Thu, 16/03/2023 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubFollowing up on the excellent talk which Patricia delivered to our group on 'Life in the Country House in Georgian Ireland' on Zoom in 2021, we are delighted that she has agreed to inform and entertain us again - this time in person - with the story of the popularity of claret wine in the Georgian age in Ireland, drawing on her latest, beautifully illustrated, book of this name. So much red wine from Bordeaux was consumed by Ireland’s nobility and gentry in the 18th century that Jonathan Swift referred to it as ‘Irish wine’ in his letters, in the full knowledge that his correspondent would understand that he meant claret. While the poorer classes in Ireland drowned their sorrows with home-distilled whiskey, the upper classes enjoyed French wine supplied to them by the Irish families who had established themselves in the wine business in Bordeaux. Vast amounts of claret were consumed not only in domestic settings, in clubs and associations, but also at Dublin Castle where the popularity of a lord lieutenant was judged on his generosity with the contents of his cellar – indeed this resulted in the premature death of one at the tender age of 33. Not surprisingly, gout was rampant, but so were the ‘cures’ for it! Dr Patricia McCarthy is the author of ‘A Favourite Study’: building the King’s Inns (Dublin 2006); Life in the Country House in Georgian Ireland (New Haven & London, 2016), and Enjoying Claret in Georgian Ireland: a history of amiable excess (Dublin, 2022)
Thu, 02/03/2023 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn this Decade of Centenaries, one of the most important commemorations has to be the foundation and building of the new Irish state. The state created by the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 6th December 1921 was a fundamental contrast to the home rule offered in 1912. The latter was in reality a form of devolved local government. The Free State had control of its own internal and foreign affairs, albeit with the latter limited by the constraints of dominion status under the British Commonwealth. It could and did raise an army; raise and control its own taxes; fund its services; and implement land reform. The new government oversaw the transfer to Irish control of all property, personnel and services previously under the control of Britain; it created a new police force. It also created new ministries and managed its relations within the Commonwealth. A wide body of legislation was drafted and passed to give effect to these transfers and innovations. And all this was done by a group of people - acting under the threat of and later the reality of civil war and against a background of partition - people who had previously held neither political nor ministerial office. This presentation seeks to tell their story. Frank is a former Irish diplomat, who retired after a busy and distinguished career as Ambassador to Brazil in 2014. In retirement he continues his busy life, beginning with completing a Masters in contemporary Irish history in TCD. He has also served as a researcher for a documentary on the work of John Hume in creating an Irish lobby in the US; and also with the late Seamus Mallon, former Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland, for his memoir on his political life. For over two years, Frank worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs overseeing the release of files on the peace process to the National Archives. In 2020, he edited for publication a memoir by a British diplomat, Sir David Goodall, on the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985. Currently he is part of a team working for the National Archives in Ireland, Britain and Northern Ireland to create a schools’ package to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Frank and his wife Rita are long-term residents of Bray and we are delighted to that they are also members of our Bray Heads U3A group!
Thu, 23/02/2023 from 11:30 - 12:45 inWe are extremely lucky to have a guided tour of the Irish Jewish Museum on Thursday, 23rd February, 2023 at 11.30am. The Museum is not normally open on Thursdays at this time of year but the volunteers at the Museum have very kindly agreed to facilitate us. Officially opened in 1985, the IJM is housed in a former Synagogue which consisted of two adjoining terraced houses constructed in the 1870s. The IJM contains a substantial collection of memorabilia relating to the Irish Jewish communities and associations on the island of Ireland. On our tour we will have an introductory talk upstairs in the Synagogue followed by a guided tour of the display. Please note that there is one staircase to climb. The tour will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Fee €12 per person (pay in cash on the day) and is limited to 30 people. The Museum conducts an ongoing programme of conservation and preservation of artefacts including books, textiles and sacred furniture and was awarded first place for Dublin City in the Heritage Week Awards 2021 for a presentation of their Photographic Collection. The presentation can be found on this page: https://jewishmuseum.ie/a-glimpse-into-the-past-highlights-from-the-photographic-collection-of-the-irish-jewish-museum/ You can discover more about the Jewish diaspora and explore the Museum collection on the excellent website jewishmuseum.ie This a terrific opportunity to visit a Museum in Dublin which preserves an important part of Ireland’s cultural and historic heritage and to have a guided tour is a real bonus – it would be a shame to miss it! To book your place send an email as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘IJM tour’ in the Subject heading.
Thu, 16/02/2023 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIreland’s energy future faces unprecedented challenges. The Government's Climate Action Plan requires that we add an additional 10GW of renewable electricity, on-shore and off-shore wind and solar to the grid. This will also require a major upgrade to the transmission grid which is likely to provoke public opposition. More gas-fired generation will be required to back up this renewable generation. The responsible government agencies have recently failed in their attempts to put this in place, putting the country at risk of load shedding over the next few years. Ireland’s gas supplies are also at risk due to a failure to issue licences for gas exploration and a refusal to allow an LNG import facility. The era when energy supply was deregulated and freely traded is likely to come to end in Europe as countries protect their resources. In suggesting solutions, the presenter will draw on his 50 years experience in the energy sector in Ireland and overseas. Don Moore, whos is a member of The Bray Heads, started his engineering career with ESB working on the construction of Turlough Hill Pumped Storage Scheme in Co Wicklow. He followed this working as a design engineer on thermal power stations such as Poolbeg and Shannonbridge. In 1981 he joined ESB International. ESBI undertook energy projects in over 90 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. He had a particular 20 year involvement in assisting Vietnam in rebuilding its energy infrastructure destroyed in the war. As Managing Director he was responsible for the development of large ESBI owned gas-fired power stations in Spain and Northern Ireland. Since 2012 he has chaired the Energy & Climate Action Committee of the Irish Academy of Engineering
Thu, 02/02/2023 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubJoin Marie Bourke, who has written on Charles Lamb, most recently in the Irish Arts Review (2019, Vol 34 (4)), for an illustrated talk on the life and career of Lamb, who was born in Portadown, Co Armagh, educated in Belfast and Dublin, painted in Ireland, France, and Germany, and lived in Carraroe, Co Galway, where he died. Discover the leading 20th century artist Charles Lamb whose output encompassed portraits, still-life, Breton subjects, western and northern landscapes, harbour, and fishing scenes, as well as depictions of the Famine, and the Claddagh. Marie will explore his role as a painter, whose work formed part of an early 20th century search for an Irish identity, through his portrayal of the West of Ireland landscape, seascape, its people, and their lifestyle that he felt represented the ‘national essence’ of Ireland. In his lifetime his work was shown throughout Ireland, in London, Europe and the United States and, today Lamb is represented in all the national collections. Marie - who previously delivered a very well-received talk on the artist Frederick William Burton to our Bray Heads U3A group in April 2021 on Zoom - but who will be with us in person at Bray Golf Club this time - is a cultural historian and, former Keeper-Head of Education at the National Gallery of Ireland. The author of The Story of Irish Museums 1790-2000 (Cork University Press, 2011, 2013), she curated the NGI’s recent Frederic William Burton exhibition For the Love of Art. She is an Assessor on the Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme and on the board of the National Library of Ireland.’ Photos: Dr Marie Bourke; and Charles Lamb painting, A Quaint Couple, 1930. Collection Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. © Laillí Lamb de Buitlear
Thu, 26/01/2023 from 11:00 - 12:00 inThis is a chance to see the OPW Custom House Visitor Centre, Custom House Quay, Dublin and take a tour of this remarkable 18th-century building with expert guides. Visit starts at 11.00am. The tour will be similar to the arrangements for the Heaney exhibition. Our group will be divided into Group A and Group B. Group A will go on the guided tour for 45 mins and then see the self-guided exhibition for 15 mins. Group B will see the self-guided exhibition first and then go on the guided tour. The visit lasts approximately 1 hour and discusses the history of Georgian Dublin, the role the Custom House played in the Irish Famine, the burning of the Custom House by the IRA in 1921 and the reconstruction of the building by the Irish Free State in the late 1920s. Fee €7 payable in cash on the day.
Thu, 19/01/2023 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubBold Robert Emmet’ is the hero of nationalist story and song, and he is famous also as the author of one of the seminal declarations of Irish freedom in the form of his speech from the dock. But was he truly the harbinger of the Irish republic? Or was he a rash young man manipulated and provoked into an adventure which was futile , violent and fatal to himself and others? In his talk, Professor Patrick Geohegan, author of a widely acclaimed study of Emmet, will seek to provide an informed and analytical account which will enable us to arrive at a balanced assessment of Emmet both as to his contemporary historical importance and his subsequent significance Professor Geoghegan is an expert on the British-Irish relationship in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the competing themes of constitutional nationalism and republicanism. His work explores the tensions that led to the the Act of Union in 1800, which formally amalgamated Ireland into the United Kingdom and abolished the Irish parliament, the new political relationship which followed it, the attempts to overturn this settlement by force, as well as the campaigns to transform the relationship through constitutional means. In this context, and in addition to his major work on O'Connell, he has also published on Robert Emmet. Deeply committed to sharing his love of history with the widest possible audience, Professor Geoghegan presents the award-winning Talking History on Newstalk radio. The weekly radio programme is regular one of the most downloaded podcasts, and since 2006 has been praised for covering all aspects of history, from ancient times to the present day.
Thu, 05/01/2023 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn what is sure to be an illuminating and fascinating talk - delivered 50 years and 4 days after Ireland joined what was then the European Economic Community (EEC) -, Noelle O'Connell will be looking back on the Ireland of 1972/1973, reflecting on the transformation which our EU membership has brought to bear on the development of the country, and concluding with a geopolitical ‘tour de table,’ of the future and some of the challenges which she sees on the horizon for Ireland and Europe. Noelle O'Connell was appointed CEO of European Movement Ireland in April 2011. European Movement Ireland, founded in 1954, is Ireland’s longest established Not for Profit membership organisation dedicated to developing the connection between Ireland and Europe . As the organisation’s CEO, Noelle is the public spokesperson for the organisation and she regularly makes appearances on national and international media to give commentary on the ongoing Brexit negotiations, as well as the latest developments across the EU and in Ireland. Noelle is Vice President of European Movement International which encompasses European Movement councils in 34 countries in addition to 38 international associations representing civil society, business, trade unions, NGOs, political groups and academics. Prior to leading European Movement Ireland, Noelle provided business development training, education, and public affairs consultancy to a wide variety of both private and public sector clients, working in the area of business development, public affairs and EU Funding for organisations such as the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society, Construction Industry Federation and the Irish Institute of Training and Development. She has also managed and led on significant national and international funding projects (e.g. Interreg, Skillnets, Erasmus+, Europe for Citizens etc.) Noelle is a voluntary Director of the board of Alliance Française Irlande, and in 2017 was awarded the French Chévalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite. In 2019, she was appointed an International Leadership Fellow of Society of Leadership Fellows, St. George’s House, Windsor. She is also a member of the Institute of Directors, the CIPD, and is a Fellow of the Irish Institute of Training and Development (IITD). She holds a BA Hons in European Studies, French and Spanish from University College Cork, Ireland, a DEUF Diploma from Université de Jean Moulin, Lyon III, France and a MSc in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and speaks Irish, French and Spanish.
Thu, 15/12/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubNow is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party! The Christmas Cheer has proven to be an entertaining and joyful celebration in former years, due to the amazing and varied talents of the members who share their talents and sense of fun! O come all ye musicians, poets, writers and make this Christmas party 2022 yet another resounding success! Again, in addition to coffee, tea and biscuit, there will be non-alcoholic mulled wine, mince pies and some other festive fare and the usual 3 euro meeting charge will be waived on this occasion. As in previous years, we will be collecting wrapped gifts for children to give to the Vincent de Paul from those of you who would like to them. If so, warmest thanks, and would you kindly indicate on the wrapping if the gift is specific to a girl or boy and its approximate age range? These generous donations have been hugely appreciated by the VDP and the young recipients in earlier years.
Thu, 01/12/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubDiscover Bray and District through old movie footage and stills photographs from 1929 to 1960. The images give us an insight into life in Bray from almost a century ago.
Thu, 24/11/2022 from 11:00 - 12:00 inThursday, 24th November, 11.00am. Fee €5 per person, pay on the day Places on tour limited to 12 people and the tour will take about 1 hour This will be a real feast for the eyes as, with expert help, we examine some of Ireland’s most famous objects. Dr Matthew Seaver, Assistant Keeper, Irish Antiquities Division, NMI, specialises in the Archaeology of Medieval Ireland, Archaeological legislation and aspects of the prehistoric collections of the NMI. We are extremely fortunate that Dr Seaver has agreed to lead us on a tour of the Bronze Age Gold exhibition, The Treasury, which houses some of our most precious medieval artefacts, and the recently established exhibition – Glendalough: Power, Prayer and Pilgrimage. Dr Seaver has directed excavations at Laughanstown and Glebe, South County Dublin, The Hill of Slane and Raystown Co. Meath. He has also worked in conjunction with the School of Archaeology, UCD at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. Our earlier notice for this tour listed Áine Furey as our guide. Áine has been ‘poached’ by the NMI (we knew she was good!) and will no longer be free to take us on tour as planned. However, as you see above, Dr Seaver has very kindly offered to do the honours and we are indeed fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and experienced guide. This is a rare opportunity, don’t miss it! If you are interested in the areas covered in this tour contact me as soon as possible on email@example.com as places are limited.
Thu, 17/11/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubGillian has been working in the Education Dept of Wicklow Mountains National Park for over 20 years. The National Park covers almost 22,000 hectares of the Wicklow mountains. Much of the Park consists of rolling bog and heath - the haunt of red grouse and merlins. Gillian, however, is based in the wooded valley of Glendalough, where she gets to interact with both visitors and wildlife. Her job marries well with her hobbies - studying, recording and photographing nature. In her talk, Gillian will dip into the habitats and species within the Wickow Mountains. She will discuss some of the habitats and species to be seen, and touch on some of the conservation issues that the National Park faces.
