KILKENNY Archaeological Society is moving outdoors for the summer. Upcoming is the visit to Cahir this Sunday, May 22 which is an addition to the published programme. This is a picnic outing and as always, subject to weather, should be a memorable and enjoyable outing. Using your own car arrange to be at the Swiss Cottage, near Cahir at 11.30 suggesting a10am departure from Kilkenny. Cross the bridge at Cahir, keep left and then sharp left following the long wall on the left to the entrance avenue also on the left which is sign-posted.
Later we will take our picnic lunch in the splendid, atmospheric Cahir Woods overlooking the broad River Suir. Then we visit the newly refurbished John Nash designed Saint Paul’s Church for a fully guided tour before ending the outing by exploring the imposing Cahir Castle. If you wish to join a car or can offer seats please contact Daphne or Winn in Rothe House 056 772 2893
The last lecture of the Spring Session was by Dr Kevin Whelan last Thursday. It was a tour-de-force by one of Ireland’s foremost historians. Although delayed by a week because of the lecturers brief visit at short notice to America - to deliver an imporant address to one of the many Universities at which he is a visiting professor. His Rothe House lecture was spellbinding. At once informative, stimulating, entertaining and even provocative as only a Wexford man can be when talking about Munster, hurling, Tipperary and Kilkenny all in the same breath!
Dr Whelan took as his broad canvas the tri-part county of Kilkenny explaining how the uplands of the Welsh Mountains to the south, the Castlecomer plateau to the north and the rich and bountiful central area differed as to geology, ethnicity, transport, traditions, religions and even idiomatic use of language.
Kilkenny Archaeological Society was delighted to host this still youthful whirlwind, a historical authority who is rightly regarded in Ireland, America and in very many other countries as a person with well researched views and blessed with a wonderful, forthright style of delivery.
A Wexford man, he graduated from UCD, with a double first in English & Geography before he was twenty. He was awarded a PhD just three years later. Kevin once remarked that if he were not a historian he would like to have been a stone mason. To date he has not had many opportunities to pursue this dream as he has been the author of an incredible output of well received and critically acclaimed books and articles. He has published fifteen major tomes (at last count) and almost one hundred articles.
His enormous energy and huge intellectual capacity also allows him to serve currently as Michael Smurfit Director of the University of Keough-Notre Dame Centre in Dublin. He also acts as historical advisor to the Irish government on the Famine and the 1798 Rebellion, and chairs the Irish-Argentinean Research Fund’s Selection Committee.