IHSA 2016 Volunteer – Cian Moran

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Name: Cian Moran

Course: PhD law

Historical interest: UN peacekeeping, the Middle East, Military history,

military intervention

Short Personal Bio: Cian is currently a PhD candidate at NUIG School of Law where he is researching the use of military force for protecting civilians. Cian graduated with an LLM from the University of Nottingham and an LLB from NUI Galway. Outside of academia, Cian worked for a Middle East NGO in Washington DC and is a serving reservist with the Irish Defence Forces.

Accommodation Information

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Accommodation

 

The Irish History Students Association, 66th Annual Conference will take place in Galway, from 19-21 February 2016. As a major tourist location, Galway boasts both a considerable volume and diversity of accommodation sources.  The vast majority of these are within a two-mile radius of the University.  Prices and quality vary considerably, but as the conference is being held in February, it is envisaged that accommodation should be reasonable. Nonetheless, advance booking is essential. For groups travelling together there are a large number of student hostels in the city, which may suit your needs.

 

This list is intended as a starting point to help the attendee. We have broken down matters by the type of accommodation, then further by star-rating and price.  Web links are included throughout, as well as photographs, guide prices, reviews, maps and distance from the University and Bus/Train station.  Those travelling are advised to book early and to ‘shop around’ so as to secure good value and reasonable price where possible.

 

There may well be slightly cheaper options available, however many of these are of a less acceptable standard than we are willing to select for you, our guests. We have borne these considerations in mind, adding in cost and distance also, to give you the best information possible to make your choice.

 

Hotels

     

  1. Jurys Inn (Quay Street,Galway, H91 E8D7 +353 (0) 91 566444)
    1. Arrival Date: 19/02/16 – Departure Date: 21/02/16

Rate:  €260 (bed & breakfast, single)/€280 (bed & breakfast, twin /double)

 

  1. 19 minute, 1.6 km walk to Arts Millennium Building
  2. More information can be found at: https://goo.gl/eozukP

 

  1. Harbour Hotel (New Dock Road, Galway +353 (0) 91 894 800)
    1. Priced from €134 per night- €270 total for double and twin rooms. (Please note that the Harbour is running a 16% discount on all rooms booked before 14 January 2016).
    2. 20 minute, 1.6 km walk to Arts Millennium Building
    3. More information can be found at: http://www.harbour.ie/

 

  1. Eyre Square Hotel (Forster St, Eyre Square, Galway +353 (0)91 569 633)
    1. Priced from €110 per night- €220 total for double and twin rooms.
    2. 18 minute, 1.5 km walk to Arts Millennium Building
    3. More information can be found at: http://www.eyresquarecom/

 

 

Bed & Breakfasts/ Guesthouses

         

  1. Asgard House (21 College Road, Galway +353 (0) 91 566 855)
    1. Priced from €80 for two nights for double and twin rooms.
    2. 26 minute, 2.1 km walk to Arts Millennium Building.
    3. More information can be found at: http://www.galwaycityguesthouse.com

 

 

  1. Abbeygate Guesthouse (11 Mary St, Galway +353 (0) 91 458 550)
    1. Priced from €180 for two nights for double and twin rooms.
    2. 13 minute, 1.0 km walk to Arts Millennium Building.
    3. More information can be found at: http://theabbeygate.com/

 

  1. Eyre Square Townhouse (35 Eyre St, Galway +353 (0) 91 568 444)
    1. Priced from €210-230 for two nights for double and twin rooms.
    2. 14 minute, 1.2 km walk to Arts Millennium Building.
    3. More information can be found at: http://www.eyresquaretownhouse.com/

 

  1. Desota B&B (54 Newcastle Road, Cookes Corner, Galway +353 (0) 91 585064
    1. Priced from €220 for two nights for double rooms.
    2. 9 minute, 0.9 km walk to Arts Millennium Building.
    3. More information can be found at: http://www.galwaybandb.ie/

 

 

