31st La Touche Legacy Seminar and 6th Festival of History 2019

13th & 14th September 2019 – Greystones Golf Club

Ireland through the turbulent 30’s’

Friday 13th September

Official Opening and welcome by Mr. George Jones,

Chairman of the La Touche Legacy

  Welcome by Cathaoirleach of Greystones Municipal District &      Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council
16.15 Mr. John Dorney, Historian ‘A war between Christ and Anti-Christ – Franco’s Irish Volunteers’
16.45 Dr Martin Mansergh & Former Government Minister ‘ The 30’s and DeValera’
17.15 Dr. Claire McGing, NUI Maynooth ‘The Silent Sisters? A reappraisal of the widows elected to Dáil  Eireann from the 1930’s’

Saturday 14th September 2019 – 

Welcome by Cllr Irene Winters, Cathaoirleach, WCC


Professor Fearghal McGarry, Queens University, Belfast

‘Communism, sex and all that Jazz: popular anxieties in 1930’s Ireland’

10.45 Coffee
11.00 Mr. David McCullagh, RTE – ‘De Valera Rule 1932-1975  

Jim Brennan Memorial Lecture 

Dr Margaret Ward – ‘Hanna Sheehy Skeffington – a woman for our times’


Seminar Dinner in Greystones Golf Club

Guest Speaker: H.E. Michael Collins, Recently retired Ambassador to Germany

Tickets: €30 for Lectures only and €50 including dinner

Tickets from Kay Coughlan: greystonesmd@wicklowcoco.ie / 01 2876694


30th La Touche Legacy Seminar and 5th Festival of History 2018

21st and 22nd September 2018 – Greystones Golf Club


Fri 16.15 September 21st


Irish ‘votes for women’ campaign

Rosemary Cullen Owens

Rosemary Cullen Owens is the author of Smashing times: a history of the women’s suffrage movement, 1889-1922. She will speak on the Irish ‘votes for women’ campaign, which culminated in the 1918 Representation of the People Act, the centenary of which is being widely celebrated this year.

Fri 16.45 September 21st


The Enemy Within- the Spanish Flu in County Wicklow 1918-19

Noel Campbell


Noel Campbell is an Assistant Keeper at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life where he has worked since its opening in 2001. He is a graduate of NUI Galway and UCD and holds a particular interest in the history of local government and public services. Noel is the author of A History of Castlebar: Municipal Government 1613-2014 and is curator of the NMI travelling exhibition Preserving the Peace: Policing on the Island of Ireland 1814-2014. He will speak on the The Enemy Within- the Spanish Flu in County Wicklow 1918-19

Fri 17.15 September 21st


The Legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in the Irish Free State

Dr Martin O’Donoghue


Dr Martin O’Donoghue (NUIG), historian and Academic Director of the Parnell Summer School 2018, will speak on the legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in the Irish Free State.


Sat 10.00 September 22nd


The periodical Dublin Opinion – a safe valve for public opinion

Felix Larkin

Felix Larkin is a former public servant, historian and former Academic Director of the Parnell Summer School. In his contribution, he will consider the part played by the periodical Dublin Opinion in providing a safety valve for public opinion in the new Irish state.


Sat 11.00 September 22nd

The Life and Times of De Valera

Dr David McCullagh

David McCullagh PhD is a journalist and author. He is a presenter of the current affairs television programme Prime Time, and Political Correspondent with RTÉ News and Current Affairs.

In 1999, he won a prize under the category ‘TV features and documentaries’ in the ESB national media awards. He has also written the book A Makeshift Majority: The first inter-party government, 1948-51, and a biography of John A. Costello. The Reluctant Taoiseach: A Biography of John A Costello, was launched in 2010. In October 2017 he published DeValera Vol 1 1882-1932 , his Vol 2 is due later this year.