Thu, 03/11/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf Club
Thu, 27/10/2022 from 00:00 - 12:00 inThursday, 27th October, 2022, 11.00am. Fee: €13.50 per person Something for everyone here: Literature, History, Architecture, Gardens Only 20 places available on this tour. We will have a guided tour of MoLI which has on display, amongst other Joycean material, the first copy of the first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Those of us who had the opportunity to visit Marsh’s Library on Bloom’s Day this year will recall seeing copy number 143 of the first edition of Ulysses on display there. In its examination of the work of James Joyce MoLI explores Irish literature of the past as well the work of modern Irish authors with the clear intention of inspiring writers of the future. This is a deep well from which to draw. We also have a chance to see the exquisite craftsmanship and stucco work of the Lafranchini brothers in the entrance to the museum. The garden at MoLI is another surprise and gives access to the Iveagh Gardens. There is a shop and a café to revive our sated spirits. This tour will be a great all-rounder, well worth the fee and definitely one not to miss. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to secure your place on this guided tour.
Thu, 20/10/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubThe title of Randall's presentation "Wexford Opera- one of the Great Miracles" is part of a quote by Colm Toibin. Randall will expand upon this description outlining the history of Wexford Opera, which began in 1951 and continues to grow from strength to strength to the presnt day.
Thu, 06/10/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubThis talk is about a cruise from Bergen to Quebec. It is about the geographical and geological history, the contrasting origins of the Scandinavian and Greenland people. A few years ago Chris Stillman had the pleasure of travelling from Norway to Canada via Iceland, Greenland and Nova Scotia on a cruise-liner. He was able to show that there were several similarities between the human history and the geological one - though the time-scales are rather different : human measured in thousands of years and geological in millions. The Earth's crust is in continual movement, with the surface layers cracking and molten lava erupting as volcanoes. The ocean floors are built in this way, for millions of years, and we can see this process of cracking open and new crust filling the cracks in Iceland. The continents are cracked apart over millions of years with the new ocean-floors growing between them. The cruise crossed the northern Atlantic which is still growing. The Vikings were seamen who sailed across this widening ocean several hundred years ago. Their ancestors had in fact begun in Africa and disturbed by volcanic eruptions, they migrated from north-eastern Africa a few thousand years ago, migrating northward across Europe and settling in Scandinavia. Greenlanders have a rather different history. Neighbours to the Viking ancestors in Africa, they had taken a different route, migrating eastward across south-east Asia, then northward to Arctic Siberia. As climates changed during the Ice-Age they were able to migrate eastward across North America to northern Greenland and eventually southern Greenland, where they met their one-time African ancestors. The Vikings then sailed on to Nova Scotia where they established a short-lived trading centre. ------------------------- Chris Stillman is a retired professor of geology. He graduated at Leeds University and in 1959 joined the Northern Rhodesian Geological Survey for six years. He then took up a lectureship in Trinity College where he taught and researched until 2000. He then took up lecturing on cruise liners and his research on volcanic rocks took him around much of the world. His talk today makes use of much of this research.
Thu, 29/09/2022 from 10:30 - 13:30 inThis walk will be of interest to those of you who enjoy a pleasant, comfortable walk in the good company of our U3A members and would like to hear a bit about our medieval history. Margaret will lead a walk starting at Brady’s Pub, Main Street, Shankill. The walk will take us from the 21st century, across the pedestrian bridge over the M50, along small country roads and then a winding path to the remains of the 13th-century Rathmichael Church and the earlier Round Tower. Mary Kelly will give a brief talk on the antiquities of the site, largely drawing on the published work of Chris Corlett, Archaeologist, Dept of the Environment and the late Paddy Healy. Meet at 10.30am, Brady’s Pub, Main Street, Shankill. Duration of walk – there and back, including talk about 3 hours. Parking is readily available in Shankill which is also served by good public transport links. Bring a drink and a snack and dress for the weather. Number of participants limited to 12. If you are interested in going on the walk please email email@example.com to book your place as quickly as possible.
Thu, 22/09/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf Club‘It was’, said John Adams, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, and 2nd President of the United States, ‘a revolution in the minds and hearts of the people’. But how revolutionary was this insurrection within the British Empire lead by wealthy planters, slaveholders, prosperous merchants, well -to do lawyers, and conservative colonial politicians and administrators? Their document of justification, ‘The Declaration of Independence ‘was a deeply conservative text, harking back to the principles of 1688, and the arguments of the great seventeenth century British political philosopher, John Locke, against the Catholic Stuart monarch James II. So, what happened? Did the conservative elites suddenly become revolutionary? Or did they find themselves swept away by social forces and ideological imperatives which hitherto they had never sufficiently understood? Did these unexpected dynamisms force the revolution in ‘minds and hearts? This talk will seek to probe the underlying complexities and contradictions of ‘the American Revolution’ Ciaran Brady was formerly Professor of Early Modern History and Historiography, and is now Fellow Emeritus, at Trinity College Dublin. Originally a specialist in sixteenth century Irish and English history, throughout his career Dr. Brady has taught American history at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has published substantially in this area. Joint editor of the peer review journal Irish Historical Studies for ten year , he has been President of the Historical Society and the Historical Association of Ireland. A founder member of the Trinity Access Programme, he was deeply involved in the construction and development of the new Leaving Certificate History syllabus by the National Council of Curriculum and Development. Dr. Brady was instrumental in having modules on American History introduced in the current Leaving Certificate curriculum. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy
Thu, 08/09/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn our first meeting after the summer break, and in her extensively-illustrated talk, Clodagh Whelan will be telling us fascinating stories about her participation in the 2013-14 and 2015-16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Races on board the 70ft racing yacht - Derry~Londonderry~Doire. In 2013/14, Clodagh and her all-amateur crew-mates completed two legs of the Race - the first from Cape Town, South Africa to Albany, Western Australia; and then the one from New York to Derry/Londonderry; from there to the Netherlands; then on to London, winning the North Atlantic leg of the race. And in the 2015/16 Race she participated in two other legs of the race – first from western Australia to Sydney, with a Christmas stopover there; then Sydney to Hobart, Tasmania; and Hobart to Airlie Beach in north-east Australia, following this up by completing the North Pacific leg from Quingdao in China to Seattle, USA in March, and winning that leg of the race. What amazing stories she must be able to tell! In addition to being an intrepid ocean sailor, Clodagh is a strategic business advisor, author, trainer, and a Dru yoga and meditation teacher. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, the National College of Ireland and Leicester University, with qualifications in Marketing, Finance, Business Strategy and Strategic Human Resource Development, she worked first in the private business sector, then with Enterprise Ireland for 20 years, and she is currently working with Wicklow County Council as their Age Friendly Programme Manager, developing an Age-Friendly strategy for Wicklow. Our Group Co-ordinating Team is greatly looking forward to seeing our longer-term members again at this meeting and to welcoming some new members also.
Thu, 23/06/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubWe are delighted that Dr. Cara Augustenborg - daughter of our Bray Heads U3A member, Elsa Augustenborg - will be telling us about her work on Ireland’s environmental and climate policy, based on over a decade of impressive experience working in academia, civil society, media and politics. Cara, who is originally from the USA, is an Assistant Professor in Landscape Studies and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin, holding a Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She received both a Fulbright Scholarship and Walsh Fellowship to conduct her doctoral research at Teagasc from 2003-2007. Since then, she has held a variety of roles in academia, Government, and the environmental NGO sector, including as Chairperson of Friends of the Earth Ireland and Friends of the Earth Europe until 2019. She is a Member of President Michael D. Higgins’ Council of State; Member of Ireland’s Climate Change Advisory Council; and presenter of the environmental radio programme, ‘Down to Earth with Cara Augustenborg’, on Newstalk.
Thu, 09/06/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubFollowing up on his hugely popular talk to our Bray Heads U3A group 'Who in their Right Mind Would Want to Read Joyce's 'Ulysses', delivered shortly after our group was created in 2018, Seamus Cannon returns, as 'Bloomsday' nears on 16 June, to treat us to a second session relating to James Joyce. This time, he will be dipping into Joyces 'Dubliners' collection and reading ‘After the Race’ from it and telling us what it is all about. The action, such as it is, is quite, well, uneventful, recounting the aftermath of a motor car race in 1903. However, Cóilín Owens has formulated a fascinating theory of what Joyce was up to in writing this on the centenary of the insurrection and execution of Robert Emmett. Séamus Cannon is an educator who, in retirement indulges his interests in Joyce, local history and furniture making. Séamus has been offering a course on Reading Ulysses for the past 15 years, currently on Zoom with an international audience. He is a former chairperson of the Friends of Joyce Tower Society. He has lectured widely on local history and has published articles in various journals as well as editing and publishing books on Dún Laoghaire and Monkstown. He is an accomplished woodworker, making and restoring furniture. We hope you will join us at Bray Golf Club for this highly interesting and entertaining talk.
Thu, 26/05/2022 from 13:00 - 17:00 inAs our previous attempt to visit Charleville House and Gardens had to be cancelled in 2020 members who booked the visit at that time are being offered a chance to go on a guided tour of the House and visit the Gardens on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May. An email has been sent to members who booked in 2020. If any places become available these will be offered to all members.
Thu, 26/05/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubVery graciously accepting our invitation to him to speak to our Bray Heads U3A group about the work of the great Irish playwright, Brian Friel, Professor Christopher Murray has selected three plays to exemplify Friel's genius and originality - Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Aristocrats, and Faith Healer - and three aspects of his technique - time, place and action. This focus, he says, is just a ‘way in’ to Friel's varied range of works, intended to highlight his leading ideas, to illustrate his theatrical skills and to highlight the common threads in these quite different works. Christopher Murray will also be setting this profile of Friel and his work against the backdrop of earlier and contemporaneous Irish writing and looking at Friel's place in world theatre. Brian Friel is regarded as the most significant Irish playwright after O’Casey and acknowledged as 'a giant of world theatre'. From the late 1950s to his death in 2015 at the age of 86, he scripted a total of 27 original plays - 24 published and 3 unpublished, - together with 8 published adaptations or versions of plays by Chekhov, Turgenev, Ibsen and Macklin - many of his works receiving major international theatre awards. Christopher's talk about Brian Friel will be much more than an academic lecture - he is calling it a 'live performance' and lively we guarantee it will be, with dramatised reading from the plays. He would love for it to be interactive too, with lots of questions comments and sharing of your own favourite Friel works at the end and he also encourages his audiences to try to read some of Friel's plays - especially the ones that he is covering - and/or works about Friel, before his events. A list of works can be found below. Christopher Murray is a scholar-critic who holds a PhD in Theatre History from Yale University. He subsequently taught for 36 years in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin, where he also edited the international journal, Irish University Review. He has had a lifelong interest in theatre and drama and has published widely in these areas. Among his books are Twentieth-Century Irish Drama: Mirror up to Nation (1997), Seán O’Casey: Writer at Work, A Biography (2004), and The Theatre of Brian Friel: Tradition and Modernity (2014). In addition he has edited Samuel Beckett: 100 Years, Centenary Essays (2006), Brian Friel : Essays, Diaries, Interviews 1964-1999 (1999) and ‘Alive in Time’: The Enduring Drama of Tom Murphy, New Essays (2010), and has published widely on Irish drama and theatre history. In succession to Joe Dowling, he was also chair of the management board of the Gaiety School of Acting 2010-17. Recommended reading (probably available at or through your local library): The texts of Brian Friel's plays 'Philadelphia, Here I Come', 'Aristocrats' and 'Faith Healer' which can be found in either Friel’s Selected Plays (Faber and Faber) or in Friel's Collected Plays, published by the Gallery Press 'The Cambridge Companion to Brian Friel', edited by Anthony Roche, who also has a book titled 'Brian Friel: Theatre and Politics'. 'The Achievement of Brian Friel', a collection of essays edited by Alan Peacock, with two of these particularly recommended - Robert Welch's chapter on Philadelphia, Here I Come' and Seamus Heaney's chapter.. Richard Pine’s 'The Diviner: The Art of Brian Friel', available in paperback. And last but not least there's Christopher's own book: 'The Theatre of Brian Friel: Tradition and Modernity' (Bloomsbury 2015)!
Wed, 25/05/2022 from 13:00 - 00:00 inAs our previous attempt to visit Charleville House and Gardens had to be cancelled in 2020 members who booked the visit at that time are being offered a chance to go on a guided tour of the House and visit the Gardens on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May. An email has been sent to members who booked in 2020. If any places become available these will be offered to all members.
Thu, 12/05/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf Club‘Biodiversity’ is the variety of life on this planet, and underpins our ecosystems, health and economies. But it is in trouble. What is driving its decline, and what are the consequences of this? How are the biodiversity and climate crises linked? And what can we do about it? This talk will address the facts and myths around the climate and biodiversity crises, and discuss how they are linked, and how biodiversity loss can affect our health and well-being, and our day to day lives. We will also discuss what we can do as individuals, as communities, and as civil society to address these challenges. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan will be discussed as a way to engage people from all walks of life with the issues, and to implement positive action for biodiversity. Jane Stout is a Professor at Trinity College Dublin whose work focusses on understanding the complexities of natural ecosystems and the interactions between nature and people. An internationally renowned expert on pollinator and pollination ecology, Jane is a prominent voice for biodiversity and its value. Her research helps to identify business risks associated with biodiversity loss, and development of habitat management solutions, which has significant implications for some of the poorest communities in the world. In Trinity College, Jane is co-Director of the Nature+, the Trinity Centre for Biodiversity & Sustainable Nature Based Solutions. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students, and leads a large team of researchers in the Plant-Animal Interactions Research group. Jane recently led a Biodiversity Audit of Áras an Uachtaráin and published a report on ‘Discovering Trinity's Biodiversity’. Beyond Trinity, Jane works across many disciplines, and with a broad range of public and private organisations, to improve environmental policy and practice. She is co-founder of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, one of the most successful conservation projects in Ireland. Jane is also co-founder and Chair of Natural Capital Ireland, a not-for-profit organisation with a vision for a future where nature, and the benefits humanity derive from it, are valued, protected and restored. Jane played a key role in the first National Biodiversity Conference in 2019 and is playing a leading role in the development of a Business and Biodiversity Platform for Ireland. She regularly contributes to public issues, through a variety of means, including directly with government bodies, but also via the media – she had a regular column in the Irish Times, and is often on TV, radio and in the press.
Thu, 28/04/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubOn Thursday 28 April we are pleased to welcome the return of musician Frank Gallagher. Frank presented a memorable talk - An Introduction to the Blues - in September 2020, accompanied by Don Baker, singer actor and renowned harmonica blues player. On this occasion Frank will speak about Jazz, a related but distinct genre of music. He will explore some of the unique features of the music and give a brief outline of its development during the twentieth century. The presentation will include a review of the achievements of the some of the greatest exponents of jazz and an analysis of some of their famous recordings, many of which will be played during tis event. Frank has provided a list of reference books and videos for those who would like to deepen their knowledge of the subject, a link to which can be found at 'Speaker's Presentation Notes' below. Frank Gallagher has been playing Blues and Jazz for many years with players including Don Baker, Johnny Norris, Red Peters and Gerry Clarke. He was a founder member and longtime chairman of the Tinahely Courthouse Arts Centre in south Wicklow and is an enthusiastic champion of the Arts in all forms.
