The 2018 Summer School was held on the weekend of Friday 11th May until Sunday 13th May
The theme was ” Annals and Earls, Annála agus Iarlaí ” it explored how the Annals of the Four Masters treated the events of the Nine Years War – the Flight of the Earls and he end of Gaelic hegemony in Ulster.
Friday 11th May Local Interest Events
7.00pm Primary Schools Art Competition – Prize-giving
A record number of primary schools within the area took part in this years Summer School Art Competition . Prizes were awarded in four categories. The theme for the 2018 Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School was “Lords & Ladies” and as well as prizes for first, second and third places a number of pupils in each category received a small prize along with the customary highly commended certificates.
The Categories were: Junior Infants and Senior Infants (A4 size)-First Class and Second Class (A4 size) -Third Class and Fourth Class (A4 size)- Fifth Class and Sixth Class (A3 size
7.45pm Performance by Cór Craobhaigh-
In 1987 Angela Currid established a junior choir, Cór Craobhaigh. Cór Craobhaigh has been performing locally and nationally for thirty years. The group has provided hundreds of local children with an introduction to music and contributes hugely to the musical fabric of the locality. Their performance at the 2018 Summer School was excellant
8.15pm- The Annals- an overview
John Mc Cafferty gave a short talk explaining to everyone what the “Annals of the Four Masters” were and the way the books were constructed and how this was a very radical development in the early 17th Century. He also remarked that only that this work was undertaken the loss to Irish history would be on the same scale as the loss of material in the Four Courts in 1922 were to family records, as subsequently many of the source manuscripts that they used were lost in the upheavals in the 17th and 18th Centuries.
Professor John Mc Cafferty is the Director of the Mícheál Uí Cléirigh Institute University College Dublin.
9.15pm “Modern Annals”
This is the project carried out by the transitional year students of Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon. The project involved each student recording their activities and interests over a period of their lives. One student studied the history of Manorhamilton writing it in script whilst others investigated the recycling of rubbish culminating in their making and designing their “junk wear” The projects were presented by Sinead Keogh.
Saturday 12th May- Family History Morni
11.00am Clan Ui Chléirigh Gathering-
Welcoming all O’Clerys, Clerys, Clearys, Clarys, Clark(e)s and Clerk(e)s. The surname derives from the personal name Cléireach meaning a scribe or clerk who was the grandson of King Guaire of Connacht members of the Hy Fiachrach Aidhne tribe.
This ancient Connacht tribe originally came from the area of north east of Kilmacduagh (Co Galway) but were dispersed to many parts of Ireland in the 13th Century.
There was a brief introduction by Fergus Cleary on the origins of the clan and where it dispersed to in the 13th Century,
Madeleine Cleary told the story of the Kilbarron branch of this ancient clan and in particular that of her ancestor Flann O’Clery.
Many of us at school were taught history as an academic subject where we learned about the great occasions in history, wars, battles, invasions and those who were emperors, kings or statesmen. But what of the ordinary folk, our ancestors – who were they and how did the events of history affect their lives?
Frank McHugh told those in attendance that the first step in finding out about your family’s past is to talk to elderly relatives, show them pictures of family (if you have them) and get as much first hand information as possible.
He also gave advice and tips on which websites to visit where the information is free.
Born in Belfast to Fermanagh parents, Frank McHugh has a Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde. He is currently a Director of the Fermanagh Genealogy Centre and also works as a freelance Researcher and Genealogist.
Saturday Afternoon – Summer School Events
Opening of the Summer School by Professor Emeritus Pádraig Ó Riain
Professor Emeritus Padraig Ó Riain agreed to step in at short notice to step in due to the cancellation of one of the speakers to open the 2018 Summer School. In his address he told us about the Annals and their importance to our modern understanding of Irish history.
3.00pm -O’Neill & O’Donnell & the war in the west by James O’Neill UCC
James O’Neill whose book “The Nine Years War 1593-1602″ was published in 2017, was unable to attend the weekend due to personal reasons. However James kindly sent his presentation along to the Summer School and it was delivered by Professor John Mc Cafferty.
John McCafferty is Director of the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, a partnership between University College Dublin and the Irish Franciscans. He holds a PhD in history from Cambridge University and has taught in UCD, where he took his first two degrees, since 1994. He has published on the histories of both Protestant and Catholic Churches in early modern Ireland. He has spoken in the 2014 School on The Franciscans in Exile At the 2015 School on Why the Irish Saints mattered so much to the Irish Franciscans the and at the 2016 Summer School on Wanderers How the Friars decided that the Irish “Saved Civilisation
The very interesting aspect of James O’Neill’s research was that both contemporary Irish and English accounts of the war underplayed the sophistication of both Hugh O’Neill’s forces in central Ulster and those of Aodh Ruaidh O’Donnell’s forces in west Ulster and North Connacht. The English explained their defeats in the field by the excuse that their opponents used unfair and ungentlemanly tactics. Whilst the Irish accounts principally that of Lughaidh O’Clery and written some years afterwards extoll the simplicity of the Gaelic forces against the overwhelming might and modern armaments of the English forces. Nothing could be further from the truth! Both armies employed modern 17th Century battlefield tactics.
