Tuesday, 1 September 2015




17th Sept.



Paul O'Brien has written extensively about the experience of both the recruiters, and the men who enlisted in the military, during the First World War (1914-1918), from a provincial Irish town.

Paul based his First World War research on an invaluable collection of unpublished documents, manuscripts and photographs, part of the Glynn family archives.

15th Oct. 



Stephen will give an illustrated talk called Letters, Lives & Liberty – The Post Office in Ireland, in which he will aim to highlight some of the ways in which the Post Office has influenced Irish life over the years and introduce some of the people and events associated with it. 

The present GPO in Dublin is two hundred years old and next year, of course, marks the centenary of 1916. This year we remember the bicentenary of the novelist Anthony Trollope, who spent many years working for the Irish PO.

Transport, communications, stamps, politics and technology  - in his wide ranging talk, Stephen feels there will be something to appeal to all the audience as he  tries to let people see the past through the post.

19th Nov. 



Many people researching their Irish family history hit a Brick Wall around the 1800-1830 time periods. Before this, records are sparse and it can be difficult to find the ones that apply to your particular ancestors. This is where DNA testing can help. Dr Maurice Gleeson will describe the 3 main types of DNA test and how each can be helpful in breaking through some of your genealogical Brick Walls. Y-DNA has revolutionised surname research in Ireland - it has confirmed which people with the same surname are related to each other, and is now helping to verify the ancient genealogies recorded in the Ancient Irish Annals. Autosomal DNA is connecting people to hundreds of cousins they would not otherwise have known about and mitochondrial DNA, which is particularly useful for ancient DNA analysis, is unravelling the mysteries of those long departed. 

DNA testing (using a simple cheek swab) will be available after the lecture for anyone who wants it. Special discounted prices, starting at €50 (approximately), have been negotiated for this event.

21st Jan. 2016 



"The O'Connell family were transplanted to Clare from Caherbarnagh outside Sneem in Co Kerry in 1653 by the Cromwellian forces and we were given some land at Cloonmacken in Inagh and today the family vault is in Inagh graveyard.

I have traced back a direct O'Connell line for 28 generations and I was fortunate to be able to go back that far as a result of our ancestors being very prominent in the European armies of France, Spain, Prussia and Austria.  Some of them were Colonel's and general's and in order to reach a high rank in the European armies you had to prove your lineage  hence the records are available.

The O'Connell's were in Clare 160 years before the liberator arrived, but it is important to note that Maurice O'Connell, "the transplanted", who was sent to Clare with 59 of his family on the 14th December, 1653, was the brother of Geoffrey O'Connell, who was Daniel's ancestor. Maurice was our ancestor and their father, also Geoffrey, is the direct line to Daniel O'Connell and myself. 

That makes our family, here in Clare, the closest relatives to Daniel O'Connell.  The story is remarkable and our ancestors, the Brigadier and his brother John, both killed, at the battle of Aughrim and Derry, were fighting for King James against the Williamites.  

One of our ancestors, another Maurice O'Connell, was married to Mary Bligh, daughter of Captain Bligh of mutiny on the bounty fame and is buried in Australia ... we have a photograph of his grave.

All of the O'Connell's in Clare at present are direct descendants of Maurice the Transplanted and we will elaborate more at a later stage."


18th Feb. 



 Offering a unique insight into the habitual inebriate offender class in Ireland, this lecture examines the inebriate reformatory system in Ireland from its foundation in 1900 until its closure in 1920 and the three institutions charged with punishing or rehabilitating habitual drunkards: The State Inebriate Reformatory, The Certified Inebriate Reformatory and The Voluntary Inebriate Retreat. 

Using registers of inmates, annual reports, court cases and institutional records, Conor Reidy presents a stark account of the ways in which alcohol addiction and lack of opportunity condemned countless Irish victims to lives of poverty, misery and crime in the early twentieth century. 

 Conor also looks at the ways in which institutional staff sought to exact reform over the inmates through education, training, religion and discipline. 

 He profiles a hitherto little known system, giving it a place within the historiography of Ireland's complex web of so-called reformative institutions.

Courtesy of John Bradbury CRS

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