Summer School Gallery 2014-2023

Feast- Food-Famine 5th-7th May 2023

The theme of the 2023 Summer School was, “Feast- Food- Famine / Féasta – Bia- Ganntanas” and the various talks explored the hardships of day-to-day life in post medieval Ireland in the period from 1500 to 1800 where seasons good or bad could determine the life expectancy of men, women and children.

To find out more about the weekend events – Follow the link: 2023 Feast- Food- Famine

Bloodshed & Retribution 6th-8th May 2022

Weekend Programme
The sponsors of the 2022 Summer School

After two years without having an actual Summer School it was good to be back in Rossnowlagh, though in a different venue at the Sandhouse Hotel.

To find out more about the weekend events – Follow the link: 2022 Bloodshed & Retribution 

 Due to the ongoing health restrictions the committee decided to hold a virtual Summer School weekend of talks.

The 2021 Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Virtual Summer School began on Thursday 6th May and ended on the Sunday evening of the 9th May. We wish to thank all those people who made it a success. The speakers Kelly Fitzgerald, Tony Lenihan, Naomi McAreavey and Anne Marie Walsh. John McCafferty gave us an overview of the objectives of the Summer School and was on hand each evening to facilitate the many questions from the virtual audience. Musical interludes were performed by Aonghus MacAmhlaigh on the Cello. A special thanks to our webmaster Philip Cleary who provided the technical know-how to stage the weekend virtual events.

To find out more about the virtual events -Follow the Link: 2021 Women in Turbulent Times


The 2020 Summer School was cancelled due to the lockdown and Pandemic.

2019 Summer School

The 2019 Summer School took place on the weekend of Friday 10th May until Sunday 12th May-  The theme of the Summer School was “Migration and Plantation” The programme of the weekend explored the events in the first thirty years of the Plantation of Ulster from 1607 to 1637. The latter date denotes the completion of the Annals of the Four Masters.

To find out more about the weekend events- Follow the link: 2019 Migration & Plantation


2018 Programme of Events

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

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.

To find out more and see photographs of the weekend events – Follow the link: 2018 Annals & Earls 


The fourth Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School was held on the weekend 12th-14th May 2017 

The fourth Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School took place over the weekend from the 12th to 14th May 2017. The theme examined the relationship Ireland had historically with Europe and its existing relationship with the EU.

To find out more and see some pictures of the weekend events-

Follow the link: 2017- Irish and European


Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School 2016

The third annual Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School was held over the weekend of the 27th -29th May 2016.

Banner for the 2016 Summer School

Refugees and Strangers: being Irish in Europe 1500-1800

Europe’s mass migration crisis  prompted the theme for this year’s Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Summer School in Rossnowlagh. To Irish people migration is not new. We have been serial migrants for centuries, a theme discussed at the Summer school from May 27th to 29th under the title Refugees and Strangers: Being Irish in Europe 1500 – 1800. This is the third year of the school which was founded to honour the Principal of the Four Masters, Br. Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, born close to Rossnowlagh in Creevy, near Ballyshannon.

Mícheál, along with many thousands of young people from Donegal and from the rest of Ireland, emigrated after the Flight of the Earls in 1607. School Cathaoirleach, Brian McAuley said: “We sometimes trace the tradition of emigration from Ireland to the terrible situation in which people found themselves during the Great Famine. “The truth is that throughout history, Ireland has witnessed many migrations. We know that monks  ‘brought civilization to Europe’ during the Middle Ages; soldiers (Wild Geese) left Ireland from 1500 onwards to join the great armies of Europe; monks and clerics left Ireland during the same period to found colleges in Europe; and today many young people leave our shores to find work in England, in Australia and in Canada.”

To find out more and pictures of the weekend events Follow the Link: 2016- Refugees and Strangers: being Irish in Europe 1500-1800 






Saints and Scholars


The success of the first day long Summer School led the committee to decide to expand the school to cover the weekend from the 15th -17th May 2015. To find out more about the 2015 Summer School weekend – follow the link: 2015 Theme Saints and Scholars 



banner moc

The inaugural Mícheál Ó Cléirigh School was held on Saturday 17th May 2014 at the Mícheál Uí Cléirigh Hall situated behind the Franciscan Friary at  Rossnowlagh. The day long event had several talks in the morning including the keynote address by Dr Bernadette Cunningham and a field trip to the ruins of Kilbarron Castle in the afternoon. Later that evening there was a School conference dinner in the Sandhouse Hotel, Rossnowlagh.

2014 Theme “Micheál Uí Cléirigh”

Speakers at 2014 school
Speakers at the Summer School

The chosen theme for the inaugural Mícheál Ó Cléirigh School was to discover as much as we could about the man and his background. To find out more about the times he lived through, the events that influenced his work on the compilation of the many manuscripts he laboured on. To find out about his collaborators and what external forces influenced his editorial decisions. In this the following academics would strive to give the assembled school the most recent thinking on these matters.

The speakers at the school were Dr Marc Cabal, John McCafferty, Director of the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute UCD Fr Joseph McMahon OFM, and Dr Jeffrey Cox

To read more about the event follow the link: Summer School 2014 – Theme Mícheál Ó Cléirigh