Parnell Summer School August 2016 – “Embers of Easter”

Under the auspices of the Parnell Society, this year’s International Summer School took place from 7th to 11th August 2016, at Avondale Demesne, Rathdrum, County Wicklow, which is the ancestral home of Charles Stewart Parnell. The theme for the 2016 school is “Embers of Easter”. An educational trust, the Parnell Society was established in 1986. The aims of the Society include stimulating interest in the life, work and times of Charles Stewart Parnell and the Parnell Family, and exploring the relevance of Parnell and the politics of his era to modern Ireland. Over the years, the themes of the Summer School included the Famine, Emigration, the Irish Parliamentary Tradition, the Republic, Religion in Irish Society, the Ulster Question, and Leadership.


Whereas this year’s theme will involve some reflection upon the events in Dublin in April 1916, the programme will mainly concentrate on what flowed from the Rising, its short, medium and long-term influence, past and current commemoration of the events (including its political uses), and will invite reflections on contemporary nationalism and republicanism. In addition to members of the Parnell Society and Parnellites, attendees will include academics, writers, historians, politicians, journalists and members of the public.

Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman will officially open the Summer School on Sunday 7th August, followed by a Keynote Address by Professor Roy Foster (Oxford University) on the subject: “Never So Simple And Clear Again: 1916 and post-revolutionary disillusionment

Lectures on Monday 8th August will be delivered by Dr. Edward Madigan (Royal Holloway University) “The Easter Rising in a World at War”, Dr. James McConnel (Northumbria University) “The bad parliamentary drop”: The children of John Redmond’s Irish Parliamentary Party after 1922”. The Panel Discussion will focus on “1916 in Contemporary Political Discourse” and will be chaired by Martina Fitzgerald (RTE).

On Tuesday 9th August, lectures will be delivered by Mr Ed Vulliamy (Guardian and Observer) “Friendship, Politics, Passion and Wit in Family Letters during the aftermath of Dublin’s 1916 Rising” and by Dr. John Borgonovo (University College Cork) “Mapping the Emergence of the post-Rising revolutionary vanguard in Munster

Lectures on Wednesday 10 August are by Professor Kevin Rafter (Dublin City University) – “Uses and abuses: the political communication of national anniversary”, Dr. Brian Hanley (Author: The I.R.A.: A Documentary History) ‘The layers of an onion’: Class and the memory of the Irish Revolution.  Panel Discussion has the subject “Assessing Commemoration: 2016 and the Decade of Centenaries” will be chaired by Mr Stephen Collins (Irish Times) and the Panellists: Professor Maurice Manning (Chair: Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations), Dr Anne Dolan (Trinity College Dublin), Dr Margaret O’Callaghan (Queen’s University Belfast), and Professor Tom Dunne (University College Cork)

Booking and Registration is through the Parnell Society’s web site:

Since its foundation, the Parnell Society maintains the memory and political legacy of the Parnell family through a number of activities including the annual Parnell Summer School and Spring Day lectures.

The Society has been directly responsible for the events such as: Memorial tree planting at Avondale Co Wicklow, unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the former Steyning Registry Office (near Brighton) where Charles Stewart and Katharine Parnell were married, erection of a memorial stone from Avondale Co Wicklow over the grave of the patriot Fanny Parnell in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Boston, U.S.A, commissioning of a commemorative white rose known as the ‘Katharine Parnell Rose’, Restoration of the grave of Katharine Parnell and placing of commemorative plaque on the grave at Littlehampton, Sussex, presentation of the official press transcripts of the Parnell funeral to Dublin City Archives Presentation of Parnell related publications to the Irish Embassy, Paris.