Archive of Conferences

Archive Page of our previous Conferences

2017  Conference

Youghal in the 20th Century

2016 Conference

24 – 25 September at the Collegiate Church , Youghal

The Tom Mc Carthy Memorial Lecture:

Prof. Howard Clarke: “Ports and Port Facilities in Medieval Ireland”

Sarah Gearty : ” Creating Town Atlases”

Tadhg O’Keeffe : ” The Making of Youghal”

David Kelly : ” Exploring the Youghal Town Atlas”

Linda Doran : “Medieval New Ross, the Development of a Commercial Hub”

Angrett Simms: ” Youghal in the European Context”

A guided walk of Youghal took place on Sunday 25th September


2014  Conference

19 – 21s September  –  “A Gathering of Friends – A Celebration of the history of the Quakers”

Friday 19th, 7.30 p.m.  “Lady Tynte meets William Penn” an entertainment

Saturday 20th

The Tom McCarthy Memorial Lecture :

Rob Goodbody : “The Silent Majority, Quakers in Ireland”

Larry Geary : “The Quakers and the Great Irish Famine”

Kieran Groeger: “The Trial and Execution of James Cotter”

Peter Murray “Speaking Truth to Power ; Quaker influences in Irish Art”

Richard S.Harrison : “Time and Eternity ;The Quakers of Cork and Youghal”

William Hudson : “Five Generations of Youghal Fishers; Entrepreneurs, Activists and Philantropists”

Joan Rockley : ” The remarkable Abraham Abell, Esq.”

Hiram Morgan : “The importance of Ireland in the career of William Penn”

Jean Johnson and Dagmar O’Riain Raedel :  “The Quakers in East Cork with especial reference to the Allen family of Ballymaloe”

18 – 20 September 2015

The Fitzgeralds of Desmond – Earls, Poets and Rebels , from Gallic to Gaelic”

18th September

Philip O’Neill : The 1798 Rebellion in the barony of  Imokilly and the Ballymacoda Enigma”

Kieran Groeger and Kay Donnelly : “James Fitzgerald , the blacksmith of 1798”

Saturday 19th September

The Tom Mc Carthy Memorial Lecture:

Tadhg O’Keeffe :  “Building the world of the Fitzgeralds – inchiquin, Ballymaloe, Dromana and Castlemartyr castles.

Paul McCotter: “The Geraldines of East Cork”

Clodagh Tait : “Woman trouble: Richard Boyle and some riotous Fitzgerald ladies”

David Dickson :  “Garret Fitzgerald of Corkbeg , Farming in East Cork in the 17th century”

Donal O’Cathain :  “Poets and Patrons, from Geared Iarla to Piaras McGearailt”

Dagmar O’Riain-Raedel : “The lucky charms of the Fitzgeralds”

Dan Noonan : ” Recent Archaeological Discoveries from St. Mary”s Collegiate Church, Youghal”

Julian Walton : “The History of Dromana”

Gerard Crotty : “Dromana Heraldry”

David Dickson : “The Villiers Stuart Estate in the 18th century

Clodagh Tait : “The Olde Countess of Desmond”


26 – 28 Sept. 2003 History and Community

Thomas Charles- Edwards, Jesus College , Oxford, “The Irish Collection of Canons and the Senchas Mar, A Comparison and contrast”.

Padraig O’Riain , UCC, “From Tallaght to Youghal: the feast days of Saints”.
Damian Bracken, UCC, “Leadership in the Early Irish Church: the evidence of the”Collectio Hibernensis”.”
Colman o Clabaigh, Glenstal Abbey, “The Friars of Youghal, their friends , their foes and their library”.
Cathryn Power, Archaeologist, “The archaeological excavations of medieval Youghal”.
Tadhg O’Keeffe , UCD, “ The Topographies of medieval and plantation-period Youghal”. Rita Connolly, UCC, “Politics and the Boyle Affinity”.
Dave Edwards , UCC, “The Sacking of Youghal, 1580”.
Clodagh Tait, NUI Maynooth, “Mortality, martyrs and monuments, death and burial in early modern Youghal”. (br)

Field Trip to Dairinis and Ardmore

25 Sept. to 3rd Ocober 2004 Youghal’s Maritime tradition

(50th Anniversary of Making of Moby Dick film in Youghal.)

