Past Talks

2013

February

After the Annual General Meeting Kerry Casey gave us a talk “A Hidden History: the Diggers and the ‘old’ IRA”, in which he spoke about Australian soldiers of the First World War who fought for the IRA.

March

At our annual St Patrick’s Day dinner the guest speaker was HE Noel Whilte the Irish Ambassador to Australia who spoke on the current situation in Ireland.

April

Dr Jeff Kildea gave a talk entitled “Hugh Mahon: Irish-Australian Patriot”, which covered the life and times of this remarkable Irish-Australian.

May

Timoth Causbrook gave a talk entitled “Norse Loanwords and the Dating of Early Irish Texts” in which he discussed early influences on the Irish language.

June

In August 2013 Sydney will host the International Irish Famine Commemoration. Dr Perry McIntyre, chair of the Australian commemoration committee, spoke on the famine and its impact on Australia with particular reference to the more than 4000 famine orphans brought out to the colonies to start a new life here. Dr McIntyre’s talk stimulated an animated discussion of the famine with many members recounting their childhood experiences in Ireland where social memory of the famine was still strong.

 July

The Society’s mid-year luncheon was held at The Gardens on Forest, 764 Forest Road, Peakhurst, European Union Ambassador David Daly will deliver the 19th Joan Ward Memorial Address.

August

Acclaimed Irish novelist and short story writer Evelyn Conlon talked about her latest novel Not the Same Sky, which had been inspired by the experience of the orphan girls sent to Australia during the Great Irish Famine.

 

 September

In a talk entitled “Clonakilla, Lisdoonvarna, Sean Ó Riada and Clonakilla”, John Kirk spoke about his memories ranging from an Irish rural life experienced on his grandfather’s farm, Clonakilla in West Clare to his planting of Canberra District’s first vineyard at Murrumbateman near Yass in 1971

October

Kevin Fitzpatrick spoke on Irish Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shackleton and the extraordinary tale of how he led his men in a daring escape from the frozen continent.

2012

February

After the Annual General Meeting Mike Bailey gave us a talk “Weathering Life”, in which he reminiscenced of his life in the media.

 

March

At our annual St Patrick’s Day dinner the guest speaker was NSW Attorney General Greg Smith SC who spoke and sang of his association with Ireland.

April

Rosamund Burton’s talk “Walking St Declan’s Way” was a delightful exposition of the pilgrimage route from Ardmore in County Waterford to Cashel in County Tipperary.

May

Dr Liam Weeks in a talk entitled“De minimis non curat praetor: voting system design in Ireland and Australia” gave a comparative analysis of the voting systems of Australia and Ireland

June

Dr Des O’Malley in “The Secret Language of James Joyce” gave an interesting perspective on the writings of Ireland’s leading novelist.

July

Mid-year luncheon: Dr Val Noone delivered the 18th Annual Joan Ward Memorial Address on “Hidden Ireland in Australia” which looked at the way Irish language and culture has influenced Australia.

August

Professor Barra Boydell in a talk entitled “Handel in Dublin 1741-1742” gave a fascinating insight into the background to the premiere performance of Handel’s Messiah in Dublin.

September

Steve Carey in “The GAA: A National Heritage” explained the history of the GAA in Ireland

October

In “Irish Harps in Time – Mythic, Cultural, Historic” Claire Dunne explained with words and music the significance of the harp in Ireland.

 

2011

FEBRUARY

Our Ordinary Meeting followed on from the Annual General Meeting, and featured a charming talk by Kate Guilfoyle about Irish mythology.

MARCH

Our St Patrick’s Day dinner was held at Parliament House in Macquarie Street, and our after dinner speaker was Dr Richard Reid, Senior Curator at the National Museum of Canberra, and responsible for the magnificnet ‘Not Just Ned’ Exhibition, ‘A True History of the Irish in Australia. Richard spoke to us about some of the exhibits and the ideas and work that had gone into putting the exhibition together.

APRIL

Peter Moore, archivist, legal consultant, mulitcultural publisher and editor, teacher and tour guide, navigated the strange history to the statue of Queen Victoria which now stands outside the QVB building, near Sydney Town Hall. his merticulously researched and illustrated talk was entitled ‘Queen Victoria’s Irish Statue in Sydney: Ireland’s other gift to Australia.’

MAY

We welcomed the Reverend Edward Vaughan, Rector of St John’s Anglican Church, Darlinghurst, who had recently returned from six years as the Church of Ireland Rector of Crinken, near Bray, south of Dublin. Ed spoke to us on ‘Faith and society in modern Ireland: some personal reflections.’

JUNE

Siobhan McHugh, generous giver of many talks over the years, gave us an enthralling evening with ‘Marrying Out: mixed marriage, family conflict and religious bigotry between Catholics and Protestants in Australia 1920s-1970s’.

JULY

Our Mid-Year Lunchoen was held at the Sydney Rowing Club. Professor Justin  O’Brien, Director of the Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation at UNSW spoke most engagingly about the economic, social and ethical crisis facing Ireland (and other EU countries) in the throes of the current financial crisis.

AUGUST

Aisling member, psychoanalyst and writer. Maurice Whelan, read to us from two of his recently puiblished volumes of poetry, The Lilac Bow (2009) and Excalibur’s Return (2011) and reflected on the writing process.

SEPTEMBER

Irish-born Ber Carroll writes Irish-Australian novels about modern day women, their relationships, family dynamics and ambitions. Her delightful talk was entitled ‘Writing Irish fiction in Australia.’

OCTOBER

Aisling member, psychoanalyst and writer. Maurice Whelan, read to us from two of his recently puiblished volumes of poetry, The Lilac Bow (2009) and Excalibur’s Return (2011) and reflected on the writing process.

NOVEMBER

Irish-born Ber Carroll writes Irish-Australian novels about modern day women, their relationships, family dynamics and ambitions. Her delightful talk was entitled ‘Writing Irish fiction in Australia.

For talks from 2006 to 2010 see Annual Reports on the About Us page

Click here for a list of Aisling Audiotapes 1974-2005