Abstracts (2015)


The 2017 details are not yet to hand .


Prof David Dickson

Garret Fitzgerald of Corkbeg: Farming in East Cork in the 17th century
This talk will focus on agricultural change in Cromwellian and post-Cromwellian east Cork as revealed in the farm account-book of Garrett FitzGerald of Corkbeg. This remarkable document spans the years 1652 to 1675 and throws intriguing light on (among other things) the beginnings of commercial dairy farming and the impact of the Restoration Cattle Acts. FitzGerald was it seems a nimble survivor in a turbulent age.

The Villiers Stuart estate in the 18th century
The Dromana estate, located principally in the old baronies of Decies Without and Decies Within, was one of the largest and most compact properties in eighteenth-century Munster. It had not been subject to confiscation in the seventeenth century, and in the eighteenth century it retained many archaic features as it passed through the female line from Geraldine to Villiers-Stuart ownership. This paper reflects on the contrast between the social make-up of the Dromana estate and that of ‘Boyle country’, the properties lying on the opposite side of the Blackwater that had originally been the patrimony of the first earl of Cork. The impact of Earl Grandson, the most interventionist proprietor in the estate’s history and the man behind the creation of Villerstown, will also be discussed.

Julian Walton

The history of Dromana

On 3 July 1215 King John granted the territories of Decies and Desmond to Thomas fitz Anthony, who proceeded to conquer and settle these lands. From fitz Anthony’s daughter Margery and her husband John fitz Thomas descend the FitzGeralds, Earls of Desmond and Lords of Decies. The earliest fortifications at Dromana were built at this time. James Earl of Desmond, who died in 1462, left the Decies to his younger son Gerald, who settled at Dromana; his descendants have lived there ever since.
This paper traces the history of Dromana and the family whose home it was; its transition from medieval castle to Georgian mansion; how it survived the vicissitudes of war and confiscation in Tudor and Stuart times; its role as the centre of great landed estate and the contributions made by successive generations to the economic, social and political life of the area; and its survival into modern times.

Dr Paul McCotter

The Geraldines of East Cork

‘The Geraldines of East Cork were one of the great Fitzgerald lineages of Munster. Deriving from the Knights of Kerry and present in Imokilly since the late 14th century, the lineage presents a wonderful example of the kind of ramification so typical of late medieval Ireland. Springing from Sir Maurice fitz Richard of Kerry, by the early 1600s there were several dozen nuclear families of his descendants resident in Imokilly, and the lineage provided members who were prominant both in the church and in secular affairs. Perhaps the most intriguing of these were the cousins, rivals and namesakes John fitz Edmund of Castlemartyr, Seneschal of Imokilly, and Sir John fitz Edmund, dean of Cloyne, the latter a Catholic yet a Loyalist, and one of the great men of his age. This presentation will discuss the lineage both from the historical and genealogical viewpoints’.

Dónal Ó Catháin

Poets and Patrons, from Gearóid Iarla to Piaras Mac Gearailt

The Earls of Desmond were patrons to a number of learned families from the early fourteenth to the late sixteenth century. They patronised the O Daly family in particular but poetry also survives about members of the family by the Ó hIfearnáins, the Ó Maolchonaires and the MacCraiths. The Fitzgeralds themselves also produced a number of poets.
This paper will briefly examine the poetry written by the various members of these poetic families for the Fitzgeralds and poetry written by Gearóid Iarla, the third Earl. It will attempt to show the value of this poetry, which has largely been overlooked, as a source of historical information on the Earls of Desmond and the importance of their patronage of the learned families.
Finally, it will examine the life and works of Piaras Mac Gearailt (1709 – 1792) and place him within the learned tradition of the Geraldines in Munster, showing its continuation from the fourteenth to the late eighteenth century.

Dr Dagmar O Riain-Raedel

The Lucky Charms of the Fitzgeralds

Like other ancient families of Ireland, the Fitzgeralds were thought to be under the protection of the people of the otherworld and, indeed, are supposed to have had amorous relations with some of them! Their social standing, together with these alleged connections with the ‘little people’, lent them an aura which was reinforced by their ownership of magic and sacred objects. The lecture will look at some of these relationships.

The Follwing two presentations will be in Tynte’s Castle on Friday night :

Philip O’Neill “The 1798 Rebellion in the Barony of Imokilly and the Ballymacoda Enigma”

  • The murder of the spy, Patrick Murphy, by the local branch of the United Irishmen and the sustained hunting down of suspects by Lord Boyle of Castlemartyr.
  • The involvement (or non-involvement) of Michael Fitzgerald of Ballykinealy, Thomas O’Neill of Ballydaniel and Fr Peter O’Neill of Ballymacoda in that murder – and their respective fates.
  • The enduring survival of the FitzGeralds of Ballykinealy over hundreds of years.
  • The development of the societies of United Irishmen and the lesser known Defenders in the 1790s and the ready acceptance of their doctrines in the Youghal/Ballymacoda area.
  • The arrival of General Ralph Abercromby as Commander-in- Chief of the Irish army in late 1797 and his introduction of the coercive measure of Free-Quarters to force the surrender of arms.
  • The replacement of Abercromby in late April 1798 by General Lake, who transformed the process of Free-Quarters into a machine of torture and destruction.
  • The sustained implementation of Free-Quarters in the Ballymacoda area, which led to the arrests of Thomas O’Neill of Ballydaniel and Fr Peter O’Neill.

 Kieran Groeger and Kay Donnelly “James Fitzgerald , the Blacksmith of 1798 and his family thereafter”

The Court Martial of James Fitzgerald, the blacksmith , the sentence of the court and the aftermath.

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