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Donegal Irish Diaspora Conference

Donegal Irish Diaspora Conference - Kevin Cullen


Donegal Irish Diaspora Conference


Exploring 1916, its legacy and the Diaspora


1916 … ‘she now seizes that moment … supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe’…


Today, Thursday, will see the opening of a two day conference featuring speakers from around the globe on 1916, its legacy and its impact on the Diaspora.


Now in its fifth year, the Donegal Irish Diaspora Conference which is hosted by Donegal County Council in association with the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Centre for Irish Partnerships will take place on Thursday and Friday in Letterkenny Institute of Technology.


This conference which has become an important event in the county’s calendar will include speakers from all over the world including Sir Tom Devine, Kevin Cullen, Michael Patrick McDonald, Professor Paul Arthur, Dr. Frank Talty, Dr. Breandán MacSuibhne, Dr. Éamonn Ó Ciardha and will be moderated by Victoria Denoon from the University of Massachusetts.


Speakers will share their stories and their own research into 1916 and will address the history, experiences and the legacy of 1916 on the Irish diaspora and will focus especially on the profound impact and effect 1916 had on the countries they migrated to and on Ireland itself.


The aim of the conference is to provide an opportunity to explore connections for the next period and to consider how our diaspora can play a role.  The diaspora is a key resource for Ireland and indeed for Donegal and the impact that these people have had whether from an economic, political or cultural perspective has been considerable.


On Thursday morning, Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine from the University of Edinburgh will talk about the Easter Rising and the Irish Community in Scotland.  This will be followed by an address from Dr. Éamonn Ó Ciardha from Ulster University on ‘1916: The Last Jacobite Rebellion’ and Professor Breandán Mac Suibhne from Centenary College in New Jersey will give a talk on Republicanism in West Ulster, Before and After 1916.


On Thursday afternoon, Kevin Cullen, columnist with the Boston Globe will share his own research on ‘Erskine and Molly Childers: A Gunrunning Love Story’ and this will be followed by a panel discussion which will be moderated by Victoria Denoon from the Centre of Irish Partnerships at UMass Lowell.


Friday morning will open with an address from Donegal County Council Chief Executive Seamus Neely on ‘Donegal its Diaspora and Opportunities for 2016 and Beyond and this will be followed by an address from Professor Paul Arthur from the University of Ulster who will be exploring the period '1916 to 2016: Moment, Memory and Remembrance.


This will be followed by an address from author Michael Patrick MacDonald on Irish History and Politics as an Inspiration for Progressive Irish American Politics and Dr. Francis T. Talty from the Centre of Irish Partnerships at UMass Lowell will focus on the Impact of the 2016 American Election on Immigration and Visa Policy.


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