A one-day conference to explore how the Protestant community in Ireland experienced 1916 and the years that followed.

Date: Sat 21 Nov 2015

Time: 9.30am-4pm

Venue: Renehan Hall (south campus), Maynooth University, Maynooth

Although Irish Protestantism has many historic links with various aspects of Irish Nationalism, by 1916 the nationalist movement had become overwhelmingly, although not exclusively, a Catholic phenomenon.

In the years that followed, Catholicism and the Irish identity became ever more inextricably intertwined. Alternative or other experiences of Irishness and identity have often been overlooked, often inadvertently.

Silenced Stories will explore the experience of the Irish Protestant minorities of 1916 and the years that followed – including elements rarely mentioned in popular narratives about the Rising and its aftermath, including the urban and rural poor and minority denominations within Protestantism.

Silenced Stories invites participants to contemplate the past with a view to building a better, stronger future and to think about the experience of minorities of all kinds in a world that often doesn’t seem to see them.


Thinking Makes It So; The Impact Of 1916 For The Protestant Psyche In Ireland

By: Prof Roddy Cowie

A look at the impact of 1916 for the Protestant psyche in Ireland.
A sense of identity:A knowledge of who one is, where one has come from, and how one is placed in the world.

Individuals need a sense of identity. Communities have similar needs!

Shaped not just by the present, but also by the past.

Found not only within the reaches of oneself but is also negotiated in relationship to others.

The human psyche:

  • How one tends to use personality traits to think about and evaluate what is going on in the world or the immediate environment.
  • How a person thinks, learns, solves problems, remembers or is able to forget.
  • Not just a collection of problem solving or analytical mechanisms within an individual. It includes their motives and desires – the things they aspire to, desire, fear and believe are necessary for life.

Prof Roddy Cowie is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Queen’s University. One of his areas of expertise has been in the area of emotion, particularly the low-level emotion that colours most of everyday life. He has worked on techniques for measuring it and describing it, aimed at charting its ebbs and flows. He has also explored its impact in peacemaking.

Sean O’Casey And The Unfinished Revolution

By: Dr Ben Levitas

A look at the emerging modern Ireland and its place in the world, particularly through the eyes of playwright Sean O’Casey.

Few accounts of the Irish revolution remain as influential as Sean O’Casey’s ‘Dublin Trilogy’. As we approach 2016, The Plough and the Stars still has the capacity to surprise and provoke.

O’Casey’s confrontation of the limits of the Irish revolution, of social change – and of his own form of drama and identity as an Irish writer – are examined as an emerging critique of modern Ireland and its place in the world.

Dr Ben Levitas is a Senior Lecturer at Goldsmith’s University in London. He specialises in an interdisciplinary approach to theatre, in particular integrating theatre history with cultural and political history; an approach that is informed by a broad training. Together with Dr Ian McBride of Kings College and Professor Clair Wills of Queen Mary College, he runs the interdisciplinary London Irish Studies Seminar.

The Protestant Experience Of Revolution In North Connaught
By: Dr
Miriam Moffitt

A look at how political upheavals that occurred in Ireland in the early decades of the last century impacted on all segments of society.

  • The violence and subsequent political upheavals that occurred in Ireland in the early decades of the last century impacted on all segments of society. In estimating the impact of these events on the Protestant population of Ireland, historians have largely focussed on the fortunes and misfortunes of persons of considerable wealth and influence. The stories of persons lacking in wealth or influence have rarely been publicly told.
  • This session will outline how Protestants of more modest means fared during these turbulent years. It will look at how tensions and accommodations created by the intersection of religion, politics and identity were played out at local level.

    Dr Moffitt Dr Moffitt teaches Church History in St Patrick’s College Maynooth and St Patrick’s College Thurles. Her work focuses on the history of religion in Ireland, particularly the issue of how conceptions of identity and ethnicity have been influenced by the manner in which the religious history of Ireland has been written and interpreted.

    Her publications include Soupers and Jumpers, the Protestant Missions in Connemara, 1848-1937 and Clanricarde’s Planters and Land Agitation in East Galway, 1886-1916. In conjunction with Professor Alan Ford and Dr Mark Empey, she is co-editing a book on the manner in which the Church of Ireland interpreted and described its past.
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