Sciences in DIT, Kevin Street, Dublin. She worked for several years as a medical laboratory scientist in various Dublin hospitals. She subsequently studied the art of iconography under the tutelage of Eva Vlavianos, a Greek iconographer and restorer. Colette is now a tutor with the Association of Iconographers, Ireland. Aside from her work in churches, she has exhibited her icons in a number of venues, and many of her icons are included in public and private collections.

Alice Stopford Green, the Kingdom of Meath and the fifth Province

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 at 8pm

The historian Alice Stopford Green was born in Kells in 1847. Though she spent much of her adult life in London, part of her never left County Meath. And in her imaginings of medieval Ireland she refers in different ways to a ‘fifth province’ that she equated to the ancient Kingdom of Meath. Following the publication of her main Irish histories between 1908 and 1912, Stopford Green made various public interventions into this historic dimension. These included her support for the annual feis on and around the hill of Uisneach, her objection to Lord Aberdeen’s efforts to appropriate the name ‘Tara’, and, thirdly, her campaign against Lord Norbury and his determination to prevent public access to the high cross at Durrow. This lecture will consider the antecedents to the concept of the ‘fifth province’ before President Mary Robinson gave popular prominence to the idea in her inaugural speech as President of Ireland.

ANGUS MITCHELL is a historian and publisher. His work on Roger Casement has contributed to a critical re-evaluation of Casement’s place in the deep history of human rights and the environmental crisis. Dr. Mitchell’s published editions include: The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement (1997), Sir Roger Casement’s Heart of Darkness: The 1911 Documents (2003) and One Bold Deed of Open Treason: The Berlin Diary of Roger Casement (2016). In recent years, Mitchell’s interests have gravitated toward consideration of broader networks of Irish activism and pacifism. Presently, he is working on other intellectuals involved in Ireland’s Cultural Revival, notably Alice Stopford Green, Bulmer Hobson and Nannie Dryhurst. and Poema de Hibernia, a Jacobite Epic on the Williamite War (Dublin: IMC, 2018).

Buried Treasure in the Fields

Wednesday, 4 March 2020 at 8pm

This is an examination of the wealth of practical, historical, genealogical and archaeological information contained in the everyday fieldnames of Meath and Louth. Such a little known resource is at risk of total disappearance due to the continuing fall in farmer numbers, changing systems of agriculture, and field amalgamation. The lecture examines some of the discoveries from the Fieldname Surveys of Meath (2013) and Louth (2014), and also the archaeological findings at the “lost Abbey of Beaubec”. How all this material relates to the broader Ireland is also proposed for valuable future work.

JOHN MC CULLEN is a farmer, an agronomist, a counsellor and a community worker, born on a farm in Co. Meath, educated at Drogheda C.B.S., Salesian Agricultural College, Warrenstown and U.C.D. After a five year spell as Agricultural Advisor in the Oldcastle area, he moved home to farm in 1968, and became heavily involved in the N.F.A/I.F.A at all levels, and also in Historical Societies in Louth, Meath and Drogheda. John wrote a weekly column in the “Farmer’s Journal”, and then in the “Drogheda Independent”, for a total of 35 years. He has published fourteen books and over 30 historical articles, is married to Ann, and they have a family of six. John also lectures at the I.C.A., An Grianán, Adult Education Centre in Termonfeckin.