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Statutory Public Lectures

About Statutory Public Lectures

Éamon de Valera was an ardent devotee of the public lecture as a form of intellectual entertainment, and it was his firm desire that the Institute which he was founding should provide a regular programme of public lectures on specialist topics. He proposed initially that all members of staff at professorial level should have to give six such public lectures a year. This would have been a formidable task, and it would have completely frustrated the purposes for which special arrangements for Irish Studies research had been planned. When de Valera was drafting specifications for his Institute, he had a much closer rapport with physicists, and had more regular exchanges with them, than with any senior scholar in Irish Studies. He particularly relied for advice and guidance on Arthur W. Conway, Professor of Mathematical Physics at University College, Dublin. Conway attempted to dissuade de Valera from stipulating the provision of public lectures. He argued plausibly that (1) a public lecture on a topic of advanced research would probably be understood in a small centre like Dublin by perhaps two people, and (2) the provision of more popular lectures is a specialized activity to which, in any case, only some subject areas are amenable. This reasoning had some effect, and the statutory requirement was eventually reduced to a general exhortation that occasional public lectures be organized by each School and, specifically, that arrangements be made for:

… the delivery in alternate years in University College, Dublin, and Trinity College, Dublin, of one or more public lectures on subjects or branches of knowledge in respect of which study or research is being carried on in or under the authority of the School … (Establishment Order 17.2).

It is these annual lectures, alternating between University College and Trinity College in Dublin, which have come traditionally to be called the `Statutory Public Lectures’. From the beginning, the Statutory Public Lecture requirement has been interpreted as permitting the practice, established by the School of Irish Learning, of providing an opportunity for experts from outside the School and, whenever possible, from overseas, to lecture on aspects of their research.

Previous Statutory Public Lectures

2016
Barry J. Lewis
View the lecture, and download the notes (PDF).
Part of Tionól 2016
2015
Ruairí Ó hUiginn: The Emergence of Modern Irish
View the lecture, and download the notes (PDF).
Part of Tionól 2015
2014
Liam Breatnach: The Church in the Laws of Early Mediaeval Ireland
View the lecture
Part of Tionól 2014
2013
Fergus Kelly: Early Irish Music: An overview of the linguistic and documentary evidence
View the lecture

Handout

What do the early Irish texts tell us about the history of music in this country? The main emphasis in this lecture will be on the period between the coming of Christianity in the 5th century and the Anglo-Norman invasion in the late 12th century. Topics to be discussed include the identification of the stringed instruments crot and timpán, the use of wind-instruments in military contexts, the development of bag-pipes, the functions of percussion instruments, and the various styles of singing mentioned in the texts. There will also be an account of the evidence for dancing in early Christian Ireland.

The lecture will conclude with a summary of the role of music in early Irish society, and a discussion of the Church’s attitude towards different types of music, as well as an account of the frequent association between music and the supernatural in early Irish literature.

