For further information: Deirdre Larkin,
Tel: 01 285 2113.
E mail: dlarkin@parnellsociety.com

For all Media Queries:
Felix Larkin (Academic Director),
Tel: 01 2856272 or 087 2347044
E mail: felixmlarkin@gmail.com


11-16 August 2013
THEME: Parnell & Kennedy: Lost Leaders

Yesterday was the 117th anniversary of the birth of Charles Stewart Parnell, whose grandfather fought under [Commodore John] Barry and whose mother was born in America, and who, at the age of 34, was invited to address the American Congress on the cause of Irish freedom. ‘I have seen since I have been in this country’, he said, ‘so many tokens of the good wishes of the American people towards Ireland.’ And today, 83 years later, I can say to you that I have seen in this country so many tokens of good wishes of the Irish people towards America.

John F. Kennedy, speaking to the joint session of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, 28 June 1963


Marking the fiftieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s visit to Ireland and his assassination, the 2013 Parnell Summer School will explore the place of Kennedy and Parnell in history and will pay tribute to these two remarkable men in the beautiful setting of the Avondale demesne, Parnell’s ancestral home. Other aspects of the Irish-American connection will also be considered, and the speakers include leading authorities from Ireland and America.

There may be minor amendments to this programme. Please visit our website for the latest information: www.parnellsociety.com


Official opening by Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College Dublin

Keynote Address:
Robert Schmuhl, Professor of American Studies and Journalism, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana – ‘The torch has been passed’? The American presidency before and after Kennedy

Chair: Stephen Rea, Editor-in-Chief, Independent Newspapers

Informal social evening at the Woodenbridge Hotel


10:00: Lecture
Patrick Wallace, former Director of the National Museum – John Fitzgerald Kennedy: A giant at my shoulder

Chair: Felix M. Larkin, Summer School Director

11:00: Coffee

11:30: Lecture
Anthony Summers, international author – ‘Not in your lifetime’: The JFK assassination, unresolved

Chair: Trevor White, Director of the Little Museum of Dublin

12:30: Lunch

14:30: Panel Discussion – HUMAN RIGHTS: ‘The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God’ (JFK)

- Aoife Nolan, Professor of International Human Rights Law, University of Nottingham

- Patrick Claffey, Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Religions and Theology, Trinity College Dublin

- Kevin O’Sullivan, Lecturer in History, NUI Galway

Chair: Maurice Manning, former Chairman of the Irish Human Rights Commission

19:30: FILM (Woodenbridge Hotel) – Parnell (1937), starring Clark Gable and Myrna Loy


10:00: Lecture
David Kilroy, Associate Professor, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida – The Dunganstown legacy: Making sense of American Presidential visits to Ireland, from Kennedy to Obama

Chair: Ivar McGrath, Lecturer, UCD School of History and Archives

11:00: Coffee

11:30: Lecture
Colum Kenny, Professor of Communications, Dublin City University – ‘A surprising hero: President W.T. Cosgrave in the USA, in the context of Irish leaders’ visits from Parnell to Enda Kenny

Chair: Finola Kennedy, economist and biographer of Frank Duff

12:30: Lunch

14:30: Guided Bus Tour: Glendalough House, Annamoe (home of the Barton/Childers family)


10:00: Parnell Lecture
Bernadette Whelan, Head, Department of History, University of Limerick – ‘He had a natural affinity with the war-torn democracy’: The Parnells and the American republic

Chair: Donal McCartney, President of the Parnell Society

11:00: Coffee


Dennis Foley, Independent Scholar – Thomas F. Meagher

Ian Kennelly, author, NUI Galway – John Boyle O’Reilly

Chair: Vincent O’Doherty, Vice-Chair, British-Irish Association

12:30: Lunch

14:30: Panel Discussion – PUBLIC SERVICE: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country’ (JFK)

- Michael McDowell, former Tánaiste, Minister for Justice and Attorney-General

- Simon Harris, TD for Wicklow-East Carlow

- Stephen Collins, Political Editor, Irish Times

Chair: Bryan Dobson, RTÉ

20:00: Musical Entertainment


10:00: Lecture
Rolf Loeber & Magda Loeber, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Irish-American fiction: Memories of hardship and arcadia

Chair: James H. Murphy, Professor of English, DePaul University, Chicago

11:00: Coffee

11:30: Lecture
Adrian Frazier, Professor, English Department, NUI Galway – Irregular relations: A history of public attitudes to the private moralities of Irish and Irish-American leaders

Chair: Fran O’Rourke, Associate Professor of Philosophy, UCD

12:30: Lunch


19:30: Wine Reception at the Woodenbridge Hotel & launch of Parnell Revisited, edited by Donal McCartney & Pauric Travers (UCD Press, 2013)

20:30: Summer School Gala Dinner at the Woodenbridge Hotel


10:00: Lecture
James Curran, Associate Professor of History, University of Sydney, Australia (visiting Professor of Australian History, UCD) – The dilemma of divergence: The American/Australian alliance and Asia, from Kennedy to Obama

Chair: Pauric Travers, Chairman of the Parnell Society

11:00: Coffee

11:30: Lecture

Seán Donlon, former Ambassador of Ireland to the US and Secretary-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs – Edward Kennedy and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland

Chair: Frank Murray, Chairman of the Parnell Trust

12:30: Lunch, after which the Summer School ends.


For further information and bookings, please contact the Secretary of the Parnell Society:

Deirdre Larkin,
5 Churchview Park,
Killiney, Co. Dublin
Tel: 01 2852113 or 01 5164087
Email: dlarkin@parnellsociety.com

Inclusive cost: €250 if paid in full before 1 August 2013, and €275 after that date. This fee covers all lectures and events, coffee and lunch (Monday to Friday) and the Summer School Gala Dinner, but excludes accommodation. Daily rate (including lunch) is €60

A limited number of scholarships may be awarded to students, covering the cost of fees, accommodation in the Woodenbridge Hotel (in a shared twin room) and transportation to and from Avondale on a daily basis. Applicants should write to the Summer School Director outlining briefly why they would like to attend and enclosing a reference from their tutor or supervisor or departmental head. Contact details for the Director are as follows:

Felix M. Larkin,
23 Vale View Lawn,
Cabinteely, Dublin 18
Tel: 01 2856272 or 087 2347044
Email: felixmlarkin@gmail.com

All media queries should be directed to the Summer School Director, Felix M. Larkin (contact details above).


Images from the 2011 Summer School

Images from the 2010 Summer School


Images from the 2009 Summer School
The 2009 Parnell Summer School was the Society’s eighteenth annual Summer School. Images below feature some of the highlights of the week including:

The official unveiling of two commerative seats, dedicated to two former founding members of the Society – Marie Toibin and Mairin Lindsay, by US Ambassador, Dan Rooney;

Guest speakers including Dairmaid Ferriter UCD, Christy Cooney GAA President, Michael O’Muircheartaigh, Broadcaster, Robert Fitzpatrick – CEO Odyssey, Jennifer Kelly and Tom Hunt.

Launch of two books from UCD Press - Words of the Dead Chief (eds, Donal McCartney and Pauric Travers); and J.J. Horgan (ed.), From Parnell to Pearse, by Mr Martin Mansergh, T.D.

Plus a review of the on-going redevelopment of the ‘Big Shed’ by the OPW at Avondale House.