Thu, 14/04/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubOn the occasion of our Bray Heads U3A group returning to in-person meetings at Bray Golf Club for the first time in two years, this talk will be given by our member, Eamonn Darcy, who will be outlining the fascinating history of the Incas. The talk, which will be a mixture of history and a travelogue, was inspired by a guided tour of the highlights of Peru in 2010. It mainly focuses on the Incas and presents an abridged description of the history of this fascinating civilisation by describing the rise and expansion of their empire and its subsequent defeat by Spanish adventurers. Their political, economic and military organisation are covered as well as their culture. A brief description of the ancient civilisations that preceded the Incas and on which their knowledge was built is included. Some stock photographs are used in this part. The military campaign of the Spaniards is covered as is their subsequent rule and legacy in Peru. Most of the photographs used in the talk were taken by Eamonn. Married to Maureen for many years., Eamonn holds a PhD in Chemistry and worked in related fields in the private sector for 13 years. Following this, he changed career and started working in Vocational Training in the Public Sector, initially in AnCO and subsequently in FAS at Deputy Secretary level. During this time, he spent some years as Chief Executive of FAS International which provided vocational education and training services on a commercial basis abroad, as well as a 2.5 year spell as Chief Executive of the Youth Employment Agency until it was closed down as part of a Government led reorganisation of the sector. He was then invited to work in the World Bank in Washington DC as a vocational training expert in the Indonesia Department spent a lot of time in that vast country during 3 years there. Eamonn has always been interested in theatre and gardening and, under the influence of Maureen, he developed a liking for classical music. He took up golf later in life, which he claims to play badly. We are fortunate indeed that, after retirement, Eamonn joined our Bray Heads U3A group, and he is also a member of a Probus group. He continues to travel widely.
Wed, 06/04/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlinePLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ZOOM TALK TAKES PLACE ON WEDNESDAY 6TH, NOT THURSDAY AS USUAL With a degree in horticulture in 1970 and an M.Sc in landscape ecology, design and maintenance, John arrived at Phoenix Park in 1984, where he became the Chief Park Superintendant, a position from which he retired in recent years. The 1752 acre Park was the subject of his PhD at Trinity College in 2007, which evolved into a book called An Illustrated History of the Phoenix Park – landscape and management to 1880. The Park was established in 1662, when James Butler, duke of Ormond created it as a deer park for the use of aristocrats. The deer are still there – according to John they are the most studied deer in the world – twelve PhDs have been written on them! Much loved by the citizens of Dublin, it is said that the Phoenix Park is one of the largest enclosed parks in the world –bigger, apparently, than all the parks in London put together. The park contains a great variety of facilities, among them a maze and gardens, Farmleigh House, a Cricket Club (estd in 1830), a Polo Club, a Model Flying Club, the Zoo, Aras an Uachtarain, visitor centre at Ashdown Lodge, the US embassy, Chesterfield Avenue (the main thoroughfare) and all those beautiful gate-lodges on its perimeter John's talk will be accompanied by a beautifully illustrated presentation.
Thu, 24/03/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThis is the story of a journey that starts with alchemy and weaves in and out of history, science, literature, art and religious studies. The silos in which these disciplines live (often relatively unchallenged) and the borders between them, do not always serve the end users of knowledge and insight. This is illustrated in a three-part account of how science without borders might have improved and informed religious teaching on aspects of practice. In addition, an example is provided in which religious traditions without borders might well have influenced the methodology of science in a way that would almost certainly have enhanced it. The story ends with a surprising no borders reflection. Jim Malone is Robert Boyle Professor (Emeritus) of Medical Physics and was Dean of Medicine. He works/worked as a consultant with international organisations, including WHO, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the EC. He is an active member of the TRA writing group. Recent publications include books on Ethics for Radiation Protection in Medicine, and on Mystery and the Culture of Science.
Wed, 16/03/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlinePLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE ON A WEDNESDAY RATHER THAN OUR USUAL THURSDAY MEETING DAY - IT IS THE DAY BEFORE St PATRICK'S DAY! As the world looks on in horror as Russia continues its brutal invasion into Ukraine and fake news abounds, we are delighted that one of Ireland's leading experts on Russia and its neighbours - former Ambassador Pádraig Murphy -, has agreed to join us on the 16th to explain it all - the historical and current features of the Russian-Ukrainian relationship; how and why this conflict developed as it has; how the international community is responding to it; what the local and international repercussions may be; and, hopefully, he will attempt to guess what may be next. Pádraig Murphy - who served in the Department of External Affairs, subsequently the Department of Foreign Affairs, from 1966 to 2005 - was born and brought up in Co. Cork and was educated there, including at University College Cork, where he was awarded a B.A Degree in English and Psychology in 1964, and began his study of Russian. In January 1966, he entered the Department of Foreign Affairs as a Third Secretary. After serving in a number of positions at the Department's Headquarters, and abroad at our Embassies in Berne, Switzerland, and Bonn, Germany, Pádraig became a Counsellor in the Department's Political Division, where he was European Correspondent, responsible for preparing the work of the EC’s, subsequently EU’s, Political Committee. He then took up the post of Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the European Union, Brussels (1978 to 1981). Following this, he was appointed as Ireland's Ambassador to the USSR - and also Finland - (1981-1985), where he continued his lifelong interest in Russia and Russian history. On his return to Dublin, he took on the role of Political Director, Ireland’s representative in the Political Committee, (1985-1991). In his later career, Pádraig served as Ambassador in three other Embassies: first to the Federal Republic of Germany (1991-1998) - the period following Germany's historic re-unification of East and West; then to Spain, where he was also accredited to Andorra, Algeria and Tunisia (1998-2001); and finally to Japan (2001 to 2005). Retiring that year, Pádraig pursued his interest in Japan and its culture by undertaking studies for a Masters Degree in Japanese Language and Society at the University of Sheffield, which he was awarded in 2008. Also in retirement, he has been actively involved in the activities of the Institute of International and European Affairs, Dublin, serving as Chair of its Foreign Policy Group from 2011; and, since 2015, he has been a Senior Fellow there. In 2012, he served as Special Representative for the South Caucasus, dealing with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, of the Chairman in Office of the OSCE - the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Pádraig is married to Liv Berit and they have two sons, David and Christian
Thu, 10/03/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineIn these times when 'fake news' is growing exponentially and in a calculated manner, we are fortunate indeed that veteran international journalist Michael Roddy has agreed to take us behind the scenes of the media world to cast a light on the sort of fake news that is being circulated, how it is being done and why, and what its impact is on our societies. In doing so, he will be drawing on some noteworthy examples of fake news and news fakers, from an American president who told more than 35,000 fact-checked lies, the 'anti-vaxers' whose misinformation about COVID-19 caused significant numbers of people around the world to refuse vaccination and large numbers of unnecessary deaths, to the devious falsehoods employed by a Russian President to justify his intended subjugation of a peaceful neighbouring country by force of arms. He will be contrasting this with the kind of measures which responsible media organisations like Reuters take to ensure that the news and information which they disseminate is accurate, fair and unbiased - that it is, in fact, the truth - arguing that this sort of fact-checking is now more important than ever. He says that he cannot really answer the question of whether 'fake news' has won, but that he very much hopes to spark a lively discussion about this when he meets our group. We must make sure that this will be the case! Michael Roddy was born in New York City and grew up in the New York suburb of Westchester. He describes himself as having been in journalism for his entire professional career, from his first job at a suburban New York newspaper in 1973 to his retirement from Reuters in 2016, after 30 years with them. He worked for Associated Press in the first half of the 1980s, in Philadelphia and later in New York City. He joined Reuters in 1986 and soon thereafter began an international correspondent career that took him to Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe (Hungary) and to Ireland, where he was chief correspondent for Reuters in the early 2000s. He then worked on editing desks in London for about 10 years before being named European Entertainment Correspondent, covering the major film festivals, art exhibitions and celebrity events, for three years before his retirement.
Thu, 03/03/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineIn medieval times, people did the Camino for redemption, to clean their immortal souls. For most modern pilgrims, the Camino tends to be a mindfulness and reflective experience, as well as a physical challenge. There is a multiplicity of reasons to do it. The talk will include a brief history of the Camino, its links to Ireland, information about the different Camino routes, why the Camino is different to other pilgrim routes and where to get information before you start on "your way". Jim McNicholas is Chairperson of the Camino Society Ireland. Since 2010, he has walked many of the Camino routes in Spain, as well as routes in Portugal, France and Germany, all roads leading to Santiago de Compostela. Jim has also served as a volunteer in the Pilgrim Office in Santiago and in the Camino Society's Information Centre in Dublin.
Thu, 17/02/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThis talk examines two of the Civil Rights crises that President Kennedy faced during the fall of 1962 and the summer of 1963 and his progression during that summer, toward framing the issue of racial equality as a national moral crisis and committing his presidency to addressing it. The talk will feature telephone conversations between the President and the Governor of Mississippi that were recorded by the White House, as well as the 11-minute video of President Kennedy’s Report to the American People on Civil Rights, from June 1963. The talk will also discuss President Kennedy’s trip to Ireland that summer and will feature the video of the “JFK in Ireland” documentary. Cecelia Hartsell is a U.S. historian, specialising in African American history and American social history. Since moving to Ireland, she has been a contributor to the RTE History Show and Radio Kerry on topics in U.S. history and frequently gives U.S. history talks for the Dublin Festival of History and in the Dublin public libraries. She has completed all of the requirements save dissertation and language requirement for a PhD in American history at Fordham University and has a Masters degree in history from University College Dublin. She has published the following article: ‘The Great American Protest: African Americans and the Great Migration’ in 1916 in Global Context: An Anti-Imperial Moment, Enrico Dal Lago, Róisín Healy, and Gearóid Barry, eds. Twitter: @citygirl2270
Thu, 03/02/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineIn an extensively-illustrated presentation to our Bray Heads U3A Group, Ian Lumley will be reporting on the major issues which the recent 'COP26' UN Climate Change Conference aimed to address, what happened at the Conference, what it achieved - and what it did not - and what all of this means for Ireland, and our planet. Ian is very well placed to provide us with this assessment. He represented An Taisce, not only at COP 26 in Glasgow recently, but also at the previous five UN annual Climate Conferences, from COP 21 in Paris in 2015 to COP 25 in Madrid in 2020. Ian became an An Taisce member through a school project in Waterford. He has occupied a range of roles with An Taisce, for some years as Advocacy Officer and for the last 5 years on a voluntary unpaid basis. His advocacy work is informed by An Taisce being part of the 70 strong International National Trusts Organization (INTO) and member of the Brussels based European Environment Bureau (EEB) Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe and Transport and the Environment (T&E). Ian’s work for An Taisce embraces most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015, including global equity, health and wellbeing, sustainable resource use and consumption Climate action, reversal of biodiversity loss and heritage protection.
Thu, 20/01/2022 from 11:00 - 13:00 in Zoom OnlineIn his talk to our Bray Heads U3A group, distinguished historian Professor Geoghegan will be profiling the career and impact of the towering 19th-Century political figure, Daniel O'Connell, who was the subject of a recent highly acclaimed two-volume study by him. The first of these volumes - King Dan - provided a new analysis of the winning of Catholic Emancipation in 1829, while the second - The Liberator - discussed the attempts to repeal the Union which failed so dramatically in the 1840s. Professor Geoghegan is an expert on the British-Irish relationship in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the competing themes of constitutional nationalism and republicanism. His work explores the tensions that led to the the Act of Union in 1800, which formally amalgamated Ireland into the United Kingdom and abolished the Irish parliament, the new political relationship which followed it, the attempts to overturn this settlement by force, as well as the campaigns to transform the relationship through constitutional means. In this context, and in addition to his major work on O'Connell, he has also published on Robert Emmet. Deeply committed to sharing his love of history with the widest possible audience, Professor Geoghegan presents the award-winning Talking History on Newstalk radio. The weekly radio programme is regular one of the most downloaded podcasts, and since 2006 has been praised for covering all aspects of history, from ancient times to the present day. In addition to all of this, Professor Geoghegan is the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography project; he serves on the Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations; and for many years he was the History Co-ordinator on the Trinity Access Programme helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their potential at university. .
Thu, 06/01/2022 from 10:30 - 12:30 in‘Age is not a number: our biological changes are what counts and the good news is that most of the factors that change our clocks are within our control to modify and improve – we control 80 per cent of our ageing biology.’ We all age. But why do some of us live longer than others? Why do we live twice as long today as our ancestors did 200 years ago? And what does the latest science teach us that will help us not only live longer lives, but also to live fitter, healthier and happier lives, deep into our later years? Physician and researcher, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, has been at the forefront of ageing medicine for 35 years. As the founder and director of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), she is uniquely positioned to write about the science behind how we age. ‘I was ﬁrst wooed by clinical ageing when I was a young trainee doctor and the fascination for why we age continues to drive my curiosity and research. Then and now, engaging with patients and learning from their life stories guides answers and solutions, raising the obvious questions about why some people appear resilient to ageing while others “age early”.’ Her forthcoming book, Age Proof, Professor Kenny, will be launched on January 22nd in London and unpacks the latest research behind ageing and distils complex scientific theory into simple, practical advice that we can apply to our everyday lives. She reveals the key lifestyle areas that have a measurable impact on how our minds and bodies age: having purpose, laughter, friendship, diet, sleep, sex, exercise and cold-water immersion. For her lecture she will explore the centuries-long search by mankind for the elixir of youth and life and some of the scientiﬁc evidence to persuade you that you are as young as you feel, that there is a multitude of things that can be done to enhance enjoyment of the ‘last lap’ and ensure lifelong satisfaction, curiosity and pleasure. Professor Rose Anne Kenny holds the Chair of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and is the Founder and Principal Investigator of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA: www.tilda.ie), Ireland’s flagship research project in ageing where she leads a team of multidisciplinary researchers focusing on psychology, nursing, medicine, physiotherapy, economics, bio-engineering, social sciences and health economics as aspects of the ageing process in Ireland. In 2016, she launched a new 120 bedded clinical research institute on the site of Ireland’s largest teaching hospital (St. James’s Hospital), where she is Director of a state of the art dedicated falls and syncope facility – the largest such clinical model in Europe. Prior to her present appointments, she held the Chair of Cardiovascular Research at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, where she was Head of the Academic Department of Medical Gerontology for 12 years. Professor Kenny has held a number of senior positions including, Chair of the American Geriatric Society: Falls Prevention Guidelines (2001 & 2011), Chair of the European Cardiac Society/ European Heart Rhythm Association Guidelines for Syncope units (2015), Member of the European Cardiac Society (ECS) Syncope Guidelines Taskforce 2018, Board Member of the EU H2020 Advisory Group for Societal Challenge and Co-Chair of the working group “Transforming the Future of Ageing” lead by the Scientific Advisory Policy by European Academies (SAPEA). She is also Advisor to the Irish Government for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Irish Citizens’ Assembly on Ageing. She has received a number of international awards and has published widely, authoring over 600 publications to date. In 2014, she was the first female physician to be elected as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA) and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, London and Ireland (FRCPEdin, FRCP & FRCPI), Fellow of Trinity College Dublin (FTCD) and Honorary Fellow Faculty of Public Health medicine (FFPHMI (Hon)). She is the current President of the Irish Gerontological Society (IGS).