John Sheehan, “The South Coast and the Viking Expansionin the Atlantic”.
Tim O’Neill, “Trouble in Medieval Youghal”
John Fitzgerald, Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland, “Merchants and Mariners from Youghal to Newfoundland”.
Alicia St. Leger , Historian, Youghal – the Huguenot Connection”.
Tadgh O’Keeffe “ Youghal’s Maritime Tradition”

Field Trip to Lismore along the Blackwater Trade Route

23 – 25 Sept. 2005 The Life and Times of Sir Walter Raleigh

Mark Nicholls, St. John’s College, Cambridge, “Who is Sir Walter Raleigh? The Man, The Myth and the Mystery”.
Dave Edwards, UCC, “Raleigh and the Desmond Rebellion”.
John Barry, UCC, “ The History of the World as perceived by Sir Walter Raleigh”.
Andrew King , UCC, ”Spenser and Raleigh in Ireland”.
Larry Tise “Raleigh and the Lost Colony of Roanoake Island”.

Field Trip to sites associated with Sir Walter Raleigh


22 – 23 Sept. 2006 Sir Richard Boyle

“The Dowager Countess of Desmond, 1464 – 1604?” (an entertainment by Kieran Groeger)

Toby Barnard , Hertford College, Oxford, “ The Boyles and Youghal from the 1640s to 1760”.

Nicholas Canny, NUI Galway, “Richard Boyle as Projector and Planner, including Lismore Gardens”.

Kenneth Nicholls, UCC, “Corruption in the 17th Century”.

Donal Brady, Waterford County Librarian, “The Lismore Papers: A Seminal Resource on the Study of 16th and 17th Century Irish History”.

Clodagh Tait, University of Essex, “One of the most scandalouse pieces that was ever seene: reading Richard Boyle’s tombs”.

Tadhg O’Keeffe, UCD, “A Tale of Two Towns: Youghal and Bandon in Boyle’s Time”.

Des Cowman , Irish Mining historian “ A Universal Havoc Made of Root and Branch. The Forests north of Youghal and Richard Boyle’s ironworks.

Field Trip to College Gardens, Lismore Gardens and Castle.

29 – 30 Sept. 2007 Churches and Cloisters in Medieval Youghal ( celebrating Louvain 400)

Colman O’ Clabaigh, UCD and Glenstal Abbey,“Mendicants, merchants and mariners; the friars in medieval Youghal”.

Padraig O’Riain , UCC, “Was the lone survivor the friary’s most important book? The story of Youghal’s Franciscan martyrology”.

Tadhg O’Keeffe, UCD, “The architecture of friaries; with special reference to the Franciscan and Domincan abbeys at Youghal”.

Raymond Gillespie, NUI Maynooth, “The Golden Age of the Irish Franciscans”.

Malgorzata Krasnodebska – d’Aughton , UCD, Franciscan Altar Plate in the first half of the 17th century”.

Bernadette Cunningham, RIA, Dublin, “Micheal O’Cleirigh and the Annals of the Four Masters”.

Marian Lyons, Dromcondra, “The expansion of the Irish Franciscan College network in 17th century Europe”.

Edel Bhreathnack, UCD, “Louvain 400, the Franciscan Library, Killiney, past and future”.

Field Trip to North Abbey site.

11th -12th Oct. 2008

       Ports in the 18th and 19th Centuries


Patrick O’Flanagan , UCD, Irish port towns and cities within an Atlantic European context”.

Peter Murray, Crawford Gallery, Cork , “Art and Patronage in 18th Century Cork”.

Colin Rynne, UCC, “The Port Archaeology of Youghal, Cork and Kinsale in the 18th Century”.

Una O’Connor, UCC, “Transportation, the Famine Flight and Post- Hunger Exodus: Nineteeth Century Emigration from the Port of Cork”.

Tadhg O’Keeffe, UCD, “The 18th and 19th centuries in Youghal, : the information from the historic Town Atlas”.

Loughlin Kealy , UCD, “ Land and Sea: the architectural imagination”.

Michael Mc Carthy “ Port of Cork, “Recent developments and the future of the Port of Cork”.

Alicia St. Leger, “ Huegenot Linnks with Youghal”.

Lindsay Proudfoot, QUB, “Ports and Politics: Contesting Landlord Authority in Dungarvan c.1830- 1832”.

Carmel Quinlan , UCC, “ Merchants, Philantrophists and Reformers – the Quakers of Youghal”.

David Kelly “ Life in 18th and 19th Century Youghal”.