  1. There are many other B&B’s located on College Road and Father Griffin Road that are well priced and can easily be found on booking.com

 

 

Hostels

 

  1. Snoozles Hostel (Forster Street, Galway. Beside the Coach Station) + 353 (0) 91 530 064
    1. Priced from €37/€40 for two nights in 10 bed mixed dorm/6 bed mixed dorm.
    2. 21 minute, 1.7 km walk to Arts Millennium Building https://ggl/by9Hki
    3. More information can be found at: http://goo.gl/78kLmw

 

  1. Savoy Hostel (Eglington Street, Galway +353 (0) 91 375 421)
    1. Priced from €48-52 for two nights in 4-6 bedroom dorm.
    2. 14 minute, 1.1 km walk to Arts Millennium Building https://goo.gl/5eOPIO
    3. More information can be found at: http://www.galwayhostel.ie/index.html

 

  1. Kinlay Hostel (Merchants Road (Off Eyre Square), Galway) (0)91 562 618)
    1. Priced from €25-35 for two nights in a 3-8 bedroom dorm.
    2. 18 minute, 1.5 km walk to Art Millennium Building https://goo.gl/sNFzS5
    3. More information can be found at: http://www.woodquayhostel.hostel.com/

 

  1. Galway City Hostel (Eyre Square, Galway +353 (0)91 561 133)
    1. Priced from €58 for two nights in a 6-16 bed mixed dorm.
    2. 18 minute, 1.5 km walk to Arts Millennium Building https://goo.gl/bYfeTY
    3. More information can be found at: http://www.galwaycityhostel.com/

 

 

  1. Barnacles (10 Quay St, The Latin Quarter, Galway +353 (0)91 568 644)
    1. Priced from €50-54 for two nights for rooms ranging from eight bed mixed dorm to a four bed ensuite.
    2. 17 Minute, 1.4 km walk to Arts Millennium Building
    3. More information can be found at: http://www.barnacles.ie/galway/

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful sites to search for deals on accommodation:

IHSA2016 Schedule & Programme

Fishka.Logo.Photo

It is our pleasure to publish our conference programme and schedule of events for IHSA2016. Any queries may be addressed to ihsa2016@gmail.com

 

Eamonn & Committee

 

***

 

Friday, 19 February

1900                Arrival & Exhibition, Moore Institute Rooms, Ground floor, Hardiman Research Building

1930                Speeches.

Eamonn T. Gardiner, MC & Lead Organiser

Dr. Sarah-Anne Buckley, Chair, IHSA National Committee

Prof. Dáibhí Ó Crónín, History Department Welcome

Prof. Steven Ellis, Formal Opening of Conference

2000                Reception & Exhibition

2100                Social: History Quiz in College Bar.

 

Saturday, 20 February

0830-0855       Registration (€15) & Morning Coffee 1 in Arts Millennium Building.

0855-0900       Welcome/Health & Safety Briefing

0900-1015       Round A of Panels (75 mins).

1015-1035       Coffee Break 2

1035-1150       Round B of Panels (75 mins)

1150-1210       Coffee Break 3

1210-1325       Round C of Panels (75 mins)

1325-1335       Move from Arts Millennium to College Bar (10 mins)

1335-1420       Lunch (College Bar)/AGM (AM Building) (45 mins)

1420-1430       Move from College Bar to Arts Millennium for Workshop.

1430-1530       Workshop: Research Funding Opportunities (60 mins).

1530-1535       Leave Workshop and move to rooms for Round D

1535-1650       Round D of Panels (75 mins)

1650-1710       Coffee Break 4

1710-1825       Round E of Panels (75 mins)

1825-1835       Closing remarks and final reminder dinner timings & Sunday programme.

1835-2030       Arrive at Harbour Hotel for Pre-Meal Reception

2030-2200       Dinner (Prosecco Reception & 5 Courses, €25)

2200-2245       Eamonn T. Gardiner MC.