Thu, 16/12/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom Online
Thu, 09/12/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom Online
Thu, 02/12/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineFollowing the interest and lively discussion which greeted the talk delivered by Professor PJ Drudy of TCD on 'The Housing Crisis' earlier this year, and coinciding with a current exhibition of drawings by local artist and Bray Heads member, Brigid O'Brien at the Mermaid Arts Centre, we are organising for the first time a slightly different meeting than our usual one. It had been hoped that this event could have been held in-person at the Mermaid Gallery but, in light of the worrying trends which have developed in relation to COVID-19, and the guidance being extended by key national health advisers to minimise public indoor gatherings at present, our Team has decided that it best to be safe and to organise this as a virtual event via Zoom. The event will begin with a short video featuring Brigid, her exhibition, the life-sized drawings in it and her telling us the concept behind it. This will then be followed by a Panel Discussion on Brigid's theme of 'Home'. The discussion will be chaired by our Team member, Aoife Nic Réamoinn and, n addition to Brigid, the panel will include: - Professor PJ Drudy, who will be returning to discuss the social dimension of 'home' and housing; - Hugh Brennan, founder and CEO of the O Cualann Cohousing Alliance, which is planning and building community-focused affordable housing; and - Wicklow County Councillor John Snell (Non-Party), Chairperson of the Housing & Corporate Estate Committee, Wicklow County Council, who will hopefully be able to discuss our County's plans for implementing the Government's 'Housing for All' policy and strategy. We hope that Bray Heads U3A members will also join in the discussion after the brief introductory comments by the guest speakers. In addition to participating in this event, we would encourage Bray Heads U3A members to visit Brigid's 'Home' exhibition to experience her extensive and impressive range of drawings in their original, life-size, form. The exhibition runs from 18 November to 8 January at the Gallery of the Mermaid Arts Centre in the Municipal Offices complex off the Main Street in Bray and can be visited from 11.00 to 16.00 on weekdays other than public holidays. Entrance is free.
Thu, 25/11/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThe recently revised Climate Act requires the Climate Change Advisory Council to propose three five-year carbon budgets to the Government for the period 2021-2035, following which the Government will allocate these budgets to sectors. A carbon budget is the cumulative amount of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions permitted over a period of time. The first two carbon budgets are largely determined by the target set in the Climate Act to reduce emissions by 51% between 2018 and 2030. Agricultural emissions account for one-third of the national total, and the land sector is a further source of emissions. Although even more stringent reduction targets are likely to be set for the energy, transport, industry and built environment sectors, achieving the overall target will not be feasible without very significant reductions in agricultural and land use emissions. This talk will explain the background to the Irish carbon budgets and the challenges they will pose for the Irish farming sector. This talk is particularly topical given the recent publication of Ireland's Climate Action Plan and the conclusion of the COP26 summit in Glasgow. Alan Matthews is Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. His major research interests are agricultural policy analysis, the impact of international trade on developing countries, and computable general equilibrium analysis of trade and agricultural policy reforms. He has worked as a consultant to the European Parliament, the OECD, the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations and the UN Industrial Development Organisation, and has been a panel member in a number of WTO Dispute Settlement procedures. He is a past-President of the European Association of Agricultural Economists. He is a regular contributor to the blog capreform.eu on issues relating to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
Thu, 11/11/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineFrancis Brendan Jacobs lives in Dublin, is a dual British and Irish citizen, an Adjunct Senior research Fellow at University College, Dublin, and a visiting Professor at the Collegio Europeo in Parma, Italy. His main areas of academic interest include the evolution of the European Parliament, the implications of Brexit, and the legacy of the UK within the EU. He is the co-author of "The European Parliament" now in its 9th edition and edited a reference book on "Western European Political Parties". His book, "The EU after Brexit: political and institutional implications" was published in spring 2018, and he is currently working on a guide to the Landmark Sites of the European Union, on EU activities and historic locations. He has also taken part in the Collecting Memories Project, interviewing former Members of the European Parliament for an oral archive housed at the European Union Archives in Florence and has contributed two chapters to a book based on those archives. Francis worked for the European Parliament from just before the first direct elections in 1979 until May 2016, as a staff member on various European Parliament committees, and latterly as the head of the European Parliament's Liaison Office in Ireland, communicating within Ireland about the role and activities of the EU Parliament with Irish and other MEPs and reporting back to colleagues in Brussels and Srasbourg about Irish concerns and policy positions on EU issues.
Wed, 03/11/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 inThe Bray Heads U3A is a full member of the Wicklow Public Participation (PPN) Network, which is an important vehicle for supporting participative democracy at local level. This talk by Helen Howes, Resource Worker in the PPN, will explain what the PPN is, the benefits of member engagement with the network, and how individuals and groups can get involved. Helen Howes is the Co Wicklow PPN Resource Worker and provides full-time support for the Secretariat and the network. Helen has over 20 years’ experience working in the community sector as a volunteer and in a professional capacity. In that time, she has worked with many groups and organisations at local level. Helen has supported the capacity building of individuals and groups through the various social inclusion programmes in the county. She worked with children and young people, residents’ associations and Travellers and also coordinated the Wicklow Town Fáilte Isteach Programme where local volunteers provided English speaking supports to the migrant community. Helen was the coordinator of Wicklow Community Platform, a social inclusion network in Co Wicklow and supported it to develop into Co Wicklow Community Forum, a network that pre-dated the PPN. Her work with Co Wicklow PPN has led to her working at local, regional, and national level as well as linking the community sector to the statutory sector. Helen has participated in many training sessions and courses including equality training, communication skills, committee skills, and disability awareness. In 2006 & 2007 she did the Meitheal Foundation and Advanced Facilitation Skills. Between 2006 and 2010 she studied for and received a BSc in Rural Development from UCD before going on to receive a Certificate in Addiction Studies from Maynooth in 2012. Helen was Chairperson of her residents’ association for many years as well as being treasurer for a group that managed a community hall in a neighbouring estate.
Thu, 28/10/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineFollowing the great response which he received to his powerful and moving talk to our Bray Heads U3A group in 2019, about his mother who was a Holocaust survivor and the influence which this has had on his own life, Oliver is returning to share with us his personal overview of the evolution of Abstract Art and how it connects to science, language and philosophy. We are sure that you are going to greatly enjoy this fascinating and well-illustrated talk, on a subject which is at the heart of his profession as an art dealer and gallery owner, but which mystifies so many of us. Oliver was born in London and moved to Ireland in the mid 80s. After 20 years of representing artists in Ireland, in 2013 he opened his eponymous gallery in central Dublin, presenting a contemporary exhibition programme including Irish and international artists, both emerging and established. The gallery is distinguished for its inclusion of contemporary applied arts exhibitions. The gallery is also recognised for its international presence, bringing carefully curated exhibitions to London & New York. Oliver is also the founder of Holocaust Awareness Ireland and Chair of Irish National Youth Ballet.
Thu, 14/10/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineMoya Cannon was born and grew up in Co Donegal. The dramatic mountains and coasts of her native county inspired her early poetry. A degree in History and Politics from UCD, she helped set up a Gaelscoil in Dublin before undertaking a graduate degree in International Relations at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Her preoccupation with poetry overtook her interest in history and she settled into a teaching career which would leave time for writing. After publication of her second book, Moya was elcted to Aosdána, which allowed her to give up full-time teaching. She has been editor of Poetry Ireland Review and, as Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies, she taught creative writing in Villanova University in 2011. For many years she co-directed a summer course in creative writing in UCG. In her poems, history, archaeology, pre-historic art, geology and music figure as gateways to deeper understanding of our mysterious relationship with the natural world and with our past. Migration is a central theme, the migration of people, birds and culture. A recurring preoccupation is the web of connections between us, the land and sea of our endangered planet and the vast variety of lifeforms which the earth sustains. Moya 's first book Oar, was published in 1990 and she has since published five further collections, the latest publication "Collected Poems" in 2021.
Link - moyacannon.ie;
Thu, 30/09/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineDr Brady's talk to ‘Elizabeth I and the perils of female monarchy in the sixteenth century’ is a reflection of his dual interests [in sixteenth century English and Irish history and in historiography]. Taking a critical look at the several ways in which Elizabeth has been interpreted and judged by generations of historians, he will seek to identify, on the basis of verifiable evidence, the key values and priorities by which Elizabeth herself and her contemporaries judged her actions and attitudes. An attempt will be made to assess the degree to which Elizabeth succeeded in overcoming the many obstacles confronting her as an unmarried female monarch, and also the degree to which she fell short. Ciaran Brady was formerly Professor of Early Modern History and Historiography, and is now Fellow Emeritus, at Trinity College Dublin. Originally a specialist in sixteenth century Irish and English history, he developed a second interest in the theory and practice of historical thinking and writing, and has published widely in both areas. Joint editor of the peer review journal Irish Historical Studies for ten years, he has been President of the Historical Society and the Historical Association of Ireland. A founder member of the Trinity Access Programme, he was deeply involved in the construction and development of the new Leaving Certificate History syllabus by the National Council of Curriculum and Development. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy
Thu, 16/09/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineDr. David McConnell, Fellow Emeritus in Genetics, Trinity College Dublin was educated at Sandford Park School, Trinity College Dublin (BA in Genetics, Gold Medallist, 1966) and the California Institute of Technology (PhD in Biochemistry, 1971). Joining Trinity in 1970, he was appointed to the Chair of Genetics in 1990 retiring in 2014. He planned and organised the Smurfit Institute of Genetics which grew to have more than 100 staff from 30 countries. He is a molecular geneticist, that is, he is interested in the properties of genes as molecules, including the study of the evolution of genes, a field now called molecular evolution. In 1976-77 he held an Eleanor Roosevelt Fellowship of the IUAC at Harvard University where he learned the very new revolutionary technique of DNA sequencing which has transformed the study of evolution. Natural evolution is usually a very slow process, so slow that it is unusual to see it “in action”. As Darwin noted farmers have caused the evolution of domestic species, sometimes quite quickly, for example in the breeding of new varieties of potato or sugar beet in Europe. We can cause evolution to occur in laboratories using fast growing species of bacteria and viruses. But none of these is as spectacular as the evolution of new pathogens in nature – which the public would not easily associate with Darwins’ great theory of evolution by natural selection. In this talk Dr. McConnell will describe some remarkable evolutionary processes that have occurred recently and in some cases are occurring – time permitting he will refer to flu, myxomatosis and HIV before discussing malaria and coronaviruses in more detail. Coronavirus is evolving so fast that he does not know what he is going to say about it.
Thu, 02/09/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineFrederick Douglass, an African American abolitionist and former slave, visited Ireland in 1845. His trip was shaped by a number of experiences, including meeting Daniel O’Connell and achieving a level of personal freedom unimaginable in his home country. Originally written to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth in 2018, this talk examines Douglass’s visit to Ireland and his role as an abolitionist. Dr Cecelia Hartsell is a U.S. historian, specialising in African American history and American social history. Since moving to Ireland, she has been a contributor to the RTE History Show and Radio Kerry on topics in U.S. history and frequently gives U.S. history talks for the Dublin Festival of History and in the Dublin public libraries. She has completed all of the requirements save dissertation and language requirement for a PhD in American history at Fordham University and has a Masters degree in history from University College Dublin. She has published the following article: ‘The Great American Protest: African Americans and the Great Migration’ in 1916 in Global Context: An Anti-Imperial Moment, Enrico Dal Lago, Róisín Healy, and Gearóid Barry, eds.
Fri, 25/06/2021 from 00:00 - 00:00 in
Thu, 24/06/2021 from 11:00 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineFollowing his lively and informative talk to our Group in November 2020, there have been many developments related to the COVD pandemic. Luke has agreed to return and give us an update on COVID focusing in particular on vaccines and therapeutics.
Thu, 10/06/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineAnytime that the Middle East features in the news media, the story almost always relates either to wars, uprisings, tyranny, terrorism, religious extremism or threats to the west, or else to the vast oil-wealth of some of its countries and people. Having spent nearly eight years living, working and travelling in the region, retired Ambassador, Isolde Moylan, has witnessed and chronicled many of these conflicts and problems first hand. In this talk, however, she will be delving in behind the news headlines, the terrible press which the region attracts, and the stereotypes which abound about it, to reveal a more multi-dimensional picture of these fascinating lands, peoples and cultures, and the main historical, economic and external factors which impact so heavily on it. Isolde - who is from Bray, and who was a founding member of our Bray Heads U3A Group and its first Team Leader - was an Irish diplomat for over 40 years, focusing mainly on political and international development issues. In addition to posts abroad in Washington DC, at the UN in New York, in Rome; Brussels; and Boston as Consul General, she served as Ambassador to Tanzania (1996-2000); as Ireland’s first resident Representative to the Palestinian Authority (2000-2002); as Asia Political Director (2005-2010); and as Ambassador to Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Sudan and the Arab League, based in Cairo (2010-2015). In retirement since mid-2015, she speaks and writes on the Middle East; she is a Board member of the Friends of Bethlehem University; a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation; an Archives Reviewer for the Department of Foreign Affairs; and she also enjoys being a member of Bray Choral Society.