Part of Tionól 2013

2012
Máire Herbert: Irish History and World History: Some views from the pre-Norman era
Part of Tionól 2012
2011
Liam Breatnach: Poet and scholar: The education of the fili in early mediaeval Ireland
Part of Tionól 2011.
2010
Damian McManus: The Bardic Poetry Database: opportunities and challenges for future scholarship
Part of Tionól 2010.
2009
Fergus Kelly: Women’s rights and duties in early Irish law, with special reference to marriage
Part of Tionól 2009
2008
Pádraig A. Breatnach: The Four Masters and their Works: A Team Enterprise
Part of Tionól 2008
2007
Katharine Simms: The Nature and Function of Bardic Poetry: an introduction to the DIAS bardic poetry database
Part of Tionól 2007
2006
Pádraig Ó Riain: The Book of Glendalough: a continuing investigation
Part of Tionól 2006
2005
Liam Breatnach: Mediaeval Irish law and mediaeval Irish literature
Part of Tionól 2005
2004
Tomás Ó Cathasaigh: The body in Táin Bó Cúailnge
Part of Tionól 2004
2003
Seán Ó Coileáin: When oral becomes literary: the case of Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire
Part of Tionól 2003
2002
Liam Breatnach: ‘Satire, praise and the early poet’
Part of Tionól 2002
2001
Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha: ‘Medical writings in Irish: translations of the works of Bernard of Gordon’
Part of Tionól 2001
2000
Fergus Kelly: ‘The early Irish wisdom-texts: origins and ethos
Part of Tionól 2000
1999
Máirtín Ó Murchú: ‘The Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language II’
1998
Máirtín Ó Murchú: ‘The Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language I’
1997
Pádraig Ó Macháin: ‘Ar thóir téacs agus údair i bhfilíocht na scol’
1996
David Howlett: ‘Scoti ludentes, the Irish at play in their earlier letters’
1995
Terence McCaughey: ‘Dr. Bedell and Mr. King’
1994
Thomas O’Loughlin: ‘The view from Iona: Adomnán‘s mental maps’
1993
Gwenllian Awbery: ‘Does Welsh have a future?’
1992
William Gillies: ‘The Book of the Dean of Lismore’
1991
Neil Buttimer: ‘Manuscript and book in pre-Famine Gaelic Ireland’
1990
R. Mark Scowcroft: ‘Abstract narrative in Ireland’
1989
Máirtín Mac Conmara: ‘The Irish affiliations of the Catechesis Celtica’
1988
Fergus Kelly: ‘Early Irish Farming: the evidence of 7th-8th century law-texts’
1987
Rolf Baumgarten: ‘The Galatians: Celts in Asia Minor’
1986
Proinsias Mac Cana: ‘The Early Ulster-Scottish Hero Cycle’
1985
Mícheál Ó Siadhail: ‘Irish and English – Aspects of Language Contact’
1984
Heinrich Wagner: ‘The Celtic Invasions of Ireland and Britain: Facts and Theories’
1983
Nessa Ní Shéaghdha: ‘Translations and Adaptations’
1982
Malachy McKenna: ‘The Breton Literary Tradition’
1981
Brian Ó Cuív: ‘Ireland’s Manuscript Heritage’
1980
Mícheál Ó Siadhail: ‘The Standardization of Irish Orthography’
1979
Heinrich Wagner: ‘Origins of Pagan Irish Religion’
1978
James P. Carney: ‘Aspects of Archaic Old Irish’
1977
Karl Horst Schmidt: ‘The Languages of Gaul and Britain in Roman Times’
1976
Fergus Kelly: ‘Early Irish Justice’
1975
Breandán Ó Buachalla: ‘Settler and Native in Seventeenth-Century Ulster’
1974
David Greene: ‘Makers and Fakers’
Brian Ó Cuív: ‘Personal Names, Epithets and Nicknames in Irish’
1973
Rolf Baumgarten: ‘A Bibliographer’s View of Irish Studies’
1971
Myles Dillon: ‘The Oldest Irish Stories’
1970
Roparz Hemon: ‘Written and Colloquial Breton’
1969
David Greene: ‘The Chariot in Early Irish Literature’
Brian Ó Cuív: ‘The Linguistic Training of the Mediaeval Irish Poet’
1968
James P. Carney: ‘The Lost Book of Glendalough – A Preliminary Investigation’
1966
Daniel A. Binchy: ‘Tribe and Clan – The Celtic Evidence’
Daniel A. Binchy: ‘A Thousand Years of Irish – Corpus Iuris Hibernici’
1964
Myles Dillon: ‘Finding the Celts’
Daniel A. Binchy: ‘The Book of Rights and Irish Pseudo-History’
1962
James P. Carney: ‘Sedulius Scottus – A Man of Adequate Piety’
Daniel A. Binchy: ‘The Ritual Hunger Strike in Ancient Ireland’
1961
Paul Thieme: ‘Prehistoric Origins of Indo-European Poetry’
1960
Caerwyn Williams: ‘Early Welsh Personal Names’
1959
Daniel A. Binchy: ‘The Origins of the so-called High-Kingship’
1958
James P. Carney: ‘O’Hussey and Maguire – A Study in the Relationship of Poet and Patron’
1957
Daniel A. Binchy: ‘Tara and Cashel’
1956
Myles Dillon: ‘The Book of Rights’
1955
James P. Carney: ‘The Old Irish Poems on the Blessed Virgin’
1953
Daniel A. Binchy: ‘Celtic Kingship’
Myles Dillon: ‘Linguistic Borrowing and Historical Evidence’
1952
Heinrich Wagner: ‘The Irish Linguistic Atlas – A Preliminary Report’
1951
David Greene: ‘The Art of Translation’
1950
Brian Ó Cuív: ‘Irish Dialects and Irish-Speaking Districts’
1949
James P. Carney: ‘Suibhne Geilt and the Children of Lir’
1947
J. Lloyd Jones: ‘The Court Poets of the Welsh Princes’
1946
Cainneach Ó Maonaigh: ‘Sgríbhneorí Gaeilge d’Órd San Froinsias’
1944
John Macdonald: ‘Scottish Gaelic and its Literature’
1943
Ifor Williams: ‘Early Welsh Poetry’
1942
Thomas F. O’Rahilly: ‘The Two Patricks’