A lineup of activities for ‘The Gathering 2013’ – based on the theme of emigration – is already being established, with a number of different items pencilled in for a three-day event in April.
On April 2, following registration, Rothe House will offer a tour of the building and garden. That evening, the event will be officially opened by the president of Kilkenny Archaeological Society and the Mayor of the City.
There will also be a keynote lecture on emigration through the centuries by Dr Patrick Fitzgerald, followed by an Irish night, of music and food in Bollards pub. Themed ‘An Irish Wake’, it will involve song, music and musings on the emigration theme during the evening meal.
The following day, there will be a coach trip to Inistioge, and a lecture on Newfoundland emigration from southeast Ireland by Jack Burtchaell in the Church of Ireland and morning coffee. The group will then depart for Graignamanagh, where there will be a short stop on the quay area to consider navigation development links to 18th Century emigration.
Next it’s on to Bagenalstown, where the topic will be rail development and its links to 19th Century emigration, before soup and sandwiches in Leighlinbridge. There will also be a visit to the cathedral here.
The group will then leave for Castlecomer to the Discovery Park, where a tour of the exhibition will take place. There will be a lecture on the Prior-Wandesforde Estate papers/map on the theme of estate-funded assisted passage schemes by Dr Máire Downey.
On return to Kilkenny City there will be a conference dinner in the Club House Hotel.
The final day begins with a visit to the chapter room of St Mary’s Cathedral. There will be three lectures – on the first SKC role in education and emigration by Dr Fergus Farrell, the second on 20th Century emigration the Great War by John Kirwan , and finally, 20th Century emigration the Big House Story by Professor Terence Dooley NUIM.
The closing remarks will be made by Bishop Seamus Freeman, before an informal buffet lunch and a walking tour of Kilkenny or one-to-one consultations in Rothe House on specific family history queries. Pre booking is required.