25 – 27 Sept. 2009

The Blackwater Valley – Historic Houses and Landscapes 

Kieran Heffernan, “The Houses of the River Blackwater”
Tadhg O’Keeffe and Dave Whelan , UCD, “The Georgian Order and its Origins; the Big Houses of the Blackwater Valley, 1500 – 1800”.
Willie Fraher, County Waterford Museum, Dungarvan, “County Waterford Houses on the River Blackwater”.
Peter Murray, Crawford Gallery, Cork, Art and Architecture in the Blackwater Valley 1600 -1900”.
Sarah Monahan , UCD, “18th century Estate Towns of the middle Size, Villierstown and Dromana Estate”

Terence Dooley, NUI Maynooth, “The Social Life of Castle HydenPost Independence”.

Julian Walton , Dunhill Education Centre, “Dromana: The Lords of the Decies and the Villiers Stuart.

Finola O’Kane, UCD, “The Designed Landscape of the Blackwater River Valley”.

Field Trip , by boat, to Dromana House and Villierstown.


24th -27 September 2010

The Mediaeval Walled Towns

John Bradley , NUI Maynooth, “Youghal and the Mediaeval Towns of Ireland”.

Dagmar O’Riain-Raedel UCC , “When miracles happened at Youghal, Our Lady of Graces”.

Colman O’Clabaigh, Glenstal Abbey, “Monks, Medicine and Malpractice – the Benedictine Hospital in Youghal”.

Tadhg O’Keeffe, UCD, “Youghal’s Medieval Town Gates”.

David Kelly , Historian , Youghal, ” The Architecture of St. Mary’s , Youghal”,

Maire Geany , UCC, “The Medieval Oak Roof of St. Mary’s, Youghal”,

Tadhg O’Keeffe and David Kelly , “An update on the Historic Towns Atlas of Youghal”.

Cathyrn Power, Archaeologist, Cork County Council, “Youghal Before the Walls”

Margaret Gowan, Historian, Dublin, “Youghal’s Medieval Town Walls, Heritage and Opportunity”.

Katherine Desmond and Dan Noonan (Archaeologists) “Medieval Youghal as seen through its Archaeology”.

Gerard Crotty , Historian, “The Armorial Heritage of Youghal”


2011 Conference –

Explosive Substances , Politics and Culture in the 19th Century. 

FELIX LARKIN (Dublin): ‘Keeping an eye on Youghal: the Freeman’s Journal and the Plan of Campaign in East Cork, 1886-1892’

Bill Power (Mitchelstown): ‘Going to War in the Name of God: Monsignor Daniel Keller of Youghal and the Priests of Cloyne during the Land War’

Peter Murray (Crawford Gallery, Cork): ‘Lady Caroline Lamb’s 1816 Romantic novel “Glenarvon”, written at Lismore Castle, and its place in the art, politics and literature of the period.

IAN D’ALTON (Dublin): ‘Before Molly Keane: Image and reality in the lives of the 19th century gentry of East Cork and West Waterford’.

Eibhear Walshe (UCC): ‘Burning Down the House: Molly Keane, Elizabeth Bowen and the Big House Novel’

Tadhg O’Keeffe (UCD): ‘The back-lanes, alleys and courts of 19th-century Youghal’

Fintan Duffy (Waterford Institute of Technology): ‘The Decorative architecture of Youghal as a Victorian resort town’.

Joan Rockley (Cork): Edward Fitzgerald of Youghal: architect and antiquary”.

Daithi Kearney (UCC): “Singing sentiment: Gaelic poetry and songs in East Cork”.

‘You Can Judge a Book by its Cover’: The Bookmap of Munster.”

2012  Conference

 Pomp and Circumstance  – Tales from the Grave 

Tadhg O’Keeffe:  ” St. Mary’s Collegiate Church, its architectural history and context.”

Julian Walton : “Ballynatray, the Smyth family and their monuments in St.Mary’s Youghal”.

Rachel Moss : “For the benefit of souls, the art and architecture of Irish Collegiate and Chantry Foundations”.

Willie Fraher : “Samuel Hayman , the ‘Historian of Youghal’ and the 17th century healer Valentine Greatrakes”.

Clodagh Tait : “Birth and Death in 17th Century Youghal : stories from the registers of St. Mary ‘s Youghal”.

Tarquin Blake : “Touring the abandoned mansions of counties Cork and Waterford, a photo-essay”.

