Thursday 6 April 2017, 8pm
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is considered a holy city in the three major Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is a small but highly important place full of magnificent history. Over 100 times Jerusalem is mentioned in the New Testament. Jesus was taken there shortly after his birth. He taught there. The Last Supper took place there. Just outside the city walls is the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is probably the most important Christian Pilgrimage site in the world. This illustrated talk will depict Jerusalem and its surroundings from a Christian viewpoint and will cover the places associated with the events of Holy Week, archaeologically and as they are today.
Following the talk there is tea/coffee available.
Chris Noonan is Chairman of the Saxum Project (Ireland) in the Holy Land, which involves the construction of a conference & retreat centre near Jerusalem. It aims to help pilgrims get the maximum spiritual benefit from their time there and also to foster dialogue and understanding between all. As well as some archaeological studies, Chris has visited the Holy Land a number of times.
Tuesday 7th March, 8pm
Dean Cogan was a native of Slane and his monumental Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern was published in Dublin in three volumes in 1862. It was reissued by Four Courts Press in 1993, edited by Alfred P. Smyth and including a fourth volume written by Professor Smyth entitled Faith, famine and fatherland in the nineteenth century Irish midlands: Perceptions of a priest and historian: Anthony Cogan, 1826-72. Dean Cogan’s work was the first complete history of an Irish Catholic diocese, and it remains a primary source of information for all historians, and especially for the nineteenth century period. As well as his historical work, Dean Cogan was a gifted and charismatic pastor who worked to improve the conditions of down-trodden farm labourers and the slum dwellers in Co. Meath. In his short life he witnessed mass evictions, abuse of landlord power, famine and disease. His historical work is an invaluable source, not only on church history but on all topics that touch on local and family history as well as the folklore of Meath, Westmeath and Offaly from the Shannon to the sea.
Mary McDonnell is a great-grand-niece of Dean Cogan. She is an artist and designer and she ran the Craft Studio Slane in the 1990’s, showcasing her own textiles and also work by leading Irish craftspeople. She was a founder member of Drogheda Quilters, and more recently has been involved in initiating various art groups who exhibit both locally and nationally: Indigo, Ceangailte and Alchemy. She has developed a keen interest in history, particularly in the local history of Co. Meath and she is secretary of Slane History and Archaeology Society.
Tuesday 21 March, 8pm
Much important and exciting work has been conducted on Tara by archaeologists and students of mythology. Historians have also examined its importance in relation to kingship and the politics of early Ireland. Despite all of this it is difficult to imagine the role of Tara in the early historic centuries. What was its position relative to the church? This and other issues will be addressed in the lecture to see how Tara was imagined by various parties in pre-Norman Ireland.
Charles Doherty was until recently Senior Lecturer in Early Irish History in the School of History and Archives, UCD. Since 2009 he has been president of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. He spent the year 2012-13 in the Centre for Advanced Study of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo, working on a historical project with an international team. The result of the project has now been published in book form, edited by Jan Erik Rekdal and Charles Doherty himself under the title King and warrior in early north-west Europe (Four Courts Press, 2016). His other main interests are hagiography and the kingship of Tara.