Soar Valley success

Published in Issue 2 (Summer 1995), News, Volume 3

The 12th Annual National Conference on Irish Dimensions in BritishEducation, hosted by the Irish Studies Workshop at Soar ValleyCommunity College, Leicester, took place on 8 April 1995 and lived upto its aim of making quality academic material available to the widestpossible audience in a relaxed but organised format. The Irish diasporahas always figured prominently in the programme and this year was noexception. Steven Fielding investigated Irish Catholics in England1880-1939; Joe Bradley explored the Irish in Scotland; Steve Millsexamined Ireland through the eyes of the World Fairs, especiallyChicago (1893) and New York (1939); and Josephine Feeney looked atmodern second generation Irish fiction in Britain.
The educational needs of 11-16 year olds were addressed by ShelaghLewis (Celtic Ireland and Roman Britain) and Kevin Anderson(Anglo-Irish relations and the London and Warrington mapping project).Contemporary concerns were also taken up. In an audio-visualpresentation Belinda Loftus explored the iconography of Orange andGreen; Kevin Bean discussed the Anglo-Irish peace process and recentdevelopments in the strategy and ideology of Republicanism; and LizCurtis talked about ‘women, workers and peasants in the cause of Irishindependence’. Other workshops included studies of Irish womensuffragists (Louise Ryan), recent writing in Irish (Gabriel Rosenstock)and the painted carts and wagons of Irish travellers (David Smith).John Kelly, the Belfast-based poet, read from his recent collectionGrace Notes and Bad Thoughts. Music and dancing workshops were providedby Carmel Commins, Theresa Coleman, Marie O’Reilley and Maureen Danaher.
Enquiries: Nessan Danaher, tel: (0116) 2669625.

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