Sat 11.45 September 22nd


Jim Brennan Memorial Lecture

Liz Goldthorpe

Liz Goldthorpe is a retired lawyer and judge. She will be speaking on the life and career of Averil Deverell, Greystones resident and the first woman to practice at the Bar in Ireland, whose biography she is currently researching.



29th La Touche Legacy Seminar and 4th Festival of History 2017

Another memorable and excellent weekend

At the completion of the 29th La Touche Legacy / 4th Festival of History, George Jones commented “We were delighted with the large attendance, the great quality of the presentations and the overall shape of the weekend “
The opening presentation on Friday by the students of 6th Class St Brigid’s NS was a stirring insight into the lives of three women with very close connections to Greystones, Grace Gifford, Kitty Kiernan and Sinead de Valera. George expressed the appreciation of the Committee for all the work undertaken with production by the students and of course by their teachers Mary Beausang, Jane Ahern, Niamh Murray and in particular Martin Dodd.
On Friday three lectures were provided by Dr Conor Mulvagh (UCD), Dr Maurice Manning (UCD) and Dr Ida Milne (NUI Maynooth), the Committee thanked the three chairmen of these presentation Cllr Christopher Fox, Cllr John Ryan and Cllr John Snell.
Again, there was a large attendance on Saturday morning for talks by Dr Mel Farrell (NUI Maynooth), Dr Leeann Lane and our own local historian Joan Kavanagh provided the Jim Brennan Memorial Lecture.

The Seminar Dinner Guest Speaker was Dr Martin Mansergh Historian, Former Minister of State and former Advisor to successive Taoisigh, Chairperson of GAHS Ms Rosemary Raughter commented “everyone enjoyed Dr Mansergh’s elegant and exhilarating presentation on Saturday night and he made a very memorable contribution to what was an extremely successful weekend”.

The Minister of Heath Deputy Simon Harris also addressed the dinner audience.

In conclusion George Jones thanked the Committee, the Captain and Staff of Greystones Golf Club and it was certainly very nice to be in the home of golfer Paul Dunne on the weekend he had such success. George also thanked Anne Daly SuperValu, East Coast Radio and local media Greystones Guide, Wicklow Times and Bray People.


Another great successful La Touche Legacy Weekend 2016

The 28th La Touche Legacy Seminar and 3rd Festival of History took place over the last weekend in September in the very historic surroundings of Greystones Golf Club. The new style Festival of History which has been added to the Legacy Seminar title was once more running in association with the Greystones Archaeological and Historical Society.With this year’s theme focusing on the post 1916 period and dealing with the many new names emerging after rising, these leaders  becoming very much part of the country’s quest for a free Ireland
The weekend kicked off with the introduction of the 1916 project of the St Laurence’s students on Dr James Ryan and his wife Mairin Cregan. Chairperson of GAHS Rosemary Raughter said “they were delighted to welcome the Teachers and Students of St Laurence’s and very much honoured to have members of the Ryan family present for the exhibition and introduction”. Rosemary also confirmed that they hoped to have the exhibition on display in the Greystones Library shorty. The Leas-Cathaoirleach of Greystones Municipal District Cllr Gerry Walsh and Cllr Pat Fitzgerald Cathaoireach Wicklow County Council were on hand to welcome the large attendance. Ms Catherine Wright gave a wonderful introduction to Genealogy and was well received by all, Sean Boyne followed on by giving a major insight to the life of Emmet Dalton, who fought in the Somme, was an Irish soldier and of course founder of Ardmore Studios. Dr Mary Mary McAuliffe from UCD finished off the first afternoon with a major on the Women during the early part of the Irish Free State , reviewing their status and claims for equal citizenship.
The Saturday session repeated the success of the Friday lectures with a very enlightening presentation from local resident Dr Owen McGee on “Arthur Griffith” The audience increased considerable to hear the Political Editor of the Irish Times Mr Stephen Collins giving his views on “Decade of Commemoration” along with a review of the period between 1912-1923. The morning session ended on a high note with an excellent presentation by Ms Sinead McCoole on Lady Lavery.The Dinner Guest Speaker former President of the European Parliament gave an insight to ramifications of the Brexit vote in the UK and its effects on Ireland and Europe, the outstanding feature of his address was the explaining in “layman’s terms”  of this very complex subject.
The usual Jim Brennan Memorial Lecture by an old friend of the Seminar Mr Chris Corlett rounded off the weekend with his paper on “The 18th Century Headstones of County Wicklow
The Chairman of the La Touche Legacy George Jones said “another very successful weekend was had, but its success would be impossible without the support of a great audience and of course the GAHS, La Touche Legacy Committee , he also thanked the Wicklow County Council members who attended and Cllrs, Joe Behan , Irene Winters, Stephen Matthews , John Snell & John Ryan for chairing various sessions. George Jones  thanked the Captain Tom Byrne , Catering Staff, of Greystones Golf Club for their attention and service over the weekend.
Finally the Legacy committee were delighted to celebrate former Town Councillor Joe Lalor (who has attended 27 out 28 Seminars) 90th birthday.


