annals & earlswebsite

The 2018 Summer School is been held on the weekend of Friday 11th May until Sunday 13th May- so mark it in your diary!
The theme is ” Annals and Earls, Annála agus Iarlaí ” it will explore 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. 
A full program
me and speakers is now finalised see below:

2018 Summer School Programme final march 27th

for updates see  https://www.facebook.com/mocleirighschool/

Friday 11th May Local Interest Events

7.00pm Primary Schools Art Competition – Prize-giving

picture 2016Each year primary schools within the area are invited to submit artwork by the pupils. Prizes are awarded in four categories. The theme for the 2018 Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School is “Lords & Ladies”. 

The Categories are: 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

Entries submitted can cover the strands- drawing, paint and colour – eg. crayons, colouring pencils, pastels, paints, charcoal, markers, collage, etc.

7.45pm Performance by Cór Craobhaigh-

Cór CraobhaighIn 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.

8.15pm- The Annals- an overview

Dr John Mc CaffertyJohn Mc Cafferty will give 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.

Professor John Mc Cafferty is the Director of the Mícheál Uí Cléirigh Institute University College Dublin.

9.00pm Tea & Coffee



9.15pm “Modern Annals”


Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon

This is a project carried out by the transitional year students of Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon  presented by Sinead Keogh.



Saturday 12th May- Family History Morning

11.00am Clan Ui Chléirigh Gathering-

cle 1Welcoming all O’Clerys, Clearys, Clarys, Clark(e)s and Clerk(e)s. There will be a short presentation on the background of this ancient Connacht tribe originally from the area of Kilmacduagh (Co Galway) but dispersed to many parts of Ireland in the 13th Century.

The name derived from the personal name Cléireach meaning a scribe or clerk was the grandson of King Guaire of Connacht and member of the Hy Fiachrach Aidhne tribe.

12.00 – Genealogy Links by Frank McHugh


Frank McHugh

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 will give a talk with advice and tips on how best to discover your past. The event is free and everybody welcome.

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.

1.00pm Lunch


Saturday Afternoon – Summer School Events

2.00pm -Opening of the Summer School by Professor John Mc Cafferty

John McCafferty

John McCafferty

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”

3.00pm -O’Neill & O’Donnell & the war in the west by James O’Neill UCC

James O'Neill UCD

James O’Neill UCC

 Born in Belfast, James O’Neill has worked in the field of contract archaeology.  He was a co-director of archaeological contractors which provided specialist archaeological advice and skills to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency: Built Heritage (NIEA:BH) .He went on to develop the North Ireland Battlefield Database and also the Defence Heritage Database for NIEA which are used to inform archaeological mitigation for planning and development issues across Northern Ireland.
Gaining a first class Ba in modern history at Queens University Belfast (QUB) in 2007 (after se long years of part-time study) He received his MA at QUB in 2009 and PhD again from QUB in 2013.
James started at UCC in October 2014 to expand on my research on the Nine Years War (1593-1603) and transform his thesis ‘Irish warfare in the age of the military revolution: the ‘Nine Years War’, 1593-1603’ into a monograph. His book  “The Nine Years War 1593-1602″ was published in 2017.



4.00pm- The O’Donnells in Hapsburg Vienna- The saviours of an Empire? by Dagmar O’Riain Raedel UCC

Dagmar Ó Riain-Raedel

Dagmar Ó Riain-Raedel

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.

5.00pm Tea/ Coffee Break

5.30 Keynote Address: Roisin Dubh-The story of Ireland or a Franciscan led astray?

by Cathal Goan Director General RTÉ 2003-2010

Cathal Goan

Cathal Goan

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




4. Friary Pic

10.00 am – School Tour – Donegal Castle- Lough Eske & Barnesmore Gap


Lough Eske

 The tour will leave 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 will continue around Lough Eske seeing the many historic landmarks in the vicinity. Travelling to Barnesmore Gap the group will stop for tea and coffee at  Biddy O’Barnes. Afterwards returning to Rossnowlagh.



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:


Some members of the local organising committee

♦ Local people from Ballyshannon / Creevy / Rossnowlagh in Co. Donegal with a mission to preserve the memory of a great local hero.





4. Friary PicThe 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.







CaiminWeb♦The Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute at University College Dublin repository of an unparalleled archive of  historical documents and the centre of voluminous research on Irish medieval history since its inception in the year 2000. See: www.ucd.ie/mocleirigh

CELTICKNOTWORK 2           The Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal

The inaugural programme of the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh School took place on Saturday 17th May, 2014. with the theme  “Mícheál Ó Cléirigh” The main events were held in the Ó’Cléirigh Hall beside the Franciscan Friary at Rossnowlagh, close by the birthplace of Mícheál Ó Cléirigh on lands originally belonging to the Ó Cléirigh clan, prior to 1610. The venue was an appropriate one, as it was built by the Franciscan Friars who returned to Donegal  in 1946. They were, of course, influenced by the association of the area with some of the renowned members of their Irish fraternity, such as  Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, John Colgan and Hugh Ward.

The Second Mícheál Ó Cléirigh School took place at Rossnowlagh on the weekend of 15th  – 17th May, 2015. The theme “Saints and Scholars”

The Third Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School was held over the weekend of Friday 27th May to Sunday 29th May 2016. The theme “Refugees and Strangers”

The Fourth Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School was held over the weekend of Friday 12th May to Sunday 14th May 2017. The theme “Irish and European”

See our picture gallery from all four Summer Schools 2014,2015,2016 & 2017.