Bill Power :  ” As you are now, so once was I – death, burial, ritual and design in the churchyards of Youghal”.

Gerard Crotty:  “History on a shield: the Bourbon monument in St. Mary’s Youghal”.

Patrick Cockburn : “Lives remembered: Claud and Patricia Cockburn in Youghal”.

Cathryn Power : “Paradise regained : A history of burial at the church and graveyard of St. Mary’s Collegiate Church and the future management of conservation”.

Field Trip to various graveyards in East Cork ( including Ballyoughtera and Kilcredan).



2013 Conference

   “From Fields of Gold -a celebration of Irish whiskey”

Abstracts /  details of our speakers 2013  

Dr Andy Bielenberg

Andy Bielenberg was born in Dublin. He studied history and economic history in UCC, TCD and the LSE and has published widely in the field of Irish economic and social history, including, Ireland and the industrial revolution; the impact of the industrial revolution on Irish industry 1801-1922 (London, 2009); co-authored with Raymond Ryan, An Economic History of Ireland since Independence (London, 2013); ‘the Irish distilling industry under the union’ in D. Dickson and C O’Grada, (eds), Refiguring Ireland (Dublin 2003); and ‘Exodus: the emigration of southern Irish Protestants during the Irish War of Independence and Civil War’, Past and Present, no 218, February 2013. He has been lecturing in the School of History, UCC since 1992.



The development of the Irish distilling industry during the union will be placed in the wider context of the industrial revolution, notably the new technologies pioneered in this period within the UK distilling industry. The distinctive features of the Irish distilling story are partially associated with changes in the demand for spirits in Ireland, and the position of spirit drinking within Irish society and how this was policed within a UK context. The paper will also address some more specific episodes in the history of the industry in this period and compare Irish developments within distilling to those in Scotland in the same period.



Dr Angela Mary Griffith

Angela Griffith is a lecturer with the History of Art Department, Trinity College Dublin. Her research examines the history of the graphic arts in Britain and Ireland from the beginnings of modernist fine art printmaking in the 1860s to contemporary multidisciplinary print practices. She is currently focusing on Irish artists and their involvement in illustration and limited edition fine art publishing. She recently co-curated an exhibition for the Long Room,TCD entitled Drawn to the Page;Irish artists and Illustration 1830-1930 which will also be the subject of a forthcoming book due in summer 2014.



In 1924 and 1925 the Dublin distillers, John Jameson and Son Limited, commissioned Harry Clarke to illustrate two promotional booklets for the company, the first entitled Origin of John Jameson whiskey: containing some interesting observations thereon together with the causes of its present scarcity and the second Elixir of Life; Being a Slight Account of the Romantic Rise to Fame of a Great House. As the titles suggest these publications were not humdrum accounts of company’s history but were presented to engage and entertain the reader, and each was sumptuously illustrated.  In selecting Clarke to decorate their promotional literature, an Irish artist who at this time enjoyed an international reputation as an illustrator, the company knowingly associated themselves with a designer who relished in the fantastic and the mysterious in life.

This paper will examine and discuss the unique nature of Harry Clarke’s artistic vision for the Jameson Company and will set the publications’ illustrations within the wider contexts of early twentieth century Irish art and design, and the European Symbolist movement.

Dr Daithí Kearney

Ethnomusicologist, geographer and performer Dr Daithí Kearney is a graduate of University College Cork and a lecturer in Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology. His research is primarily focused on Irish traditional music but extends to include performance studies, community music, music education and the connection between music and place. His PhD concentrates on the construction of geographies and regional identities in Irish traditional music and his research interests include the negotiation, mediation and construction of identities through music and the relationship between music and place.

He has toured regularly as a musician, singer and dancer with a number of groups including Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland and was Artistic Director of the The Cork International Folk Dance Festival 2005. An All-Ireland champion musician, he has recorded with a number of ensembles including the band Nuada and performed for President Obama in The White House in 2009. He continues to tour regularly and in 2012 he released an album with Cork accordion player John Cronin which is related to a wider research project on the music and musicians of the Sliabh Luachra region.

No stranger to Youghal, he taught for a number of years with Craobh Eochaille CCÉ and performed with local group Ceolta Sí.



