2019 Summer School

In 2019 the Parnell Summer School will take place from 11-15 August at Avondale House, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow.


The Parnell Society acknowledge the support of 

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht


and Coillte Teoranta.


Fees Daily rate for attendance at the Summer School (including lunch) is €75.
Inclusive cost: €270 if paid in full before 1 August 2018, 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.

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Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 

The Programme


Opening Speaker:

Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht


Keynote Lecture

Prof David Farrell MRIA, Head of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin -“Irish party politics: still centrist after all these years?”


Chair: Frank Cogan, Former Irish Ambassador and committee member of the Parnell Society.

Dr Sonja Tiernan, Head of Department of History and Politics and Associate Professor in Modern History, Liverpool Hope University – ‘The Votes for Women Campaign: From Lissadell House to the House of Commons’



Chair: Prof Niamh Reilly, NUI Galway

Prof Yvonne Galligan, Professor of Comparative Politics & Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative, Queen’s University Belfast – ‘Can democracy ever be triumphant without gender equality’.


2.00– ‘A Century of Women in Irish public life, 1918-2018’

Chair: Olwen Dawe, Board member, Poetry Ireland & National Women’s Council of Ireland

Senator Ivana Bacik, Chair of Oireachtas Vótáil 100 Committee

Sinéad McCoole, Commemoration Unit, Department of Heritage, Culture and the Gaeltacht

Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland

Evening entertainment: Curlew Theatre company production: Lady Gregory


Chair: Dr Martin O’Donoghue, Academic Director of the Parnell Summer School

Prof Bernadette Whelan MRIA, University of Limerick – ‘Woodrow Wilson, propaganda and Ireland, 1918’



Chair: Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times

Prof Niamh Reilly, Established Professor of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway – ‘The social and economic thought of Thomas Kettle and Mary Sheehy Kettle’


2.00pm Visit and Wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of John Redmond, St. John’s graveyard, Wexford town to mark the centenary of his death.

Parnell Lecture


Chair:Prof Donal McCartney, President of the Parnell Society

Prof Alvin Jackson, Sir Richard Lodge Professor of History, University of Edinburgh – Redmond and Carson: Bloodshed, borders and the union state.



Chair: Felix M Larkin

Dr Mel Farrell, University College Dublin/Irish Humanities Alliance -‘Democracy Secured: Cosgrave, de Valera and the anomaly of the Irish Free State, 1922-37’

Dr Connal Parr, Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Humanities, Northumbria
University – ‘Leadership, educational crisis, and writing Ulster Protestant History from the Outside’


Chair: Sheila Nunan, General Secretary INTO and President, ICTU

Dr Mary McAuliffe, Lecturer/ Assistant Professor in Gender Studies, University College Dublin – Margaret Skinnider: Uncovering female militant activities. 1919-1923.

Dr Stephen Kelly, Senior Lecturer, Liverpool Hope University – “But what British politician will ever fully understand Northern Ireland?”: Margaret Thatcher and the Northern Ireland question.


Chair: Dr Will Murphy, Dublin City University and former Academic Director of the Parnell Summer School

Dr Bryce Evans, Associate Professor, Liverpool Hope University, ‘Seán Lemass and Irish democracy in 2018’


11.30:‘21stCentury Democracy: Opportunities and Threats’

Chair: Alison O’Connor, Irish Examiner

Tony Connelly, Europe correspondent, RTÉ

Lisa Chambers TD, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Brexit

Jack O’Connor, Chairman of the Labour Party, former President of ICTU and SIPTU.

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.