La Touche Legacy Conference 2015

The 27th La Touche Legacy and 2nd Annual Festival of History took place over the  weekend of the 25-27th September, 2015.

With sunshine greeting all delegates arriving at the new venue of Greystones Golf Club, the audience received an action packed weekend of history focusing on the World War 1 and the Easter Rising 1916.  Talks provided over the three days  by a panel of national and international guest speakers ranged on Friday Dr Clara Cullen giving details of the Diaries of Elsie Henry  covering 1916 and WW1.One of the starts of the weekend was local Loreto student Eva O’Hara who gave details of local gardener James Lawless who was Greystones and lose his life at the Battle of the Somme. Eva who had earlier won a competition for her “Adopted Soldier” brought to life the sadness of War with young James dying so early. Friday also saw Turtle Bunbury deliver an excellent lecture on the Leaders of 1916 and launch the GAHS’s 8th Journal and then proceeded to sign his own newly published book on Easter 1916.Saturday morning provided 5 lectures again covering 1916 and WW1 ,
John O’Keeffe making a return visit to weekend analysed the Leaders of 1916, Professor Susan Schreibman gave details of the first crowd-sourced digital collection of letters written around the 1916 period. Philip Orr from Carrigfergus gave a highly detailed talk on the 36th Ulster Division at the Battle of Somme with local historian the Rev. Canon Bob Jennings giving details of local Newcastle man Captain Irwin Johnston who served in the same division. The Final lecture on Saturday was given on Propaganda during WW1. The Conference dinner heard a highly conversational “what if” address from former Fine Gael Leader and Taoiseach John Bruton.
The Sunday lecture was given by Michael McGinley on the “La Touche Soldiers.  Chairman of the La Touche Legacy George Jones thanked the Committee, the Chair Rosemary Raughter and her committee of GAHS for all the assistance and hard work over the weekend. In particular I would like to thank the members of the audience who bought tickets for event and the Councillors from Wicklow and DRC who supported the weekend. Cllr Jones said he was delighted that the Mayor of Holyhead and four of his colleagues were also present.  George Jones thanked the Captain of Greystones Golf Club Michael Joyce and all the staff for providing a wonderful venue for the weekend. It is quite clear there is a great appetite among our community  to learn more of the past and George Jones said he was delighted the La Touche Legacy  & GAHS were able to provide such a successful weekend.
Dr Clara Cullen is a research associate at the School of History and Archives in UCD, and the editor of The world upturning: Elsie Henry’s Irish wartime diaries, 1913-1919 (Irish Academic Press, 2013). The diaries offer a narrative account of one woman’s personal experience during this period: while engaged in war work at home in Dublin, and concerned about relatives and friends’ fighting in France, Elsie also had connections with leading Irish nationalists, such as her aunt, Alice Stopford Green, Eoin McNeill and Roger Casement, giving her a unique insight into the events which transformed Irish society during these uniquely turbulent years.Philip Orr is an historian, lecturer and the author of a number of books and dramas dealing with the Irish experience of World War 1. His works include Field of bones: an Irish division at Gallipoli (2006), The road to the Somme: men of the Ulster Division tell their story (updated 2nd edition 2008) and New perspectives: politics, religion and conflict in mid-Antrim, 1911-1914 (2011)
Ian Kinealley is a historian currently researching a PhD in Irish History at NUI, Galway. He holds a masters degree from UCC.  He is researching aspects of the history and influence of the newspaper press in Ireland.  His has written many books and has contributed to a number of edited collections such as ‘Irish Journalism before independence’, amongst many other.
John O’Keeffe:  A Cambridge-educated criminologist, broadcaster and journalist, John is an adjunct teaching fellow in the School of Psychology, Trinity College, Dublin, a regular contributor to TV and radio and a columnist for The Irish Daily Mail.
Turtle Bunbury:  Turtle is presenter of The Genealogy Roadshow on RTE TV and author of Easter Dawn – The 1916 Rising (2015) and The Glorious Madness – Tales of the Irish and the Great War (2014).
John Bruton was born in 1947 and graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and politics in 1968, before studying to become a barrister. He was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1972. He holds Honorary Degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the National University of Ireland.  John Bruton is a former Taoiseach – 1994-1997.  He was  deeply involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process, leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, under whose terms a conflict of allegiances dating back to the seventeenth century was resolved.

