Celebrity historian opens Dungannon conference

A PROFESSOR of modern Irish History will will open a conference of local historians at Parkanaur Manor House, near Dungannon on Saturday, October 6.

In an age of celebrity, it’s no surprise that Ireland has now a celebrity historian who is no stranger to controversy.

Professor Diarmaid Ferriter recently resigned from the National Library of Ireland’s board in protest at Irish Government policy on culture, saying that the Government paid “lip service” to the importance of the Library and other cultural institutions while “it seeks to emasculate these institutions”.

He will open the Parkanaur conference with a striking title, like the man himself –’Scrambling for the bones of the Patriot Dead: commemorating the Irish Revolution, 1913-23’.

The conference will look at commemorations of all kinds. It has a great line-up of very distinguished historians, including

Brian M. Walker, Professor Emeritus of Irish Studies, Queens University of Belfast speaking on ‘1690, 1916 and all that: key changes in commemorations in Ireland over the last half century’.

Dr. Timothy Bowman from the University of Kent speaking on ‘Commemorating Irish Unionist resistance to Home Rule, 1911-2012, Dr. Emmet O’Connor, University of Ulster speaking on ‘Labour history, historiography, and the decade of centenaries’ and concluding with Professor Emeritus Pádraig Ó Riain talking about’Commemorating local saints in the Dictionary of Irish Saints’.