Wed, 02/06/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 inOur final trip this season to The Ancestral Stomping Grounds will be guided by Finola Finlay – Chocolate Box Barbara McAllister – The Story of Love and Emigration Brian White – Patrick Short and the SS Isolda Fourth Speaker – TBC Wednesday, 2nd June at 10.30 See you then! On behalf of the U3A Team I would like to offer our sincere thanks to all of the Speakers throughout this series for their generosity of spirit in sharing some of the fascinating and intriguing stories of their family histories. They have led us all around the world – through jungles, across oceans on sailing ships, to beautiful houses and into domestic detail that hold the key to entire chapters of our own history. It has been an enthralling journey. Thank you!
Thu, 27/05/2021 from 10:30 - 12:00 in Zoom OnlineWhen he left school at the age of sixteen in 1825 , Charles Darwin said about himself that "I was considered by all my masters and by my father as a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard in intellect". And yet when he died in 1882 his name was a household word. Today Darwin is arguably the most written about and most widely discussed scientist of all time. It could also be said that no other scientist in history was to cause such a dramatic change in how ordinary people understood themselves and their place in the world. This talk will review the life, times, and career of this extraordinary man Dr Peter Boyle is a Fellow Emeritus of Trinity. He was brought up in County Sligo in the house in which the famous Cambridge mathematician, Sir Gabriel Stokes (of 'Stoke's Law' fame) was born. He was educated in The King's Hospital School in Dublin and then in Trinity College, where he was elected a Scholar and then took a moderatorship in chemistry, followed by a Ph.D. He joined the academic staff of Trinity and was elected a Fellow of the College in 1972. He remained working in Trinity until his retirement, with periods abroad working in USA and Germany. In 2015 he published a new book on the Provosts of Trinity College.
Wed, 26/05/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 inForests are bustling with activity, most of which we cannot see. Trees, from oak, to birch, alder, hazel, and willow, have partnerships with underground microbial organisms. Millions of species of fungi and bacteria swap nutrients between the soil and the roots of trees, forming a vast, interconnected web of organisms throughout the woodlands. The partnership between fungi and trees is known as a ‘mycorrhizal symbiosis’ and occurs with(in) the roots of the tree; the fungus helps the tree take up nutrients in the surrounding soil that would otherwise be unobtainable through thread-like structures known as hyphae, and in exchange, the tree gives the fungus carbon (sugars). There are different types of mycorrhizal symbioses, two general categories include ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi which surround the tree’s roots and do not penetrate them and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi which are inside of the tree’s roots. The EM and AM fungi produce extensive networks of hyphae, which is collectively known as a mycelia, in the forest soil. One of the most fascinating functions of the mycelia within a woodland ecosystem, in addition to nutrient transfer, is that trees can use the fungal mycelia to ‘signal’ between different tree species. This phenomenon is known as the ‘Wood Wide Web’, coined by the ecologist, Suzanna Simard, that describes forest ecosystems as social and cooperative networks that communicate through the mycelia of mycorrhizal fungi. In this talk, we will explore the Wood Wide Web by looking at the basics of mycorrhizal fungi and their evolution, and asking what are the trees telling each other? Finally, we will examine the current status of mycorrhizal studies in Ireland and how these amazing fungi can help us in the future. Carla J. Harper is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science that started in the Botany Department, Trinity College Dublin in March 2020. She is a palaeobotanist with a specialty in palaeomycology, or the study of fossil fungi from the Palaeozoic (407–251 million years ago) and Mesozoic 251–240 million years ago) from European and Antarctic deposits. Dr. Harper received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Kansas under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas N. Taylor. Prior to starting at Trinity, she was an Alexander von Humboldt post-doctoral fellow in Munich, Germany, with Dr. Michael Krings, as well as held two U.S. National Science Foundation post-doctoral research positions. Some of her the key research areas in Ireland specifically include: (1) the study and documentation of Irish fossil floras and their microbial partners, (2) documenting the living fungi (mushrooms, microfungi, fungal parasites, and especially mycorrhizal fungi) and fungus-like biodiversity, and (3) comparing and contrasting living and fossil fungi in order to understand how fungi adapt to current and past global climate change.
Thu, 13/05/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineJim Walsh is an Emeritus Professor of Geography at Maynooth University where he is also a member of the Maynooth Institute for Social Sciences (MUSSI). His research interests are in rural and regional development, demographic change and spatial planning. He has published extensively on these topics. In addition to his research he has extensive experience in leadership and project management in higher education as Vice-President of Maynooth University for twelve years, and in providing strategic advice on a wide range of policies over many years to government departments and other agencies that include the National Economic and Social Council; Dept of Environment on the National Spatial Strategy and the National Planning Framework; Dept. of Agriculture on the White Paper for Rural Development; and in more recent years the Dept of Community and Rural Affairs through membership of the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas.
Wed, 12/05/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineNOTE: This class is on WEDNESDAY, 12 May With Ireland's National Drawing Day coming up on Saturday 15 May, our very own Group artist, Brigid O'Brien, has very kindly agreed to hold an advance event to celebrate the Day and the joy of drawing. This will be Brigid's second drawing class for the Group, but her first on Zoom. All members are invited to join and are strongly encouraged to do so. Brigid believes passionately that there is an artist in all of us and that we can all stretch our doodles into mini works of art by a few minutes of sketching everyday items that we see around us in our homes, gardens, towns and countryside. If you haven't already discovered the artist in you, Brigid will be showing us how to change this. There will be no need for any participants to be shy as there is no competitive element to this class, no-one will be pressed to display their work if they don't want to. The idea is to have a go and enjoy the experience in a relaxed atmosphere, and any displaying that is done will be strictly voluntary, intended simply to get some useful feedback and encouragement from Brigid about the work. In her first class, which around 40 members attended at Bray Golf Club, Brigid brought along a basket of different fruits and vegetables and our task was to select one of these and draw it and the hand in which we were holding it. It was great fun and the results were surprising! WHAT YOU'LL NEED: This time, we will not be able to dip into Brigid's basket, so class participants will need to supply their own object to draw and this is going to be: A TOMATO - so that's not too difficult! After that, all you need is a pencil (coloured if you like), a small notebook, drawing pad or pieces of paper, roughly A5 to A6 in size, possibly a sharpener - and a rubber only if you absolutely must. As for the title of this class of Brigid's - 'Drawing and Sex' - she is giving us no clues, so all remains to be revealed on the day. Photos - Clockwise from top left: Artist Brigid O'Brien; A Tomato drawing by her; A drawing of her's to celebrate National Writing Day in February this year; and a photo taken at Brigid's first Bray Heads U3A drawing class in 2019
Wed, 05/05/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 inThis talk is part of the Climate Action Sub-Group's Programme but all members of The Bray Heads are welcome to attend Most people when asked to describe the ocean likely start with waves on a beach or headland as this was their first introduction to the ocean and is the critical interface between land and sea. The ocean, however, covers 70 percent of the planet’s surface and most of this is beyond the sight of land. For this reason, perhaps, much of what the ocean provides for us, what scientists term ecosystem services, are also often overlooked in our daily lives. In this context, recent studies have shown that the ocean has absorbed around 9 percent of the excess heat due to rising greenhouse gas concentrations. The oceans are currently acting to offset atmospheric warming due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), as it takes more energy to warm water by 1°C than air and the oceans also transport this extra heat into the interior of the ocean where it no longer interacts with the atmosphere. The ocean also plays a role in moderating CO2 concentrations in the air, as seawater absorbs CO2 from the air, and it is estimated that the ocean has absorbed 30 percent of fossil fuel emissions. In his talk Professor Croot will present an introduction to the UN Decade for Ocean Sustainability, which started this year, as well as discussing the role of the Oceans in Climate with a particular emphasis on the implications for Ireland. Professor Peter Croot of NUI Galway is a marine biogeochemist whose research focuses on understanding the role of biogeochemical and physical processes on the concentration and distribution of trace elements and chemical species in the ocean. His work combines different strands of ocean observations (in situ and satellite, physical and biological), with laboratory studies to elucidate the kinetics and mechanisms underpinning the transformation of chemical species in the ocean from the surface to the deep. Dr Croot has extensive at sea experience in the oxygen minimum zones of the Tropical Atlantic and Pacific and in the iron limited Southern Ocean. In April 2017 he was the Chief Scientist for the GO-SHIP repeat hydrography survey along the A02 line in the North Atlantic, this marked the first time that an Irish research vessel had undertaken an international hydrographic survey.
Thu, 29/04/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThe fire that broke out at Notre Dame two years ago was a horrifying spectacle, the world watching on TV as flames spread relentlessly along the building. Commentators spoke of complete destruction, finding it hard to believe that such a great monument was so vulnerable. In fact the disaster was not as catastrophic as it looked. When the fire was finally extinguished, the cathedral was fundamentally intact, the vast array of medieval sculpture unharmed, so too the stained glass that filled the giant windows. While some regarded this as little short of a miracle, the survival of the cathedral was a triumph for Gothic design, a direct result of the structural system adopted by the medieval builders. Fire was an ever-present fear in the middle ages and many great churches suffered a fate similar to that at Notre Dame. This talk will explain how the Gothic masons confronted the problem and will explore the unusual architecture of Notre Dame, a hybrid scheme that resulted from a series of modifications to the original design. The talk will also illustrate the damage caused by the fire and outline the decisions that have been made in organizing the restoration. Roger Stalley is a a fellow emeritus of Trinity College, Dublin, where he was Professor of the History of Art between 1990 and 2010. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and was elected a member of Academia Europaea in the year 2000. His research interests lie in the field of medieval art and architecture. He has published over a hundred articles along with eight books, including the Cistercian Monasteries of Ireland (YUP 1987), (awarded the Hitchcock medallion by the Society of Architectural Historians), and Early Medieval Architecture (OUP, 1999). He is currently completing a book on early medieval sculpture in Ireland.
Thu, 15/04/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineJoin Marie Bourke, for an illustrated talk on the career of one of Ireland's favourite artists - Frederick William Burton, who was born in Wicklow but spent his childhood in Clare. Dr Bourke will shed light on this leading water-colourist, renowned for 'The Meeting on The Turret Stairs', 1864, NGI (which was voted Ireland's favourite painting and which appears in Photo 1), and she will mention some of the women in his life, including his fiancée, Mary Palliser from Waterford. Dr Marie Bourke is the former Keeper and Head of Education at the National Gallery of Ireland and one of the highly successful exhibitions which she curated was: 'Frederick William Burton: For the Love of Art at the National Gallery of Ireland' (2017-18). A former Adjunct Professor in the School of Art History & Cultural Studies at UCD, she is the author of many publications including, The Story of Irish Museums 1790-2000 (2011, 2013). She is an Assessor on the Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme and Vice-Chair of the RDS Arts Committee. Photos: 1. Frederic William Burton (1816-1900), Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs, 1864, Watercolour. NGI.2358. Copyright the National Gallery of Ireland 2. Dr Marie Bourke
Wed, 07/04/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 inOur second trip to The Ancestral Stomping Grounds will be guided by Siobhán Quigley – A Love Story Grace McEvoy – A New Yorker returns to 19th-century Mountmellick Mary Ashall – The Kielta Vase Bill Grimson – Our Nobodies Wednesday, 7th April at 10.30. See you then! Thanks to our Speakers for their generosity of Spirit and a gentle reminder that the Team hopes to hear from all members who might like to make a contribution to our future sessions.
Wed, 31/03/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlinePLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MEETING IS TAKING PLACE ON WEDNESDAY 31ST MARCH Our bodies are our autobiographies - they faithfully record the countless choices we make every day (what we eat/the way we move/our sense of purpose/our relationships/how we sleep). Allopathic western medicine is amazing but is even more powerful when combined with lifestyle, culinary and contemplative medicine. Learn the art & science of integrative medicine to optimise health, well-being & vitality during the COVID-19 pandemic Dr Ceppie Merry MB MSc PhD FRCPI graduated from Trinity College Dublin & did a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago. She spent 10 years working developing capacity in HIV pharmacology in East Africa. She is also a graduate of the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona
Thu, 18/03/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineFollowing the centralising Carolingian reforms of the ninth century, what is generally known as ‘Gregorian’ chant gradually became standard throughout the western Christian Church. And while certain local or regional practices continued for longer in areas more distant from Rome, surviving sources belong largely to a common international repertory. A striking exception is the saint’s Office, or Historia (the medieval term), the liturgy for Matins, Lauds and Vespers used on an individual saint’s feastday. This is aptly named because both the chant texts and related spoken readings involve stories about the life of the individuals concerned, accounts of miracles associated with them (involving mostly healing and acts of charity), and glorification of their memory. There are often references to specific localities too, revealing a close personal connection with these ritual songs and prayers on the part of those who sang, spoke and listened to them. Irish saints whose offices form part of this legacy include Brigit, Patrick, Colmcille, Canice, Brendan, Laurence O’Toole, Fursa, Columbanus, Gall, Kilian, among others. The talk will include a brief account of the work involved in breathing new life into this music, an important part of Irish hidden heritage which has been silent for some 600 years; it will be illustrated by a selection of recent sound recordings and images from the manuscripts. Biography Ann Buckley is a musicologist specialising in medieval studies, with interests in the music of medieval Ireland, European medieval Latin and vernacular secular song, and the history of musical instruments. Her current research, the Amra project, concerns chant for Irish saints, based on an exhaustive survey of manuscripts which survive today in libraries and archives across Europe. A graduate of University College Cork, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Cambridge, Ann Buckley has taught and presented seminars and guest lectures at an international level, including Western and Eastern Europe, and North America. A former Research Fellow of Darwin College Cambridge and Visiting Professor at the Sorbonne University, Paris, she has also held appointments at University College Cork, University College Dublin, Maynooth University and Queen’s University Belfast. She is currently based at the Medieval History Research Centre, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin. Ann Buckley has received awards in support of her work from the Irish Research Council, the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, Foras na Gaeilge and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, among others. She publishes widely at an international level, and is also actively engaged in public lecturing and performance, as well as presenting radio programmes on various aspects of medieval music. Her most recent publication is an edited collection of essays, Music, Liturgy, and the Veneration of Saints of the Medieval Irish Church in a European Context (Brepols 2017: https://bit.ly/2FBbxDI), and she has recently completed another collected volume (co-edited with Lisa Colton) on Music and Liturgy in Medieval Britain and Ireland for publication by Cambridge University Press.