Introduction by Dr. Mary Harris, Senior Lecturer, NUI Galway & ‘A Nation Rising’, 1916 Commemorative Programme Coordinator

After-Dinner Speaker: Professor Emeritus Nicholas Canny, NUIG. http://erc.europa.eu/organisation/canny-nicholas

2245-2315       Prize giving

2315+              Post Dinner & Move to other venues.

 

 

Sunday, 21 February

1200-1300       Walking Tour of Galway.

Early Modern & Revolutionary Galway

 

Round A 09:00-10:15

 

(A1) Narratives from Christian Ireland

            Chair: Kieran Hoare

  • Ossory on the Eve of the Reformation
    • Bernadette O’Brien, NUI Galway

 

  • Brigit and pregnant women: discussion on the issue
    • Dmitrii Glass, Mary Immaculate College

 

  • Is there a Problem of Saint Patrick? If so, is there a solution?
    • Nathan Dunphy, NUI Galway

 

 

(A2) Twentieth-Century Philosophical, Logical and Cultural Approaches

Chair: Dr. Tomás Finn

  • Catholic anti-communism, the Cold War, and peace and nuclear disarmament campaigns in Ireland.
    • Gerard Madden, NUI Galway

 

  • ‘A pioneering historian of ideas: Robert Blakey, and the birth of a disciplinary genre.’
    • Stuart Mathieson, Queens University Belfast

 

  • AUDIO-VISUAL: Letting the Sources Speak: Title: ‘Gainsbourg: A ‘Serge’ of Sexual Content in French Popular Culture, 1966-1991’
    • Robert Flatley, NUI Galway

 

(A3) Race in the Americas from the Colonies to the Civil War

Chair: Dr. Enrico Dal Lago

  • “A Rich Man’s Government… A Poor Man’s Fight”: Class Conflict and Unionist Dissent in the Confederate South.
    • Jordan Markey, NUI Galway

 

  • ‘Bound to Serve’ White indentured Labour in Colonial America.
    • Leanne McMullan, University of Ulster

 

  • Religion, Racism, & Perfidious Albion: Irish Soldiers in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
    • Florry O’Driscoll, NUI Galway

 

(A4) Shades of Roman Catholicism in Ireland, 1844-1950

Chair: Dr. Roisín Healy

  • St Vincent de Paul in Dublin, 1844-1918: Friends of the Poor or Self-Serving Religious Zealots?
    • Bernadette O’Connell, NUI Galway

 

  • The Roman Catholic Church in Sligo during the Great War.
    • Simone Hickey, St. Angela’s College

 

  • The Irish Catholic Missionary Experience in the Twentieth Century
    • Kate Brophy, Trinity College Dublin

 

(A5) Nineteenth-Century Irish Nationalism

            Chair: Dr. Carmel Connolly

  • Alternative solutions to the intractable Irish question, 1892-1902.
    • Tony King, NUI Galway

 

  • The Persistence of Nationalist and Anti-State Sentiment in Ulster, 1848-1867
    • Kerron Ó Luain, Independent Scholar

 

  • The Road from Kilmorna: Canon Sheehan, Fenianism, and prefiguring 1916
    • John O’Donovan, University College Cork

 

Round B 10:35-11:50

 

(B1) Warfighting as an aid to Civil Governance.

Chair: Dr. Pádraig Lenihan

  • ‘Pax Romana’: The true triumph of the Roman people
    • George Baldry, NUI Galway

 

  • ‘To defend those who have no swords’: The birth of Crusading as theological disruption and political evolution
    • Declan Mills, University of Limerick

 

  • Between Success and Surrender: Thomas Wentworth, Lord Deputy of Ireland, 1633- 1639.
    • Marie Sophie Hingst, Trinity College Dublin

 

 

(B2) A Postmodern History of Human Rights and Terrorism

            Chair: Dr. Kevin O’Sullivan

  • Operation Allied Force, Humanitarian Intervention and the Kosovo war of 1999Cian Moran, NUI Galway