Johnny Jumped Up: Whiskey in the Irish Song  Traditions

There are many popular songs in the Irish song traditions that make reference to whiskey and other alcoholic drinks, both explicitly and implicitly. In this paper I consider a wide variety of songs from that are performed in many different spaces, by different groups and with different functions in both the Irish and English language. Of particular interest are the metaphorical references to whiskey and the different attitudes to the consumption of alcohol expressed in these songs. From saints and scholars to one horned cows, the talk is interspersed with examples of song with a particular focus on those connected with Cork and surrounding counties.

Dr. Alicia St. Leger was born in Cork and obtained an honours B.A. in history and geography and an M.A. in history from University College Cork. She was awarded a Ph.D. in modern history from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Her publications include A History of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, published in 2005. She works as a freelance historian based in Cork and is involved in publications, museums and exhibition projects all over Ireland.
Whiskey Worlds: glimpses into the lives of some Cork distilling families.

The whiskey industry was of considerable importance in Cork city and county in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It providing wealth and resources to many of the families involved, enabling them to contribute to the cultural, educational and civic life of their communities. This illustrated talk will look at the wide-ranging interests of some of those associated with whiskey production. It will focus particularly on Thomas Hewitt of the Watercourse distillery in Cork city who was also a barrister and antiquarian and was actively involved in many local organisations.

Mr. Barry Crockett

Education: U.C.C.  B.A. (Economics and Archaeology) 1974:  B.C.L. 1993.

Career: Joined Cork Distilleries Ltd as laboratory assistant in 1966. Moved to production as Brewers and Distillers assistant 1968.

Appointed Production Supervisor at the new Midleton Distillery in 1974. Closely involved in distillation commissioning.

Appointed Master Distiller in 1981. Responsible for all Brewing and Distillation systems. Introduced programme of innovation in areas of new distillation development.

Plant efficiency programmes introduced in areas of energy management and quality enhancement ; priority given to whiskey development, in particular the re-introduction of the Single Irish Pot Still range. Oversaw the expansion of plant throughput as part of the growth strategy for Jameson. Close involvement with the design stage for the most recent expansion of Midleton distillery.

Retired from position of Master Distiller in March 2013.



Innovation; The success of Irish Distilling.

The distilling industry in Ireland is one of the longest established, it is also one of the most regulated. Its survival required innovation to work within the legal limitations. At the same time economic factors forced change to the structure of individual firms. The responses to the legal requirements can be regarded also as opportunities, these were availed of in such manner as to define what we now take to be essential characteristics of Irish Whiskey. Examples include the use of larger stills, the use of mixed grains (Malt and Barley), and the development of longer maturation times.

The economic factors conspired to open a range of technical innovations from quite an early period. Many of the innovators were Irish, and a significant number of these innovations are in use today.

Competitive factors were present throughout, the more successful distillers adapted by restructuring and consolidating their enterprises. A distinct example is the formation of Cork Distillers in 1868.

Consolidation was again essential close to 100 years later with the formation of Irish Distillers. In both cases there was considerable innovation and development. The more recent story of Irish Distilling has been one of considerable innovation, this is seen in the exceptional success of Jameson. Midleton Distillery founded initially in 1826 has been central to this story of success.

Colman O’Clabaigh

Cakes and ale: the role of bread and beer in the domestic economy of medieval Irish monasteries.


Cereal products, most notably bread and beer, formed the staple of the monastic diet in late medieval Ireland, as they did elsewhere in Europe. This paper presents the evidence for cereal production, milling, baking and brewing in Irish monasteries. It explores the ways in which Irish monks secured an adequate supply of bread and beer for themselves and their households. It also examines the impact excessive alcohol consumption occasionally had in late medieval Irish religious houses.

Colmán Ó Clabaigh is a monk of Glenstal Abbey and a medievalist specializing in Irish monastic history. His most recent book is The Friars in Ireland, 1224—1540 (Dublin, 2012).

Stephen Franck


Joined Irish Distillers in 1978 from Coras Trachtala / Irish Export Board where he was Director for Eastern Europe, based in Warsaw. He has spent 33 years in the International marketing of Jameson, including 10 years as Global Marketing Manager, and most recently as Jameson Development Director.

During those years he  learned and absorbed much of the historical legacy behind our brands, and was delighted to be asked to lead a project to establish an Archive.


Stephen’s talk will cover the background to the decision to establish an Archive; the choice of location and how a disused historical building was given a new lease of life; gathering the collection together; the scope of the collection; some examples of the gems that have come to light so far;  plans and ambitions for the collection.



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