La Touche Legacy Conference 2014

LA TOUCHE LEGACY FESTIVAL OF HISTORY 26th, 27th and 28th September 2014

Friday evening started with a celebration of Greystones and Ards connection was well received by a large audience with follow on  lectures by Lord Meath , Deputy Anne Ferris and the Key note address from the  leader of the WW1 Road show Myles Dungun.Saturday included more personal reflections from Chris Fox and WW1 Roadshow members Brendan Flynn, John O’Keeffe and Dr Ciaran Wallace.
Over 40 people took part in a walking tour of historic Greystones lead by Rosemary Raughter and Joan Jones. The final event on Saturday was the Seminar Dinner which was addressed by Minister of State Deputy Simon Harris, the Bray Concert Band under the leadership of Gerry Stafford proved a musical  favour of World War 1 .The final Jim Brennan memorial Lecture was given by Turtle Bunbury on Sunday morning.
George Jones thanked the community for buying tickets for the event (normally it was a free event but with the changes to Local Government new funding arrangements were needed) and also praised the support of local councillors Tom Fortune , Grainne McLoughlin, Derek Mitchell, and Gerry Walsh, for the weekend along with support from Deputies Ferris, Harris, Timmins and Doyle.George Jones welcomed the great support from Northern Ireland Councillors and in particular was delighted that Baroness Nuala O’Loan was in attendance with her husband Councillor Declan O’Loan from Ballymena Borough Council , Councillors were also present from Ards, Omagh, Newry & Mourne, Castlereagh, George Jones also thanked Wicklow County Councillors Pat Casey, Shay Cullen, Pat Vance, John Ryan, Chris Fox, Vincent Blake and Edward Timmins for attending over the weekend.
George Jones concluded “ the very large attendance over the weekend really shows that there is a great interest in history and events and the Legacy in association with GAHS look forward to providing a further interesting 27th Seminar in 2015.

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La Touche Legacy Conference 2013 Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September 2013

Local Government – A New Dawn

The Annual Seminar which was  attended by local authority members from North and South took place on Friday 27th –Sunday 29th with a distinguished panel of speakers including :Jim Power Economist, Brendan Keenan Group Business Editor Independent Newspapers, Frank McDonald Irish Times, Anne O’Keeffe Former Director OLAM, Tom Dowling Former County Manager, Mike Nesbitt MLA Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and Chris Corlett Archaeologist.


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