 

  • Refugees and Humanitarian Aid as Weapons of War: Cambodia and Rwanda.
    • John O’Donnell, NUI Galway

 

  • Bullets, Bombs & Blood: Chechen Terrorist Tactics and Beyond
    • Francesco Conti, NUI Galway

 

(B3) The Evolution of Warfare during Irish Revolution, 1916-1923

Chair: Dr. Conor McNamara

  • ‘Scattered, Ambushed and Laid Out’: War and Counterinsurgency in North Galway 1919-1921
    • Eamonn T. Gardiner, NUI Galway

 

  • The importance of Dublin during the Irish War of Independence
    • Thomas Tormey, Trinity College Dublin

 

  • ‘A Cycle of Violence’: Analysing the Role of the Bicycle during the Irish Revolutionary Period 1916-1923
    • Bryan Treanor, St. Patrick’s College of Education/DCU

 

(B4) Re-evaluating Education: Irish and American examples

Chair: Dr. Jackie Uí Chionna

  • The post-primary school in Ireland, 1940-58: A case study of the Presentation Order
    • Catriona Delaney, University of Limerick

 

  • “To Educate Themselves”: African American Teachers in North Carolina’s Schools for the Freed People, 1861-1876
    • Anne Marie Brosnan, Mary Immaculate College

 

  • Looking To The Past To Build For The Future’: State-Building, Curricular Developments, And School History In Post-Independence Ireland, 1924-69
    • Colm MacGearilt, Trinity College Dublin

 

(B5) Changes in Irish Political Landscape, 1913-1923

Chair: Dr. Joe Regan

  • The role of Lord Decies, Press Censor for the British Administration in Ireland, 1916-19, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Censor
    • Alan McCarthy, University College Cork

 

  • Assessing the contributing factors leading to Sinn Fein’s victory in the 1918 General Election
    • Patrick Mulcahy, University of Limerick

 

  • ‘Constitutional Nationalists still have considerable strength’? Examining the views of Home Rule activists 1919-21
    • Martin O’Donoghue, NUI Galway

 

Round C 12:10-13:25

 

(C1) ‘Mythology and Máthair Chíche’ – Revisiting Old-Irish Texts and Stories

Chair: Dr. Chris Doyle

  • Gaelic Revival and the Ulster and Ossian Cycles: National heroes in Cúchulainn and Fionn Mac Cumhail
    • Erin Rae-MacKinney, University of Ulster

 

  • An mháthair chíche sa Mheánaois in Éirinn
    • Aogán Ó hIarlaithe, NUI Galway

 

(C2) Children and Social culture; Ideas of Youth.

Chair: Dr. Sarah-Anne Buckley

  • ‘They go to England to preserve their Secret”: The emigration and assistance of the Irish unmarried mother in Britain 1926-1952.’
    • Lorraine Grimes, NUI Galway

 

  • ‘Changeling Children in Nineteenth Century Ireland
    • Jodie Shevlin, University of Ulster

 

  • “They called them Edelweiss Pirates, where they Blossomed, Resistance Grew?!”- The Edelweiss Pirates as an Example of Oppositional Youth Movements in Nazi Germany.
    • Annika Stendebach, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz

 

(C3) Complexities of the Anglo-Irish Interdependency

Chair: Dr. Andrew Holmes

  • Irish Catholics within the British Officer Corps: 1829-1899
    • Mark Scannell, NUI Galway

 

  • ‘Help Wanted! No Irish need apply’. The effects of British prejudice and discrimination against Irish migrants in the early- to mid-20th
    • Finian J.E. Halligan, University of Warwick

 

  • Irish Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the Post-war Reconstruction of London
    • Michael B. Mulvey, Maynooth University

 

(C4) ‘Fight for Ireland and no other land’: Revolutionary Labour History

Chair: Dr. John Cunningham

  • The Age of Larkinism: ‘A Divine Mission’ (1907-1914).
    • Stephen Deyarmin, NUI Galway

