Conference to Remember, Reconcile and Imagine

Saturday February 20, 2016 – Conference at Mary Immaculate College

1916: Memory and Vision
An exploration of socio-economic, educational and cultural policy and practice in 1916

18/1/2016  With Compliments Free Usage,  The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. Launches Mary Immaculate College’s Programme to Commemorate 1916 with MIC President Michael A. Hayes(right). Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael Noonan T.D., visited Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Limerick today, Monday 18th January, to launch the College’s programme of events in commemoration of 1916. Entitled ‘1916 and the Decade of Commemorations at Mary Immaculate College’ the year-long programme consists of over 30 different events, ranging from educational conferences to exhibitions, from public lectures to theatrical productions in the Lime Tree Theatre. Highlights include a 1916-style classroom reconstruction illustrating aspects of the life of a child at school in 1916; a conference entitled  'Memory and Vision' which will compare Irish social and educational policy and practice in 1916 with policy and practice during the subsequent century; the Abbey Theatre's new production of ‘The Plough and the Stars’ set amid the tumult of the Easter Rising; and ‘The Illusion of Consensus’ – Photographs of Limerick in 1916’ exhibition featuring the multiplicity of life in Limerick in a time of transition and chaos with a focus on in the exceptional year of 1916.  Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22
The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. Launched Mary Immaculate College’s Programme to Commemorate 1916 with MIC President Michael A. Hayes(right). Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

As part of Mary Immaculate College’s 1916 Commemorative programme, the Department of Learning, Society, and Religious Education, MIC, will host a one-day conference, entitled 1916: Memory & Vision, on Saturday, 20th February, 2016.

The conference will commemorate 1916 through an exploration of socio-economic, educational and cultural policy and practice in 1916 and a comparison with policy and practice during the subsequent century. Keynote speakers include Dr Eilís O’Sullivan, Department of Learning, Society, and Religious Education, MIC, and Dr Brendan Walsh, School of Education Studies, Dublin City University

Reflecting the wide range of diverse and complementary disciplines across Mary Immaculate College and beyond, presenters will address a variety of stimulating topics and perspectives including: School life and curriculum, climate change, health and poverty, salmon fishing on the Shannon estuary, diversity of the population of Limerick, inclusion, poetry, World War I. The conference will facilitate a multi-faceted approach to remembering and discussing the events of 1916, in particular in the context of Limerick and MIC, reflecting on their legacy and their impact on education and society in the intervening century and into the future.

Speaking in advance of the conference Professor Michael A Hayes, President of MIC, said he welcomed the opportunity to host the conference as part of the broad and varied programme of events taking place in MIC in commemoration of 1916.

“This programme of events will Remember, Reconcile, Imagine, Present and Celebrate. These words are important because although we have a common history we don’t always have a shared memory. The 1916: Memory and Vision Conference will provide participants with the opportunity to remember life in 1916 and to explore the impact of 1916 on the subsequent century. We welcome the participation of our students, colleagues and the wider community in this day of shared reflection and dialogue”.

In her keynote address, Dr Eilís O’Sullivan, Lecturer in History of Education and Policy, MIC, will focus on Mary Immaculate College during the years 1916-1918; reflecting on the lives of the women who lived there, lecturers and especially students. In the light of her research into their backgrounds, education and training, Eilís will consider Pearse’s contentions regarding the education system in Ireland at the beginning of the twentieth century.


Dr Brendan Walsh, Lecturer in History of Education, School of Education Studies, Dublin City University, will interrogate the educational work of Patrick Pearse (1879-1916) within the light of school provision at the time and in the immediate post-independence decades. His keynote address will argue that much of Pearse’s education thought and work was enlightened and characteristic of what, today, is considered sound pedagogic practice.


Conference coordinator and Head of Department of LSRE, Dr Carol O’ Sullivan, invites participation from all with an interest in the legacy of 1916, stating

“this conference provides an opportunity to explore and discuss social life, education and culture in 1916 and to reflect upon the legacy of this period of history on our lives locally, nationally and globally. There will be a wide variety of topics and ideas presented at the conference and thus it will appeal to many different interests and perspectives. We look forward to a day of reflection, enjoyment and productive discussion”.

Other events which will feature as part of the Mary Immaculate College commemorative events include a reconstruction of a 1916-style classroom, a programme of songs commemorating 1916, a new production of The Plough and the Stars by the Abbey Theatre, an exploration of fashion from 1916, two photographic exhibitions, a series of public lectures, themed lectures with students and a commemorative quilt project. A menu of food from 1916 will also be available in the College restaurant. These events will engage students, staff and the general public in an historical journey that explores many aspects of 1916 in Limerick focusing on the wider socio-civic, historical and educational events of the time.


1916: Memory and Vision – Saturday 20th February 2016 – TARA Building, Mary Immaculate College.
Admission is free and lunch will be provided.
For further information or to register for the conference, please email or phone Josephine Frahill, /061 204366.

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