Wed, 10/03/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 inThis session is open to Everyone and we hope that you will attend. The idea is to have short (about 10 mins), light-hearted contributions from our members about one or more of their forebears or any object that has its own ‘history’ within their family. Our forebears, rather like the Muirchú Dr Anthony Harvey was talking about, were very good at ‘corporate spin’ and often appeared to have lived their lives as models of exemplary behaviour but did they? Were they that lucky that they avoided unexpected and challenging events for which they felt ill-equipped? How did they respond to these? Dig a bit deeper and you never know what you may come up with. While light-hearted in its approach, this is not a frivolous exercise. When discussing challenges faced by earlier generations we are inevitably brought into the realms of local, social, economic, industrial and political history. A consideration of these aspects of society may lead to a greater understanding of our forebears and perhaps instil in us a greater confidence in how we approach our own challenges. Tom McNally has also very generously offered to answer specific questions on researching family history. If you would like to give a talk on your family member/s or any object important to your family the Team would love to hear from you and please let us know in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thu, 04/03/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineNot everyone realizes that there are two Latin works, still surviving, that can definitely be attributed to Patrick’s own authorship. Composed in the fifth century and preserved in manuscripts dating from the 800s onwards, these are the very oldest continuous texts, in any language, written in Ireland that are still extant. These texts prove that St Patrick really existed, because they allow us to define the historical Patrick as the person who wrote them. Reading through them, however, one may be surprised to find that there is nothing about Patrick banishing snakes from Ireland; nothing about victorious contests with the druids; nothing about overthrowing pagan idols and cursing kings and kingdoms – not even the shamrock is mentioned! But those elements are an important part of the popularly held image of Patrick. The point is that these elements and many others came to be attributed to the figure of Patrick in later times, beginning in the Middle Ages. That development is itself an interesting phenomenon: how and why was it that the two brief texts by the historical evangelist were subsequently extrapolated so as to project the better-known figure of hagiography and folklore? Modern scholarly Patrician study has twin topics: on the one hand the historical individual, on the other hand the ever-changing popular perception of him. Both topics are worthy of study; neither is well served by conflating them. To increase awareness of each and to facilitate research into them — as well as to help in disentangling the two — the Royal Irish Academy has overseen the development on the Internet of an intricately linked and searchable “hypertext stack” of reliable material and information relating to St Patrick. This is not merely a passive resource: the Stack aims actively to educate its audience at all levels, mediating to them the Saint’s writings and explaining to them the various kinds of contention concerning him. Today’s illustrated talk, by the leader of activity on the Stack, will introduce the resource, demonstrate its use, and outline the impact that it has made so far. Participants who wish to have a look for themselves, in advance of the presentation, should find the site freely accessible at www.confessio.ie. AJRH Dr Anthony Harvey is Editor of the Royal Irish Academy's Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources (DMLCS) and Project Leader of the St Patrick's Confessio Hyperstack activity (www.confessio.ie). He has been part of the DMLCS project since 1985 and Editor since 1990. He holds a PhD in early medieval Irish and British linguistics and literacy from Cambridge University's Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, where he had previously gained his MA, and has lectured and published widely on these subjects as well as on matters of Latin philology. He teaches conversational Welsh informally in Dublin, and has served as Chairman of the Classical Association of Ireland. He is currently on the advisory boards of several scholarly journals and dictionary projects at home and abroad.
Thu, 18/02/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlinePJ Drudy will first chat about philosophy. How do we view housing? Is it a commodity or a home? The answer will result in different approaches. Second, what is the problem? Is there a problem at all? What of unaffordable house prices? Why are prices so high? Is private rental the answer instead of purchasing ? Are there problems with private rental? Is the government justified in paying millions to landlords to house people on the Local authority waiting lists? What of the suggestion that “vulture funds” have purchased many apartment blocks, charge excessive rents and operate a virtual monopoly in relation to private rental especially in Dublin? What of those who cannot afford to buy or pay for private rental? Can these get housing provided by the Local Authorities or by Housing Associations? Is there a problem? What is the record in relation to such housing? Finally I will chat about possible approaches to resolving these challenges. P.J. Drudy is Emeritus Professor of Economics in Trinity College, Dublin. Also former Senior Dean and Bursar. He has written extensively on housing including the book, Out of Reach : Inequalities in the Irish Housing System and many book and journal contributions. He has acted as Consultant to many public and private sector bodies, including the European Commission Directorate General Regional Policy on the impact of cohesion policy. P.J. has argued that private developers have done little to provide affordable homes for our young people and that any government must play a far greater role in housing provision. His contribution to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness stressed the need for “rent regulation” on European lines and this became government policy in 2017. P.J. has been an advocate for supported housing for people with disabilities over many years and he is Vice Chairperson of the St John of God Housing Association. He is active in the Parents Family and Friends Association of St John of God Dublin South East.
Wed, 10/02/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThis talk is organised by the Climate Action Sub-Group but all members of TBH are welcome to attend. Bruce will explain why the hidden resource of groundwater is important. It supplies half of the world's population with their drinking water and keeps our rivers flowing during droughts, but there are many threats to groundwater from pollution and over-abstraction. He will discuss how the large groundwater storages can help us cope with climate change and will also say a little about groundwater and cultural heritage (qanats, holy wells etc). Bruce is a member of The Bray Heads and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Engineering and a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. He has nearly 40 years’ experience in groundwater research and development, including projects in Ireland, UK, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Oman, Burma and Pakistan.
Thu, 04/02/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineDr Sheridan gave us a fascinating talk on Plants, Potions and Snails - The Central Role of Nature's Pharmacy in Modern Medicine (details in our archive) in 2018 and her second talk on "Complementary approaches to health maintenance in a global pandemic" is timely and promises to be just as interesting. She will discuss everything from vitamins to supplements to mindfulness and their role in helping us to stay healthy. She will tell us about Blue Cities and a town in the US, that defies cardiovascular disease, despite eating an American diet. It's a very interesting community of Italian descent, and the study has established that the social environment of living has a significant impact on longevity. Dr Sheridan is a lecturer and Director of Research in Natural Product Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Trinity College Dublin. Helen carries out original research in the use and development of new medicines from natural sources. She has brought the new natural medicine to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease which she has helped to develop to Phase 1 human clinical trials and is continuing her work on this. Helen serves on the Traditional medicine sub-committee of the Irish Health products Regulatory Authority (HPRA; 2000 To date), is a founder member of the Sino-European GP-TCM Research Association, is on the Board of the International Natural Product Foundation, a pan global organization working toward the development of new medicines. Helen's research has been funded Nationally by Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, EU-FP7, The Wellcome Trust and Venture Capital Investments following
Thu, 21/01/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThe word 'robot' has been with us for only 100 years and depending on context can evoke reactions of fear, delight, awe or amusement. Initially a concept largely confined to science fiction, robots have increasingly become part of the everyday experience - first as devices used in manufacturing and more recently in various forms of service and social robots. In this talk, Kevin Kelly will look back at the evolution of robotics and provide an overview of the state of the art in robotics today, interspersed with examples of work in his lab on robotic elements, systems and assistive technology. Finally, he will conclude the talk with a look at possible future directions and challenges and opportunities these present for society. Kevin Kelly is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. Following his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in University College Dublin, he worked as a research engineer in the Advanced Manufacturing Science research group until joining Trinity College Dublin in 2000, as part of an expansion related to the new Engineering with Management programme. Acting as director of this programme since 2005, he developed it to a 5 year integrated Masters programme, now established as the most sought-after Engineering programme on the island. As a multi-award-winning educator, Kevin is passionate about Engineering and Engineering Education as people-centred disciplines and is convinced that the most significant progress is achieved when we maximise our human capital within the engineering design process. He teaches a range of programmes from 1st year to 5th year, in engineering design and innovation - notably the "5E3 - Innovation in Product Development" programme which has and continues to produce an impressive array of start-ups and new products and services. Since 2015 he has been deeply involved in the E3 (Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technology) and Innovation District projects. The former brings together Engineering, Computer Science and Natural Sciences in a radical new collective to break new boundaries in terms of education and research, while the latter sees a redevelopment of an area in the Docklands to house the E3 research institute and a range of community, entrepreneur and industry collaborations. Beginning his research career in manufacturing, Kevin has gradually moved his focus to design innovation, engineering education (including gender issues) and robotics. He founded the Robotics and Innovation Lab in 2012 as an 'application-driven interdisciplinary research group that is focused on the development of novel and innovative technical solutions that address major societal challenges'. Projects that have had significant public attention include the robots 'Robbie' and 'Stevie', and 'WayToB' - a navigation aid for people with intellectual disabilities.
Thu, 07/01/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom Online200 years after the death of Henry Grattan, Brian White will be tracking that legendary parliamentarian's connections with North Wicklow and many of the well-known families of the day - and since, including those of Arthur Guinness, David La Touche, Countess Markievicz, Lord Powerscourt, Percy French and President Richard Nixon. As with all Brian's talks, this next one of is will include extensive illustrations. Brian White, a native of Bray and a former Civil Servant with the Revenue Commissioners who retired in 2015, is Chairperson of the Bray Cualann Historical Society. Since 1972 Brian has written a number of books including The County Wicklow Database 432-2006; The Little Book of Bray and Enniskerry; and The Way to Bray - 150 years of Irish Railways. Brian is also a regular contributor on East Coast Radio and has appered on Track and Trails on RTE TV; Terry Wogan's Ireland with the BBC; Art and Railways in Ireland for Japan 5 TV; Enniskerry Powerstation for the ESB; and World War One at Home for BBC Northern Ireland Radio. Last year he delivered a fascinating talk to the Bray Heads U3A Group on the World War 1 nurse from Bray, Josephine Heffernan and the story of how an ID bracelet which she lost during that war in France found ts way back to her family in bray many yeras later - thanks to Brian -, which had been the subjext of a France2 TV documentary.
Wed, 06/01/2021 from 00:00 - 00:00 in
Wed, 06/01/2021 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom Online
Thu, 17/12/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineUndaunted by the necessary, but still annoying Covid restrictions to our 'normal' socially interactive lives, TBH U3A members have proven more than willing to bring some welcome Christmas Cheer into this zooming festive season! The morning of December 17th will offer a medley of music, musings, poetry and short stories directly to the comfort of our own homes! Whether to indulge in figgy pudding or mulled wine is entirely optional, but Wishing one and all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year is absolutely essential and is the sincere wish of all the U3A team!
Thu, 10/12/2020 from 14:00 - 15:30 in Zoom OnlineAs a late addition to our Programme, we are delighted that Ambassador Dan Mulhall has kindly agreed to talk to our Group live from Washington DC at 2PM to present his assessment of the recent Presidential Election in the US, what comes next and how this is likely to impact on relations with Ireland and Europe. Immediately prior to his appointment to the United States in 2017, Dan served as Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2013 and before that to Germany (2009-13) and Malaysia (2001-05). Among various other roles in the course of his distinguished diplomatic career, he also served at Headquarters in Dublin as Director General of European Affairs (2005-09) and in a number of roles relating to the Northern Ireland Peace Process, including at the time of the Good Friday Agreement. Ambassador Mulhall was born in Waterford and, following his early education there, he undertook under-graduate and post-graduate studies at UCC, where he specialised in modern Irish history and literature, interests which he continues to pursue energetically. He is the author of A New Day Dawning: A Portrait of Ireland in 1900 (Cork, 1999) and co-editor of The Shaping of Modern Ireland: A Centenary Assessment (Dublin, 2016). In recognition of his considerable achievements while Ambassador to the UK, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London and an Honorary Doctorate from the Univerity of Liverpool and he has also been conferred with the Freedom of his native City of Waterford. Dan is a wonderful speaker and we are sure that you will enjoy this very special and topical talk by him.
Thu, 03/12/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineOur Group's AGM will take place on Thursday 3 December at 10.30. We hope that most of our members will be able to join us to review Group activities over the last year and plans for next year.
Wed, 02/12/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineProfessor Mills will provide an up to date account of the situation regarding COVID-19. He will cover SARS-CoV-2 infection, transmission, disease, testing, herd immunity, COVID19 vaccines, how they work, the different types and their evaluation and roll out. Kingston Mills is Professor of Experimental Immunology, Director of The Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin and Co-lead on the Trinity COVID-19 Research hub. He is a graduate of TCD and trained at as a Postdoctoral Fellow at University College London and the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill (now the Crick Institute), London, before joining the Scientific Staff of NIBSC, Herts, UK. He returned to Ireland in 1993 to take up an academic position at Maynooth University. He was appointed to a Personal Chair at Trinity College Dublin in 2001 and was Head of the School of Biochemistry and Immunology from 2008-2011. He heads an active research team focusing on T cells in infection and autoimmunity. He was named as Science Foundation Ireland researcher of 2020. In recent months, he has appeared regularly on TV and radio discussing the pandemic.
Wed, 25/11/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThis talk is organised by the Climate Action Sub-group and all Bray Heads members are invited to attend. By 2030 Ireland plans to move away from fossil fuels to a future powered by electricity generated by renewables. Transport (cars, public transport) and heating (heat pumps, smart storage heaters). Nearly 10,000 MW of renewable energy, on-shore and off-shore wind turbines and solar energy are planned. Transmission infrastructure will be required to connect this new generation to the National Grid. Given the public opposition to any new transmission lines over the past 20 years how can this be done? Don Moore worked as a construction engineer on the Turlough Hill Pumped Storage Scheme and as a design engineer on the Poolbeg Oil-fired Power Station and midland Peat-Fired stations. He spent 25 years with ESB International (ESBI) working on energy projects in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and North America. He had a 20 year association with Vietnam as ESBI assisted in building its electrical infrastructure after the war. Managing Director of ESBI 2002- 2006. Served as President of the Irish Academy of Engineering and the Irish Exporters Association.
Thu, 19/11/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThe UN Security Council is the principal organ of the UN tasked with the preservation of international peace and security. It has the highest public profile of all the UN bodies, has 5 Permanent Members (P5) and 10 Elected Members (E10). E10 Members sit on the Security Council for two years and the seats are actively sought and elections take place each year. Competition amongst Member States is fierce and the campaigns last for years with the intensity of campaigns accelerating in the final two years. It has been described as a “UN Blood Sport”! Ireland was elected to the UN Security Council on 17 June and will take up the seat for two years commencing on 1 January, 2021. In his talk to The Bray Heads U3A Group, Brendan Rogers, Deputy Secretary General, who headed up Ireland’s Security Council campaign will give a taste of the successful campaign and place it within Ireland’s overall engagement with the UN and globally. Brendan Rogers is Deputy Secretary General at the Department of Foreign Affairs. He is from Co. Louth and has at various times studied at Coláiste Rís (Dundalk), Trinity College Dublin, Boston University and Harvard University/IPA. During his diplomatic career he has been based at the Irish Consulate in Boston, Ireland’s UN Mission in New York and has headed up Ireland’s Missions in Zambia, Uganda and Bangkok. He spent some time with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and was also posted to the UNDP Mission in Zambia. Brendan was Director General of Ireland’s Development Cooperation Programme, Irish Aid for a number of years, during a time of phenomenal expansion and growth. In August 2018 Brendan returned from Bangkok where he was Ambassador to Thailand and Myanmar to head up Ireland’s campaign for a non-permanent seat at UN Security Council. Ireland was in competition with Norway and Canada in the so-called “Group of Death”. On 17 June Ireland’s campaign was brought to a successful conclusion when Ireland and Norway were elected to the Security Council. Ireland will take up the seat for two years on 1 January 2020.