 

  • The Drapers’ Revolution, 1913-1924.
    • Breandán Ó’Conchúir, NUI Galway

 

  • The Irish Citizen Army and the Anglo-Irish War.
    • Jeffrey Leddin, University of Limerick

 

(C5) The Great War Generation, 1890-1924

Chair: Dr. Kyle Hughes

  • The Master of Mystery and the Great War: the spy novels of William Le Queux, 1914 – 1918
    • Jonathan Best, Queens University Belfast

 

  • The best of enemies: South Africa and the Germans of South West Africa, 1914-1924
    • Gavan Duffy, NUI Galway

 

  • 1916: Tolkien at the Battle of the Somme
    • Sandra Hartl, University of Bamberg

 

Round D 15:35-16:50

 

(D1) Lydon’s ‘Middle Nation’- The Old-English and the Irish in the later medieval period

Chair: Dr. Kim Lo Prete

  • The Bruce invasion of Ireland, 1315-1318
    • Eoghan Keane, Trinity College Dublin

 

  • The Early Years of Gearóid Iarla, Third Earl of Desmond
    • Dónal Ó Catháin, NUI Galway

 

(D2) Gender, Class & Conflict

Chair: Dr. Paul O’Brien

  • Post-war cinema-going and working-class communities: a case study of the Holyland, Belfast, 1945-1962.
    • Sam Manning, Queens University Belfast

 

  • Experiences of women in the Anglo-Irish War
    • Thomas Earls Fitzgerald, Trinity College Dublin

 

  • POSTER: Emyr Estyn Evans : The Formative Years
    • Lauren Ferguson, Queens University Belfast

 

 (D3) Histories of Healthcare

Chair: Dr. Ciarán McCabe

  • ‘Admitting the Mad’: Insanity in the Ulster District Lunatic Asylums, 1845-1914.
    • Seaneen Larkin, University of Ulster

 

  • ‘Where one journey ends, the next begins…’ Dr. Thomas Raleigh Phayer, Medical Doctor, Apothecarist, Surgeon and Physician of Newcastle West, Co. Limerick.
    • John Phayer, Independent Researcher

 

  • Historical development and economic impact of obesity
    • Cillian Moran, NUI Galway

 

(D4) Religious Communities in the Nineteenth-Century

            Chair: Dr. Alison Forrestal

  • Truth and Error: Anti-Catholicism and the Free Church of Scotland in the mid-nineteenth century
    • Ryan Mallon, Queens University Belfast

 

  • ‘We shall not shrink, where Justice demands it..’ Belfast Quaker influence on British Abolitionism utilising ‘The Irish Friend’, 1838-1842
    • Krysta Beggs-McCormick, University of Ulster

 

  • Women Religious in Nineteenth Century Ireland: Personal and Corporate Identity
    • Bridget Harrison, Queens University Belfast

 

(D5) Irish Finance and Taxation, Pre and Post-Independence, 1916-1931

Chair: TBC

  • Shadow of a Taxman: How, and by whom, was the Republican Movement Financed in the Irish War of Independence?
    • Robin Adams, St. Peter’s College, Oxford

 

  • Art Ó Briain and the Irish National Relief Fund of London, 1916-1919.
    • Mary MacDiarmada, St. Patrick’s College of Education/DCU

 

  • Foreign versus Fashion: Chinese bacon and Parisian clothing in the Irish Free State
    • John Porter, Trinity College Dublin

 

(D6) Intergenerational effects of war

Chair: Dr. Cathal Smith

  • ‘Migrant, Refugee, Terrorist’ Asylum in Interwar France: The Case of the Spanish Exiles (1934-35)
    • Eoghan Moran, Queen Mary University, London

 

  • The children of war and revolution?: Influence of the First World War, the 1916 Rising and WoI upon the Irish volunteers who joined the British forces WW2.
    • Joseph Quinn, Trinity College Dublin

