2017 Summer School

In 2017 the Parnell Summer School will take place from 13-17 August at Avondale House, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow.

Contemporary Irish society, like other societies around us now and societies in the past, is fascinated to the point of obsession with crime. We can see this in our politics, in the press, in our popular culture. The related issues of appropriate punishment and justice have sometimes been afforded been less attention.

In considering these issues together, the 2017 Parnell Summer School will examine Ireland today, including contemporary criminal, policing, penal and judicial policy. It will also, however, consider their inter-connected histories and the manner in which these are, and have been, represented in our culture, literature and cinema.

The Parnell Society acknowledge the support of Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

Fees Daily rate for attendance at the Summer School (including lunch) is €70.
Inclusive cost: €260 if paid in full before 4th August 2016, and €275 after that date. The inclusive fee covers all lectures and events, coffee and lunch (Monday to Thursday) and the Summer School Gala Dinner.and the Summer School Gala Dinner.

Register for the 2017 Summer School Now

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The Programme

Official Opening Speaker: Judge Richard Humphreys (High Court)

Keynote Address Speaker:

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic (Irish Times and author of The Supreme Court)

The Supreme Court: law, politics and the power of the judiciary.

Session One: 10-11am

Speaker: Professor Padraic Kenney (Indiana University)

Title: ‘A prisoner must reverse their whole system’: Irish Political Prisoners from the Fenians to the Troubles.

Coffee: 11am-11.30am

Session Two: 11.30am-12.30pm

Speaker: Dr Mary Rogan (Trinity College Dublin) Title: Turning Points in Irish Penal Policy

Lunch: 12.30pm-2pm

Panel One: Prison Policy Now: 2pm to 3.30pm
Panellists: Fíona Ní Chinnéide (Irish Penal Reform Trust)

Dr Cormac Behan (University of Sheffield)

Dr Niall Muldoon (Ombudsman for Children)

James Lawless TD (Fianna Fàil)

Evening Reading: 8pm

by Declan Burke (author and critic)

Session Three: 10am-11am
Speaker: Dr Gillian O’Brien (Liverpool John Moores University)
Title: Blood Runs Green: Clan na Gael and the Murder of Dr Cronin

Coffee: 11am-11.30am

Parnell Lecture: 11.30am-12.30pm

Speaker: Dr Carla King

Title: ‘The great inquisition’: Michael Davitt and the Special Commission on Parnellism and Crime

Lunch: 12.30pm-2pm

Trip to Wicklow Gaol

Session Five: 10am-11am
Speaker: Professor Ian O’Donnell (UCD) Title: Capital Punishment and Clemency

Coffee: 11am-11.30am

Panel Two: 11.30am-12.30pm

Mental Health and Incarceration


Professor Hilary Marland (Warwick University) and Associate Professor Catherine Cox (UCD)

‘Bedlam in Broad Arrows’: mental disorder and prisons in nineteenth-century Ireland and England.

Dr Fiachra Byrne (UCD)

‘Straightening Crooked Souls’: Psychology and Children in Custody in Ireland during the 1960s

Lunch: 12.30pm-2pm

Panel Three: 2pm-3.30pm
Justice and the Irish revolution
Speakers: Gabriel Doherty (University College Cork)

‘Political prisoners in Ireland 1877-1920: the public evolution of policy’

Dr Brian Hughes (Maynooth University)

page4image9096‘Crimes against the nation?: Deviance and punishment in revolutionary Ireland’

Session Six: 10am-11am
Speaker: Dr Vicky Conway (Dublin City University)
Title: Guarding the Border: Policing in a Time of Conflict

Coffee: 11am-11.30am

Panel Four: 11.30am-12.30pm
Transitional Justice and Northern Ireland
Panellists: Professor Monica McWilliams (University of Ulster)

Barry Cummins (RTE)

Lunch: 12.30pm-2pm

Session Seven: 2pm-3.30pm
Speaker: Professor Phil Scraton (Queen’s University Belfast)
Title: ‘Justice for the 96’: Researching Truth, Delivering Justice in

the Aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster. 

Visitor Information

Accommodation: a variety of accommodation is available in the Avoca/Rathdrum area visit: http://www.discoverireland.ie/where-to-stay/
Venues: Avondale House and Conference Hall and the Woodenbridge Hotel, Avoca, the evening venue during the Summer School.

Public Transport: Trains and buses to Rathdrum. See irishrail.ie or buseireann.ie

Lectures begin each day at 10.00 a.m.

Lunch will be served from 12.30 – 2.30 p.m.

A variety of entertainment is provided, including guided tour and the Summer School Gala Dinner.

Previous Schools

Images from the 2016 Summer School

Images from the 2011 Summer School

Images from the 2010 Summer School

Images from the 2009 Summer School

The 2009 Parnell Summer School was the Society’s eighteenth annual Summer School. Images below feature some of the highlights of the week including:

The official unveiling of two commerative seats, dedicated to two former founding members of the Society – Marie Toibin and Mairin Lindsay, by US Ambassador, Dan Rooney;

Guest speakers including Dairmaid Ferriter UCD, Christy Cooney GAA President, Michael O’Muircheartaigh, Broadcaster, Robert Fitzpatrick – CEO Odyssey, Jennifer Kelly and Tom Hunt.

Launch of two books from UCD Press – Words of the Dead Chief (eds, Donal McCartney and Pauric Travers); and J.J. Horgan (ed.), From Parnell to Pearse, by Mr Martin Mansergh, T.D.

Plus a review of the on-going redevelopment of the ‘Big Shed’ by the OPW at Avondale House.