Professor Eunan O’Halpin to speak

The WCHF is delighted to confirm that Professor Eunan O’Halpin will be one of the contributors to the Festival. Eunan O’Halpin is Professor of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College Dublin. He has published widely on aspects of twentieth century Irish and British history. Amongst relevant works are The Decline of the Union: British government in Ireland 1892-1920 (Dublin, 1987), Defending Ireland: the Irish state and its enemies since 1922 (Oxford, 1999), and Spying on Ireland: British intelligence and Irish neutrality during the Second World War (Oxford, 2008). A founding co-editor of the series Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, he is currently preparing a study of Afghanistan and the belligerents during the Second World War. He has strong family links to the Irish revolution, in which his Halfpenny, Moloney and Barry grandparents had senior roles and in which two great uncles were killed.

Professor Terry Barry to speak

WCHF is pleased to announce that Professor Terry Barry will contribute to our inaugural event. Terry Barry is Professor Emeritus in Medieval History at Trinity College Dublin. His main interests lie in understanding the settlements of the Normans who conquered England after 1066 and Ireland after 1169. He is currently working on a book that investigates the historic landscapes around Norman castles in Europe. In his presentation to the Festival, he will be discussing mediaeval tower houses in Ireland and elsewhere and helping to set the form, as we see it in West Cork, in its wider context.

Dr Andy Bielenberg to speak

We are very pleased to announce Dr Andy Bielenberg will be contributing to the Festival in July next year. Andy Bielenberg is a Statutory Lecturer in History at University College Cork. He has published widely on Irish economic and social history, and is currently engaged in various research projects on the Irish revolution, including a digital memorial of all fatalities of the War of Independence in Co Cork.

Professor David Fitzpatrick to speak

The Festival is delighted to confirm that Professor David Fitzpatrick will be a contributor next July. David Fitzpatrick is a Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College, Dublin, where he was until recently Professor of Modern History. He has held various visiting appointments in Australia and Canada, and in 2013 was Parnell Fellow in Irish Studies at Magdalene College, Cambridge. His work has ranged widely across the political, social, economic, and cultural history of modern Ireland, including many studies of Irish emigration, Irish involvement in the Great War, and the Irish revolution. His most recent book is Descendancy: Irish Protestant Histories since 1795, which presents a detailed study of the revolutionary experience of Methodists in West Cork. He has contributed extensively to debates about the Bandon Valley killings, and looks forward to discussing their wider significance in his lecture.

Professor Marianne Elliott to speak

The WCHF is delighted to announce that Professor Marianne Elliott will be among the contributors to the Festival next year. Professor Elliott, who was born in Belfast, held the first Tony Blair Chair of Irish Studies from 2007 to 2014. She is the author of the multi-award winning biography Wolfe Tone: Prophet of Irish Independence, and has been internationally recognized for her role in the Northern Ireland peace process, most notably serving on the Opsahl Commission in 1993, co-writing its report, ‘A Citizens’ Inquiry’. In October 2000, she was awarded an OBE for services to Irish Studies and the Northern Ireland peace process.

John Spearman to Chair WCHF Patrons

The West Cork History Festival is delighted to announce that John Spearman has kindly agreed to chair its group of patrons. John brings a wealth of experience in the leadership of creative and arts organisations. He is currently Chairman of Framestore, the visual effects group responsible for some of the most innovative films of recent years, including the Oscar-winning Gravity. He was previously the founder and Chief Executive of Classic FM. John and his family have long-standing ties to West Cork.

The Festival is very grateful for his support which is a huge boost as we plan a successful inaugural event next year.

West Cork

“From west to east the ocean is wide before you. …from the far blue Fastnet Rock, looking like an anchored battleship, on the west, to the long and slender arm of Galley Head, with its white light-house, floating like a seagull on the rim of the horizon. Between these points, among those heavenly blues and greens and purples, that change and glow and melt into each other in ecstasies of passionate colour, history has been made, and unforgettable things have happened.”

Edith Somerville, Irish Memories

Why Here?

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural.

Louis McNeice

The West Cork History Festival will be dedicated to the incorrigible plurality of the area. Leading historians and other writers from Ireland and around the world will participate. It will be a distinctive experience, but draws inspiration from the success of other events in Ireland and elsewhere.