 

Round E 17:10-18:25

 

(E1) Politics and Power in Tudor Ireland

Chair: Prof. Steven Ellis

  • ‘…to restrayne the Englishe from soche evells as Irishe infeccion poysoned theim with.’ Creating a pathology of Irishness during the ‘Tudor Conquest of Ireland’.
    • Carla Lessing, NUI Galway

 

  • The best of times, the worst of times – the thoughts of a Tudor administrator in Ireland
    • Deirdre Fennell, NUI Galway

 

(E2) The Lives of Ulster Women, 1890-1930

Chair: Dr. Caitriona Clear

  • ‘Obscure Lives’: A Biographical Portrait of Queen’s District Nurses in Ireland (1890-1907)
    • Joyce Ní Ghiobuin, Trinity College Dublin

 

  • ‘With fingers weary and worn’?: Factory legislation and the treatment of women workers in the Londonderry shirt industry, c.1860-1920
    • Chelsea Brownlee, Queens University Belfast

 

  • Devolution, Northern Ireland, and the Illegitimate Children (Affiliation Orders) Act, 1924.
    • Alex Tierney, Trinity College Dublin

 

(E3) History from Outside: Fringe histories during the Irish Revolution

 

Chair: Dr. Mary Harris

 

  • The Colonel, the Canadian and the Cork man: The  Irish Diplomatic Mission to South Africa in 1921
    • Madeline O’Neill, NUI Galway

 

  • Ireland’s forgotten diplomats: Nancy Wyse Power and Máire O’Brien’s quest for obtaining recognition for independent Ireland, 1919-23.
    • Ann Marie O’Brien, University of Limerick

 

  • ‘“Who were the Shoneens?”: Irish militant nationalists and association football, 1913-1923.
    • Aaron Ó Maonaigh, St. Patrick’s College of Education/DCU

 

(E4) The changing face of the Irish Economy

            Chair: Prof. Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh

  • After the Expiry Date: Wills of the lesser gentry in east Mayo, 1760-1880.
    • Olivia Martin, NUI Galway

 

  • Nineteenth century urban Irish artisans and protectionism: a study of popular economic nationalism.
    • John McGrath, Mary Immaculate College

 

  • ‘Closing Cowtown’ – The demise of the Dublin Cattle Market.
    • Declan O’Brien, Mary Immaculate College

 

(E5) Anglo-Irish Relations in the Post-Independence period

Chair: Dr. Séan Ó Duibhir

  • ‘A bit of news, which you may, or may not, care to use’: the influence of the Beaverbrook-Healy relationship on the construction of Ireland in the British press post-independence.
    • Elspeth Payne, Trinity College Dublin

 

  • ‘Anglo-Irish Relations during The Falkland’s War of 1982.’
    • Fiona McKelvey, University of Ulster

 

  • “A peace of sorts”: Changing expectations in Northern Ireland after the Belfast Agreement, 1998-2007.
    • Eamonn McNamara, Australian National University

‘Dr. Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh’ memorial Prize for the History of Medicine and Society

Dr. Margaret ÓhÓgartaigh

 

Dear Colleagues, the organising committee of the Irish History Students’ Association, Annual Conference for Galway 2016 are pleased to announce that in addition to the prizes being offered by the IHSA, the Galway organising committee have secured additional external sponsorship from Cambridge Scholars Publishing for two additional, once-off, prizes for 2016.

Students are sometimes asked to think about which figure from history they would most like to invite to a dinner party. Dr. Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh, nee Whelan, has to be up there with the absolute best. A native of Killaloe, Co. Clare, Margaret first came to Galway in 1985, where she threw herself into An Cumann Staire, serving in a multitude of offices, including chair of the IHSA. She was also quite an astute businesswoman, boosting sales of the Cumann’s Journal Stair with a free pint of Guinness! But there was also a serious and earnest side to Margaret. She was tireless in her research, even working on her latest book while she was unwell. She helped open new avenues of historical research into areas which this prize hopes to broadly emulate for a new generation of scholars to take up her mantle. With her intrepid zeal for life and for her work and family, we are proud to be associated with and to be able to offer this prize in her memory.