Wed, 11/11/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineMary Hargadan, Secretary of The Medieval Bray Project (MBP) and U3A group member, will introduce our speaker, Dr David McIlreavy, archaeologist and Chair of MBP. Mary will first give an overview of the activities of the MBP. Our speaker, Dr David McIlreavy, building on the work of The Medieval Bray Project, will examine the early Irish tale Togail Bruidne Dá Derga (The Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel) – a tale of kingship, treachery and otherworldly retribution. Through careful study of natural features, archaeological remains and placename analysis he will suggest locations in Bray where the action may have played out. This is a scholarly piece of detective work and not to be missed! David McIlreavy is a senior archaeologist with a private sector archaeological consultancy based in Co Wicklow. He has over 15 years experience in both private and public heritage management, with an enduring interest in medieval history and politics. He has recently published on Hugh de Lacy’s 1223 AD campaigns in Ulster (From Carrickfergus to Carcassone, Picard et al., 2018), excavations at Raheenacluig, Bray (Partnership and Participation, Baker, 2019), BBC and has a chapter on the Knights Templar preceptory at Ballyman, Co Dublin (The Crusades in Ireland, forthcoming). This talk, which is being organised by the History and Archaeology Sub-Group and which will be held on WEDNESDAY 11 November, is open to all Group members.
Thu, 05/11/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineJonathan Swift remains the most powerful satirist born in Ireland. The lecture begins with a short discussion of the social, political, literary and religious worlds in which Swift lived, and continues with a consideration of the nature and purpose of satire. The focus then changes to the texts of Swift's two most significant works, A Tale of a Tub (1704) and Gulliver's Travels (1726). Swift's uncompromising view of human behaviour remains as uncomfortable and as relevant for us today as it was in the eighteenth century. Andrew Carpenter is Emeritus Professor of English at University College Dublin and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He has published many books and articles on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Irish poetry in English, as well as several on Swift. He is best known for two anthologies, Verse in English from Tudor and Stuart Ireland (2003) and Verse in English from Eighteenth-Century Ireland (1997). He was General Editor of the five-volume Art and Architecture of Ireland, published by Yale University Press and the Royal Irish Academy in 2014. His most recent publications are The Irish Poet and the Natural World: an anthology of Verse in English from the Tudors to the Romantics (co-edited with Lucy Collins, 2014) and an edition of The Poems of Olivia Elder (2017).
Thu, 29/10/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineWe have passed the grim milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID19, a virus that only emerged 9 months ago. What have we learnt in those 9 long months? What are the prospects for a vaccine or a therapy against COVID19? And what will the next twelve months look like? Luke O’Neill grew up in Bray and graduated from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, with a degree in Biochemistry before undertaking a degree in Pharmacology at the University of London. He has held the Chair of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin since 2008. In the same year, he was appointed Chair of the Immunity and Infection panel of the European Research Council. An immunologist, his research is in the area of the molecular basis to inflammatory diseases, with a particular interest in pro-inflammatory cytokines and Toll-like receptors. He has published nearly 400 scientific papers and is in the top 1% of Immunologists in the world, based on citations per paper. He has received many awards for his research and a company which he founded, Inflazome, has recently been bought by the pharmaceutical giant Roche for €380 million. He is the author of the best selling book ‘Humanology: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Amazing Existence’ (2018). In 2019, he published ‘The Great Irish Science Book’ for 10-12-year-olds. His latest book‘ Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here’s the Science: A scientist’s guide to the biggest challenges facing our species today” will be published this month. In this thought-provoking book, he grapples with life’s biggest questions and tells us what science has to say about them. Described in a recent Irish Times article as "The people's professor, he is Ireland’s best known science communicator, appearing regularly on national radio and TV. He has been a voice of calm and reason during the pandemic.
Thu, 15/10/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineIn this talk, Louise will give an overview of the fossil fuel divestment movement, one of the most successful global environmental campaigns in recent decades. She will share her own personal experiences of being involved in the movement, as an active member of the Berlin divestment group. That campaign resulted in the Berlin parliament divesting its €750 million pension fund from fossil fuel companies and was one of the first big European divestment successes. Based on these experiences, Louise will reflect on the broader successes of the movement, and what potential lessons we can draw from this in facilitating action on climate, ecological, and justice issues. Louise Michelle Fitzgerald is a researcher and environmental justice campaigner. She has spent the last 7 years involved in various climate & environmental movements, including the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement, and groups highlighting the environmental & justice impacts of fossil fuels, particularly natural gas. Last year she launched Scientists for Future Ireland in support of the student climate strikers. She recently completed a PhD at the School of Politics & International Relations, University College Dublin, focused on how to develop socially just sustainable transitions.
Wed, 14/10/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineA single extant folio from a much larger manuscript provides a glimpse of learning, love and loss in the monastery of Glendalough and the bell which tolled to mark that loss, once lost, now is found. Mary Kelly, U3A member, worked for many years as a guide for the OPW at the Glendalough Visitor Centre.
Thu, 08/10/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineUntil relatively recently, traditional farmhouses were an integral part of the Wicklow landscape. Since the 1960s new forms of buildings have dominated the countryside. However, these old farmhouses disclose a way of rural life that has disappeared but which remains vivid in our collective memory. Christiaan Corlett has extensively explored the Wicklow countryside and in his lecture reveals a form of vernacular architecture which is little understood, often overlooked and fast-disappearing. Christiaan Corlett is an archaeologist with the National Monuments Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. He lives in Wicklow and has a particular interest in the archaeology, history and folklore of his native county. He has published extensively on on these subjects and has a lively accessible style. His lectures are always well-informed, entertaining and beautifully illustrated.
Fri, 02/10/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineSteven Matthews, Green TD for Wicklow, will give a Zoom talk, hosted by the Climate Action Sub-Group, entitled Biodiversity and the Programme for Government Targets on Friday, October 2nd at 10:30 am. He will include some background on what is included in the Programme for Government, the reasons for inclusion, targets in the coming years and related information. He is happy to answer questions from the audience. Steven Matthews is a Former Wicklow County Councillor and Founder and Co-chair of Climate and Biodiversity SPC on Wicklow County Council. He worked for Irish Rail for over 20 years in railway signalling engineering. He was elected in February 2020 as a TD for Wicklow and was recently appointed as Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Steven studied Planning and Environmental Management in DIT.
Thu, 24/09/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineWe and our environment rely on our pollinators and they rely on flowers. Taking a habitat approach, Finola will illustrate some of our beautiful native flowers, as well as some of the alien and invasive species that can threaten them. She will cover some simple steps that individuals and communities can take to encourage wildflowers. Finola Finlay grew up in Bray but now lives in West Cork. With her husband, Robert Harris, she writes the popular blog Roaringwater Journal. She maintains the Facebook Page 'Wildflowers of West Cork' and regularly leads wildflower walks.
Link - roaringwaterjournal.com;
Wed, 16/09/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThe Climate Action Sub-group of the Bray Heads invites you to a presentation on a just transition to a greener future. What is a 'Just Transition' and where are we heading to? This talk will give an overview of the origins of the principle of just transition in climate action and outline examples of best practice in Germany, Australia and Scotland. Sinéad Mercier is a consultant on climate change law and policy with a special focus on just transition and human rights approaches. She is currently working with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and has previously worked for the National Economic and Social Council, the Green Party of Ireland and Philip Lee law firm. Her new book is 'Men Who Eat Ringforts' written with Michael Holly and Eddie Lenihan and published with Askeaton Public Arts
Thu, 10/09/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineOur first Group meeting after our summer break is going to be a very special musical one featuring 'The Blues', in an illustrated talk and performance by Frank Gallagher. The Blues is a music genre which originated in the Deep South of the United States, rooted in African musical traditions. The talk will provide a brief introduction to the various styles and the development of the form over the years. Frank, an experienced practitioner of Blues, will illustrate the forms and will be joined on this pre-recorded presentation, by renowned Blues harmonica player, Don Baker. Frank Gallagher has been playing blues and jazz in Ireland and in Europe since the nineteen seventies. Over the years he has performed regularly with the likes of Don Baker, Red Peters and Johnny Norris, to mention just a few. In the nineteen eighties he formed the Jitterbug Jug Band with Gerry Clarke. Since that time he has mainly performed solo or in small groups with Gerry Clarke. He has also lectured and written about blues and jazz, both in Ireland and abroad. He is a co-founder and the chairman for many years of The Courthouse Arts Centre in Tinahely, Co Wicklow.
Sat, 01/08/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in
Thu, 30/07/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineEvery year ‘the quality’ in Georgian Ireland made the journey from their country houses to their Dublin townhouses for the ‘winter season’. Owned or rented, and well before their arrival, the house had to be made ready not just for the family, but for the entertainments that would be staged in it during those months. This talk will look at how these houses, from the rather plain-looking terraces around Dublin’s squares, to the freestanding houses like Leinster House, the Provost’s House at TCD and Ely House, were designed to facilitate entertaining on a grand scale. An architectural historian, Dr Patricia McCarthy has published widely on 18th and early 19th century subjects in a number of books and in publications such as the Irish Arts Review, Country Life and the journal of the Irish Georgian Society. She is the author of ‘A favourite study’: building the King’s Inns (2006), co-author of Farmleigh - a history of the government guesthouse, and has contributed to two volumes of the Royal Irish Academy’s Art and Architecture of Ireland (2014). With an interest in art from an early age, Patricia gained a diploma in the History of European Painting in UCD in the 1980s. In 1995, when her children were in secondary schools, she commenced a BA degree in the History of Art & Architecture in Trinity College. Some years later, she embarked on a PhD in Trinity which was awarded in 2009. Based on that research, her book, Life in the Country House in Georgian Ireland, was published by Yale University Press in 2016. After exhaustive research, her forthcoming book, on the drinking of claret in Georgian Ireland, will be published by Four Courts Press in 2021!
Thu, 16/07/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineIn her talk to The Bray Heads U3A Group, Marie Cross will be taking a look at the European Union as it is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, a range of internal and external challenges and at Ireland's role as a Member. A new strong team took over in the EU Council and the Commission in mid-2019. An ambitious Strategic Agenda was published by EU leaders shortly afterwards, undertaking sweeping new advances in all areas of the EU agenda. However, Covid-19 struck in early 2020 and the Commission has been battling to help Member States to overcome the virus. Fraught budget discussions in this context, international trade disruptions, political conflicts fracturing erstwhile allies and the threat of a no-deal Brexit are all now weighing heavily on the EU and its members. The talk will focus on how these challenges are being handled and Ireland's interests in this regard. Marie, who is from Clonmel Co. Tipperary, studied science at UCD and Trinity College, entered the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1970 and served in Irish embassies in the US, Belgium and Germany, before being appointed as Ireland's first Ambassador to the Czech Republic in 1995 and at the same time to Ukraine. She subsequently served in the important role of Ambassador to the European Union's Political and Security Committee in Brussels. Marie retired from a Director General post in the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2011 and, among many of her activities in retirement, she is a member of the Board of the Institute for International and European Affairs and Chair of the Institute's Future of Europe Group.
Thu, 02/07/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineFrank's talk will focus on the story of the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985. It will seek to show how a Prime Minister, who characterised Northern Ireland as being 'as British as Finchley', was persuaded to accept that another country had a right of engagement on its issues. It will outline the personalities involved in that process, how they engaged with each other, the role and impact of outside forces in convincing the British to move on previously entrenched positions and how likely opposition to the Agreement was managed. The presentation will seek to show what the Agreement achieved and what remained unfinished. In the course of his long and distinguished career in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Frank was involved in Anglo-Irish affairs in various roles for over 15 years at home and abroad - including two years in the private office of Foreign Minister, Garret FitzGerald; three years as Private Secretary to Foreign Minister, Peter Barry, during the negotiations of the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985; a year on the secretariat of the New Ireland Forum 1983-84; five years in the Embassy in Washington and 4 years as Consul General in Chicago. Later Frank's work with the Department focused on development co-operation and the Irish Aid programme, both inDublin and abroad, including as Ambassador to Zambia (1987-91), Mozambique (2005-10) and, prior to his retirement in 2014, Brazil. Post-retirement, Frank completed a Master’s degree in contemporary Irish history in TCD and worked as a researcher for documentary-maker, Maurice Fitzpatrick, on his film on the Nobel Peace Laureate, John Hume, regarding his work building an Irish lobby in the US to help promote peace in Northern Ireland. Then spent six months providing research material to the former Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland, the late Seamus Mallon, to provide background material for his biographical memoir, ‘A Shared Home Place’; currently acting as researcher for a proposed television documentary or series by Maurice Fitzpatrick on the Irish Civil War.
Thu, 18/06/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineThe Leslie family and its extended family circle - which includes the Churchills amongst others - will be the subject of our Group's virtual talk on 18 June. Given the extraordinary cast of highly colourful characters which this family has produced, and the speaker who will be delivering this talk, it is guaranteed in every respect to be informative, entertaining and exuberant. Not to be missed! The speaker is Mark Leslie, a member of that colourful family and very much in the tradition of larger than life characters himself. He is a nephew of the late Sir John (Jack) Leslie of Castle Leslie, grandson of the writer Shane Leslie, and a cousin of Winston Churchill, through his American-born grandmother, Leonie Leslie, née Jerome, who was the sister of Churchill's American mother, Jennie. Mark's presentation will include a large number of photographs and other material from the family albums and other sources. Mark qualified as an architect at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1977, founded Martello Media - an interpretive design company as the digital presentation arm of his architectural practice in 1986. He and the company have been involved in the creation of a number of highly-acclaimed and award-winning multimedia exhibitions in Ireland and internationally. These include: 'The Life and Works of WB Yeats' at the National Library; the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Rising; the Glasnevin Museum; the Ireland Pavilion at Expo 2010, Shanghai; and the exhibition 'Churchill - the Power of Words', held at Morgan Library & Museum in New York in 2012, which was the recipient of an IDI Award.