4.00pm- The O’Donnells in Hapsburg Vienna- The saviours of an Empire? by Dagmar O’Riain Raedel UCC
Dr Dagmar Ó Riain-Raedel has been a member of the Department of History, University College Cork with a special research interest in Medieval History. She has lectured and published widely on the connections between Ireland and Europe from 600 to the 19th century. She has a special interest in art and architecture, both medieval and modern and, particularly, in the buildings of Cork. In the last few years she has researched the legacy of the architectural family of Hills which contributed many noteworthy buildings to Cork.
During her presentation, Dagmar O’Riain Raedel talked about the Austrian O’Donnells and how they saved the Hapsburg Empire. It’s a very fascinating story but one small incident can be revealed It happened on February 18, 1853,when the Emperor Franz Joseph was taking a stroll in the palace gardens in Vienna. A disgruntled former Hussar and Hungarian nationalist called János Libényi attacked the Emperor wielding a knife. Count Maximilian Karl Lamoral O’Donnell (a direct descendant of Major General Henry O’Donnell of Newport) stepped between the two helped by one Joseph Ettenreich, a butcher by profession both managing to disarm the assailant.
Franz Joseph rewarded both men and remained on the Austro- Hungarian throne until he died in 1916. The Empire did not survive the First World War and broke up into many of the independent nations of Austria Hungary Czechoslovakia Yugoslavia and the re created country of Poland in central Europe.
5.30 Keynote Address: Roisin Dubh-The story of Ireland or a Franciscan led astray?
by Cathal Goan Director General RTÉ 2003-2010
Was Róisín Dubh truly a song about Ireland or was it about a friar’s love for a woman! The question will be raised by former RTE Director General Cathal Goan as the keynote speaker at the Micheal O’Cleirigh Summer School in May.
He will examine if the 16th-century song Róisín Dubh – Black Rose – is truly a metaphor for Ireland or a song of a Franciscan led astray by a woman’s beauty.
The song has references to friars out on the brine and to the Erne, which passes through the County Donegal town of Ballyshannon, close to where Franciscan Brother Micheal O’Cleirigh was born at Creevy.
8.00pm School Dinner in the Sandhouse Hotel
Sunday 13th May
9.00 am Aifreann as Gaeilge- Friary Chapel
10.00 am – School Tour – Donegal Castle- Lough Eske & Barnesmore Gap
The tour left from the Friary front carpark travelling to Donegal town, visiting the castle and seeing the models of Kilbarron Castle and Kilbarron Church both important landmarks in the life of Mícheál Uí Cléirigh. The tour continued around Lough Eske seeing the many historic landmarks in the vicinity. Travelling to Barnesmore Gap the group stopped for tea , coffee and scones at Biddy O’Barnes. Afterwards returning to Rossnowlagh. Here are some pictures of the trip……………..
Fáilte chuig Scoil Samhraidh Mhíchíl Uí Chléirigh
A Summer School for remembering, for learning, for enjoyment. We remember a great local man, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh. We learn from scholars about his story and his times. We begin to understand what this means for us today. And we enjoy ourselves. We travel to local historic sites. We visit Mícheál’s birthplace. We walk the beautiful Rossnowlagh beach. We talk late into the evening in the local hostelries. Welcome to the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School to a family distinguished by scholarship. His older brother, Maolmhuire (Fr Bernadine) was ordained in Salamanca, Spain, later moving to Louvain, Belgium in 1619 and Michael joined him a few years later. As a lay brother Michael was able to concentrate on historical research and transcription rather than on priestly duties. In 1626 he was dispatched by a fellow Donegal man, Hugh Ward to Ireland to collect the lives of the Irish saints. This he did. But he also did more. For 10 years, Michael travelled the length and breadth of Ireland gathering the ancient manuscripts and histories wherever he could find them. He and his collaborators transcribed the material into Annála Ríochta na hÉireann (the Annals of the Four Masters). They left us with an incomparable record of the history of Ireland.
The Micheál Ó Cléirigh School Partnership
The Mícheál Ó Cléirigh School has been set up by a partnership of:
♦ Local people from Ballyshannon / Creevy / Rossnowlagh in Co. Donegal with a mission to preserve the memory of a great local hero.
♦The Franciscan Friars who established a Friary on Donegal Bay 1474 and played such an important part in Irish writing and scholarship from their monasteries in Ireland and Louvain.