Kathleen Lynn launch, c.2006.

The prize will be awarded to the best paper in any one (or multiple) category listed on the following sheet. They will be independently judged PRIOR to being given, which means that all interested parties must pre-submit their paper (or latest working draft), no later than the 19th January 2016, i.e. one calendar month before the conference.

Further details are listed below on each particular prize. The adjudicator’s decision is final and no discussion whatsoever will be entered into. Prizes will be awarded at the Conference Dinner (Harbour Hotel, Galway, 20 February, 8pm). All entrants must attend the conference AND deliver their papers. Failure to attend and/or speak is grounds for disqualification.

 

*

Dr. Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh memorial Prize

  • This prize has been kindly sponsored by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Period which the papers/posters/AV/artefact presentations deal with must deal with one or more aspects of the History of Medicine and Society, though some leeway is allowed. General areas to be considered include, but are not limited to:
    • Medicine
    • Gender and/or Sex
    • Education
    • Irishwomen
    • Society and/or Religion
    • Sport & Athletics
    • History of the IHSA/IUHSA/Student Historical Societies
  • All interested papers must be pre-submitted (or the latest working draft), no later than the 19th January, i.e. one calendar month before the conference.
  • Once submitted that is the paper which will be judged. No further submissions/alterations will be allowed.
  • Any supporting documentation (such as an audio-visual or image based element) must be submitted also.

*

Past Speaker Bio – Katya Radovanova, Technische Universität Dresden

Katya.BW

Name: Katya Radovanova

Institution: Technische Universität Dresden

Course: British and American Studies and Art History, B.A.

Age: 26

Most recent IHSA Paper: The Native American Fight for Sovereignty and Self-Determination: The Period of Red Power

Was 2015 your first IHSA Conference? First IHSA & first time presenting at a conference

What attracted you to the IHSA Conferences? I’ve heard legendary stories about the previous IHSA conferences. I was also a committee member of An Cumann Staire (NUIG), so I thought participating would be a great opportunity to meet other like-minded people from all over Ireland, Britain, and the continent.

Best memory of the conferences? The second my panel was over was the best moment of the conference. I enjoyed presenting but since it was my very first conference, I was really afraid that I won’t be able to answer a question or, even worse, that I’ll say something stupid. The second my panel was over, I could finally relax and fully enjoy the rest of the conference and Limerick.

Worst memory of the conferences? Getting the flu and missing out on a great night out in town. It was so bad even hot whiskeys couldn’t help me.

What are you looking forward to most about Galway 2016? I am looking forward to a weekend of fascinating papers, new people, and a whole lot of craic. I have nothing against Limerick, but Galway is the Capital of Craic, so I have really high expectations of IHSA 2016! *no pressure, guys!*

Anything else you’d like to add? Sin é.

Free Education, isn’t…

The Mamas & the Papas

Do you remember that song from the 1965, ‘California Dreamin [on a Winter’s Day]’, by The Mama’s & The Papas? It was a great hit at the time and has shown true resilience over the intervening decades. As a matter of fact I had started to write this entry in a very different fashion and he lyric entered my head and I had to listen to it….and then the entire timbre of the article changed before my eyes! Anyway I digress, but seriously, please take a listen to some great 60’s counter-culture! California Dreamin. I have a link and although tentative, I think its relevant.

