Borrisoleigh Rural Community In Larger Irish Setting

The very successful monthly series of history lectures which have been continuing in the Community Centre, Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co Tipperary, (Latter building situated behind the Sacred Heart Church) over the past year, will continue on Friday April 10th next, at 8.00pm.


Picture from the late 1960’s of Borrisoleigh village centre in Co. Tipperary.

This month’s lecture, a broader than usual theme, will examine social change in rural Ireland, as seen through the prism of guest lecturer Professor Liam Kennedy’s own parish of Borrisoleigh in North Tipperary.

For those of you not already familiar with the work of Professor Liam Kennedy; he is Professor Emeritus of Economic & Social History at Queen’s University Belfast. He was born in Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, in 1946, well before the era of rural electrification, the Friesian cow, Radio Telefís Eireann and the European Union. His interests include social change in Irish rural society, the Great Irish Famine and ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland.

In 2005 he held a visiting professorship at the University of Toronto and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Professor Kennedy retired from the academic staff in September 2011, but remains an active member of Queen’s History community. He is currently completing a book of historical essays, less than imaginatively titled “The Irish,” latter which will be published, possibly towards the end of this year.

In the 1950’s and the 1960’s a number of studies appeared which proclaimed the death of rural Ireland. Most of these came out of the west of Ireland and somehow did not seem to fit the rural world of Professor Kennedy who had experienced growing up here in Co. Tipperary. Thus began his interest in studying marriage patterns, dowries, farm inheritance, land hunger, religious change, women in rural society and much more.

“At this history discussion in Borrisoleigh I hope to explore these and other related themes and would be delighted to hear of the life experiences of others as well,” stated Professor Kennedy.

This planned evening event promises to be truly entertaining, particularly for lovers of social history, so do try to keep your calendar free for Friday April 10th next, 8.00pm.


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