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President Higgins hosts third “Machnamh 100” seminar

Date: Wed 26th May, 2021 | 11:30

The third seminar in the ‘Machnamh 100’ series hosted by President Michael D. Higgins will be broadcast on the RTÉ Player on Thursday 27 May at 7 pm.

For this seminar, President Higgins has invited prominent scholars to discuss issues of social class, land and the role of women, as they relate to the events of 100 years ago. 
The principal address at the seminar will be given by Dr Margaret O’Callaghan of Queens University Belfast. Her paper on 'Recovering Imagined Futures' will be responded to by a panel consisting of Dr Caitríona Clear (NUI Galway), Professor Linda Connolly (NUI Maynooth), Ms Catríona Crowe, (Royal Irish Academy), and Dr John Cunningham (NUI Galway). 

President Higgins will provide the concluding address, focusing on ‘Land, Social Class, Gender and the Sources of Violence’. In his contribution to the discussions, the President will accentuate one of the underlying themes impacting on many of the most significant events in Irish history in the 19th and 20th century – including the campaigns for Emancipation, Repeal, Home Rule, and the Anti-Tithe movement – namely access to land.

Reflecting on how attitudes and approaches to land impacted on rural communities, the President will pay particular attention to their effect on rural women in Ireland. The President will illustrate how land issues influenced both society and its conflicts up to contemporary times, and how structural forms of violence emerged and impacted on women, children and the poorest.

The seminar, titled 'Recovering Imagined Futures', is the third seminar hosted by President Higgins in the ‘Machnamh 100’ series, which is an invitation from the President to reflect on the War of Independence, the Treaty Negotiations, the Civil War and Partition. 

The series takes its name from the Irish word Machnamh, an ancient concept encompassing reflection, contemplation, meditation and thought.

Notes for the editor:

  • The ‘Machnamh 100’ initiative is part of the President’s work on ethical remembrance. Throughout the Decade of Centenaries, President Higgins has stressed the importance of including and recognising those voices in our past that were marginalised, disenfranchised or excluded. In leading the centenary commemorations programme, President Higgins has sought to highlight the seminal events of a century ago and to shape our national efforts at exploring and examining the background, impact and contemporary relevance of the events being commemorated.
  • The inaugural seminar in the ‘Machnamh 100’ series was held in December 2020 and examined the nature and concept of commemoration itself, in the contexts of today and of the national and global events of a century ago. Speakers included Professors Ciarán Benson, Anne Dolan (Trinity College Dublin), Michael Laffan (University College Dublin) and Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam).  
  • The second seminar, held in February 2021, focused on Empire, imperial attitudes and responses as they related to circumstances in Ireland. The main reflection was given by Professor John Horne (Trinity College Dublin), with responses from Professor Eunan O’Halpin (Trinity College Dublin), Dr Marie Coleman (Queen’s University Belfast), Professor Alvin Jackson (University of Edinburgh), Dr Niamh Gallagher (St Catharine's College, Cambridge) and President Higgins.
  • ‘Machnamh 100’ is being supported by the Government and by RTÉ. All contributions are available to the public via the RTÉ Player and via the website.