As a PhD student (final year, thank the gods!), take it from me; money does not fall from the sky like autumnal leaves. Even as the aforementioned song describes “All the leaves are brown/And the Sky is grey”, one must marvel at the metaphorical sight of all those fivers and tenners slowly spiralling down to form a blanket on the ground. Wouldn’t it be a great thing, if the simple things in life were, if not free, then at least valued and funded appropriately?

www.123rf.com
http://www.123rf.com

As a conference organiser seeking funding, I can tell you money does most definitely not fall in such a fashion! But yet again at CAO time we have a talking head pop up to tell us about this great knowledge economy we have here and how our third level institutions are so well funded, etc, etc. We  as anyone in academia knows, they’re not. I heard from a colleague a few years back that a leading Irish Third Level department had to sell some of their PHOTOCOPIERS to make ends meet after a budgetary shortfall.

The Royal Irish Academy (hat tip for kudos), have come out with a sensible position/advice paper aimed toward central government and perhaps as a broader conversation starter also in the Irish Third Level sector regarding not just the perennially raw topic of funding, but also the more pressing topic of student funding. We all remember the terrible hardship caused in 2012/2013/2014 by the disastrous SUSI website for online grants “processing.” Part-time (and personally I have MASSIVE issues with that misleading and pejorative term) students are being persecuted by the Irish education system and successive administrations for not being good little drones and entering into courses in the desire full-time fashion with other Secondary School graduates.

Professor Daly (to the right of An tUachtarán, Michael D. Higgins). www.ul.ie
Professor Daly (to the right of An tUachtarán, Michael D. Higgins). http://www.ul.ie

Grants are being withheld from people who, lets face it here, are trying to better themselves. Professor Mary Daly succinctly presents the case of the

“…bank official working full-time on €25,000 a year is being charged fees to study in the evenings, while the child of the bank’s CEO is entitled to the free fees scheme to study during the day?”

The Higher Education Authority has reported a significant drop of 9% of students embarking on a PhD and a 2% drop in those engaging with 3rd Level as a Mature Student in recent years. With all the Brouhaha (yes, I dropped the B-Bomb!) in recent years about the need for ‘re-training’ and ‘internships’, it should come as a significant surprise that during the same period Postgraduate students have had their access to maintenance grants significantly undermined by SUSI and the Irish government, the body pushing this great ‘knowledge economy.’

University rankings. Generally speaking, those who excel are those with greater funding. Irish Independent
University rankings. Generally speaking, those who excel are those with greater funding. Irish Independent

Now in ‘post-crisis’ Ireland (another massive bone of contention btw), with everything rising but the dead, students are faced with increased accommodation costs, not only in Dublin, but also throughout the country as a whole. So people will just commute from home or a cheaper place to live? Also on the rise is petrol/diesel, parking, public transportation fares. Fees are also continually and incrementally rising, with increases being used to offset declining central government funding. Those claiming that grants are quite generous are living in cloud cuckoo land; wages rose during the Great War also, but inflation effectively destroyed those paltry increases! Free Education, isn’t, basically.

www.independent.ie
http://www.independent.ie

There’s a massive disconnect between what the government want (and not just this one wither, in case I’m accused of Fine Gael/Labour bashing…though Ruairí Quinn, the former ‘Hypocrite-in-Chief’, did their credibility few favours) and what they’re willing to invest in. Perhaps as the RIA suggests a new model of student support should be entered into? I’m not blind to the needs of universities or IT’s to investment and upgrading of facilities and infrastructure, but something has to give here; many have an aging (and expensive) building stock, which were expanded during the 1960’s and 70’s and need modernising. And its probably going to be parents and students who will have to give in. A model which is used at the national and international level might be worth considering; a bond issue. If colleges were to issue a long term bond, which would accrue with profits generated over a thirty year period, it might provide for some financial stability and guaranteed income. Some profits from these campus based start-ups and spin-offs we hear so much about, could be channelled into this area, etc.

Taking (and breaking) the Pledge
Taking (and breaking) the Pledge

As a conclusion, we as a Third Level community must acknowledge that the system is at present not effective. it is creaking along and certainly not operating at the peak efficiency, which is desired. Unfortunately, one must wait and see are there any in the sector, especially the national parliament, who posses the ability to engineer and herald such dramatic and much needed change.