Thu, 11/06/2020 from 10:30 - 12:00 in Zoom OnlineThe novel "Kim" is Rudyard Kipling's greatest and best-loved novel. It tells the story of a young boy of Irish parentage, growing up on the streets of Lahore. Kim is clever and street-wise and comes to the attention of the British intelligence service. He is recruited to a role in "The Great Game". The action takes place against the backdrop of expansion of the Russian Empire, and British fears that an invasion might be in planning. The story of fifteen chapters is full of adventure and tales of derring-do. The talk will cover the background to the book, the major geographical locations and the key events in the story. Kipling was/is not universally loved, and the reasons for his controversial reputation will be considered. Peter Lynch is an Irish meteorologist and mathematician. His interests include numerical weather prediction, dynamic meteorology and the popularisation of mathematics. He studied mathematical science at UCD (BSc in 1968; MSc in 1969). In 1982 he was awarded a PhD by Trinity College Dublin for his thesis on dynamical instabilities in the Atmosphere. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy. Peter worked in Met Eireann from 1971 until 2004, where he was Head of the Research Division and later Deputy Director. In 2004, he moved to UCD as Professor of Meteorology in the School of Mathematical Sciences. He supervised several doctoral theses and numerous Masters students. He is now an Emeritus Professor at the School of Mathematical Sciences. Peter is the author of several books, including a monograph on the emergence of computer weather forecasting, a collection of mathematical essays and an account of a 13-year walk around Ireland. Since retiring from UCD in 2011, Peter has been writing a regular mathematical column in The Irish Times (on the first and third Thursdays of each month). He also posts weekly on his mathematical blog, ThatsMaths.com.
Thu, 28/05/2020 from 10:30 - 12:00 in Zoom OnlineThe genome is the sum of all our genetic code and is the blueprint for our biology. It can also inform on our origins and family relationships. Due to new methods it is now possible to sequence the genome of people who lived thousands of years ago, such as those who were buried in our famous ancient megalithic monuments. This allows us to ask, who were these people, how did they come to our island and what is their relationship to us today? Did they have the same genetic characteristics as us, including those which code for diseases common in Ireland? How did they relate to other peoples in neighbouring parts of Europe? Dan Bradley spent his early years on a Co. Derry farm. After a degree in genetics from Cambridge University and PhD in medical genetics from Trinity College Dublin he subsequently started to work on the genetics of each species present on that farm, including Irish humans, and has done for over 30 years. With his colleagues he has combined analysis of ancient and modern humans and livestock to inform on their origins. He pioneered the molecular genetic analysis of Irish populations, particularly co-analysis with surnames. Recent research interests include: human genetic variation and history including ancient DNA. He holds a Personal Chair in the Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and is the holder of an Wellcome/SFI/HRB investigator award "Ancient genomics and the Atlantic burden” and an Advanced ERC award, “AncestralWeave”.
Link - Link to Article in 'Nature' Journal about new findings at Newgrange and other Irish archaeological sites - with PDF attachment of the research: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01655-4;
Thu, 14/05/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Zoom OnlineIn August 1933, Jimmy Gralton became the first, and last, Irishman to be deported from Ireland. Condemned by local priests as a communist whose Leitrim dancehall had become a den of prostitution, Gralton's fate illustrates the deep anxieties provoked in 1930s Ireland by communism, jazz and sexual immorality. Why did these emblems of inter-war modernity cause so much alarm in a remote corner of Ireland's most rural county? Gralton's story illustrates the success of conservative and religious organisations in stifling modern impulses in independent Ireland. This talk asks what such moral panics, and how we remember them, tell us about the Ireland of then and now. Professor McGarry has written widely on twentieth century Irish history. He is the author of The Abbey Rebels of 1916: A Lost Revolution (2015), and, with Richard Grayson, editor of Remembering 1916: the Easter Rising, the Somme and the Politics of Memory in Ireland (2016) He is currently leading a major AHRC-funded project, A Global History of Irish Revolution, 1916-1923, which explores how the Irish republican struggle for independence was shaped by, and impacted on, wider international currents. He is currently working on a cultural study of anxieties about modernity in inter-war Ireland.
Mon, 11/05/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubDetails following
Thu, 30/04/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 inWriter and Bray Heads U3A group member, Liz McManus believes that Creative Writing is a skill that can be acquired through learning and practice. In her talk on 12 March, she will be speaking about her own experience as a writer but mainly about the craft of writing, the lessons she has learned on the way and the benefits, in particular, of memoir writing. Joining her on a panel for an informal discussion will be two other members of our group - Richard Webb and Michael Gordon, who will be sharing their own experiences as writers. Liz McManus, who is well known for her long career in politics as a local Councillor, TD and Minister, was born in Canada in 1947. She worked as an architect in Derry, Galway, Dublin and Wicklow, before turning to writing, initially as a newspaper columnist from 1985 to 1993. Her first novel 'Acts of Subversion' was shortlisted for the Aer Lingus/Irish Times award for New Writing. Her second novel 'A Shadow in the Yard' was published in 2015 and she is currently working on a third novel. Liz has also received a Hennessy New Irish Writing award, Listowel Short Story award and Irish PEN award for her short stories. On top of all of this, she was awarded a MPhil in Creative Writing (with distinction) in 2012. We are delighted that Liz has so kindly agreed to draw on her considerable literary skills and success in her talk to our members and to Richard and Michael for joining her in a discussion panel. We hope it will inspire other members to pull out their pens or to get going on their computers to write a story of your own.
Thu, 05/03/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubJohn Fitzgerald is an adjunct professor in Economics at Trinity College Dublin and in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, UCD. He is a former research professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute. He is currently a member of the Commission of the Central Bank of Ireland and Chairman of the Climate Change Advisory Council. Between 2003 and 2007 he was a member of the board of the Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation. John's talk will focus on: - the challenge which Ireland faces in terms of climate change and what it means for policy-makers. - the progress made with the government's Climate Action Plan issued last year and where we go next - the need for policy and actions to be seen to be fair - ensuring that those on low incomes or those especially affected by policy measures are looked after appropriately - getting the price of carbon right as an essential first step, along with a wide range of other related policy measures which will also be needed - the problems and possible policy measures across other areas, including - Buildings, Transport and Agriculture; and - it will conclude by considering some of the broader challenges we face in adapting to climate change.
Thu, 20/02/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubUniversal Design has its origins in the USA coming from frustrations in the design and human build world where access to buildings for people with disabilities and older people was an afterthought. Through legislation, regulation and activism a significant movement has grown globally on requiring and insisting that not only buildings but urban spaces, products and services including technologies embrace the principles of Universal Design that enables all citizens from any age, size, ability or disability to fully participate in their homes and wider communities. That in short is that good design enables, bad design disables. The talk will cover where Universal Design is now from an Irish perspective with examples of good and bad designs covering buildings (public and home designs), products and technologies. The images to the right represent examples of the best in universal design and both were winners of RIAI awards. One shows the UCD Student Centre and the other is the Children's canteen in Barretstown.
Thu, 13/02/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 inVisit date & Time: Thursday, 13th Febrary, 11.00 sharp Venue: Old Bank of Ireland, College Green, entrance under portico on Westmorland St. Meet at Bank. No Charge. Because our group is now 33 people we will be split into 2 groups as follows: 11.00 Group 1 (16) Close Reading Workshop Group 2 (17) Guided Tour 11.45 Group 1 (16) Guided Tour Group 2 (17) Close Reading Workshop Optional Meeting-up at Bray Bray Station for DART departure at 9.45
Thu, 06/02/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIntrigued - and possibly a little mystified - by the title of this talk? Brian describes it as follows: "What is known as 'the coming of wisdom with age' provides us with the 'sentinel signposts' into a meaningful and creative future. It is not history we need to understand - it is our Humanity! Age is not a redundancy - it is a vantage point". Still intrigued and maybe even a bit more mystified? Well come along on 6 February to hear Brian's reflections on the gifts of ageing, which we expect to be truly inspirational for us all. This is a talk that you will not want to miss. Brian Keenan, who grew up in Belfast, is a lecturer, broadcaster and author of one novel and four highly acclaimed autobiographical works. The first of these - 'An Evil Cradling', published in 1991 - is a magnificent account of his kidnapping in Lebanon in 1986, his horrific four and a half years as a hostage, and the remarkable friendship which emerged with fellow-captive, John McCarthy, which won four national and international awards. He is currently writing a collection of short stories, all based in Lebanon where he has returned several times since his release.
Thu, 23/01/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubAnne Johnston describes the talk which she will be delivering on the Brontës as her personal take on this 'family of genius, talent, sadness and failure', about whom so much has already been written, reminding us that this is 'a story that begins - and ends - in Ireland'. There are few literary families with more than one successful writer but the Brontës produced three of the most acclaimed writers in the English language and some of the world's finest and favourite classic novels - especially Emily's remarkable 'Wuthering Heights', Charlotte's 'Jane Eyre' and Anne's 'Agnes Grey', writing during their short lives in their father's draughty parsonage on the windswept Yorkshire moors, alongside their black sheep of a brother. It is a fascinating story and, no matter how much we already know about the Brontës and their works, Anne's perspective on it, along with Valerie's readings, can be guaranteed to be both enlightening and enjoyable. Anne (Annie) Johnston was born in Surrey, England and after ‘the full World War 2 experience’ during her childhood, she joined BBC Television, where she met her Irish husband on a Fanny Cradock cookery programme. She moved to Dalkey 1973, where she helped to found the Dalkey School Project National School which led to the Educate Together movement and, long after her own children were educated, she studied for a Humanities degree, which she received, with Honours, in 2004. Amongst a wide range of other activities, Annie has served as Company Secretary of The Abbeyfield Foundation Dublin promoting community welfare; she has recorded books for the blind for the NCBI Tape Library in Cork; she has been the Chair of the Dalkey Library Book Club since 2004; and she was the Co-Founder of the Dún Laoghaire/Dalkey/Killiney (DLDK ) U3A group in 2016, serving first as Secretary, then Vice Chair and Planning Director. Annie’s friend Valerie Hand – who will be reading Brontë poems as part of Annie’s talk - joined the Bank of Ireland after leaving school but had to resign when she married. She had met her husband playing Bridge, an activity which has been an important part of her life, including playing Bridge for Ireland and serving currently as a Trustee of Dun Laoghaire Bridge Club, and also as a Tournament Director. Additionally in her busy life, Valerie is a volunteer at Play Group, Meals on Wheels, the Inter Faith Migrant Group and at her church in Dalkey and also finds time to play golf; sing in a choir and train singers; and play the piano.
Thu, 09/01/2020 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubConor O'Clery was Foreign Correspondent for The Irish Times for 25 years, serving in London, Moscow, Washington, Beijing and New York. He has published a number of books, including a memoir, 'May you live in Interesting Times', and most recently, 'The Shoemaker and His Daughter', an account of the life of his Russian wife, Zhanna, and her family in the Soviet Union and in modern Russia more generally. In his talk to The Bray Heads U3A Group, Conor will be looking back on his fascinating life and career and recounting stories from those times - and no doubt he will be telling us about those mysterious 'pencils to the back', which intriguingly feature in the title of his talk! Photos - Clockwise: 1. Conor with fellow-journalist, Quentin Peel of the Financial Times on China's Great Wall, 1987 2. With Margaret Thatcher in Zagorsk, Russia, in 1997 3. With President Bill Clinton in 1997 4.Conor and his Russian wife Zhanna in their garden in Stepaside - she and her family are the subject of Conor's latest book: The Shoemaker and his Daughter
Thu, 12/12/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf Club
Thu, 28/11/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubOne hundred years ago in 1919 Ireland took its first steps on the world stage seeking admission to the post-World War One Paris Peace Conference as an independent state. This lecture, which takes the form of a photographic essay using many previously unseen or rarely seen photographs, chronicles Ireland’s place amongst the nations from 1919 to 2019. It looks at the 1919 to 1922 Dáil Éireann foreign service and attempts for recognition of Ireland as an independent state, the 1921 Treaty, membership of the League of Nations, Anglo-Irish relations, Second World War neutrality, the place of the UN in Irish foreign policy and the impact European integration has had on Irish foreign policy. Dr Michael Kennedy is the Executive Editor of the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series. In addition to overseeing the editing of 11 volumes on the DIFP series he has published widely on twentieth century Irish foreign policy and military history. Dr Kennedy’s latest publication is a forthcoming centenary history of Irish foreign policy co-written with Dr Kate O’Malley and Dr John Gibney. Photos: 1. Dr Michael Kennedy, Executive Editor of the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series 2. Minister Plenipotentiary of Ireland Josephine McNeill presents her credentials in Berne in 1955 (NAI). 3. Ireland’s 1956 delegation to the United Nations (l-r) Sheila Murphy, Conor Cruise O’Brien, Paul Keating, Frederick H Boland, Eamonn Kennedy, Liam Cosgrave (UN). 4. Taoiseach Jack Lynch, Minister for Foreign Affairs Patrick Hillery and Ireland’s EEC entry negotiating team, Brussels, 1973 (EC Commission Archives).
Thu, 21/11/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIt is now very clear that climate change requires us all to reduce our energy consumption at global, national, local and individual level. A speaker from EirGrid will present an overview of the relevant policies with a particular emphasis on Ireland's Climate Change strategy. Other speakers will explain what each of us can do individually to reduce our carbon footprints and energy consumption of our homes together with information on the grants available from Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEAI). Actions include attic insulation, external wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, use of heat pumps and solar panels. Members of The Bray Heads will explain what they have done in these areas and the results. Indicative costs will be given.
Thu, 14/11/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubMaurice Nicholson will present the history of falconry down throught the ages and explain how man can interact with one of nature's wildest creatures. His work in the Middle East brought him into contact with falcons and the sport of falconry which have become his abiding passions. Maurice Nicholson was born on Ireland's South coast. Educated at Clongowes Wood College and University College Dublin, he has worked for most of his life as a veterinarian in Ireland, the United Kingdom and in Arabia. His work in the Middle East also introduced him to the arid and mountainous regions of the Arabian Peninsula and further fueled his love for wild places, wherever in the world they may be. He published his first novel "Call down the Hawk" in 2011 and has since adapted it as a screenplay.
Thu, 31/10/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubWe are sure that Bray Heads U3A members will be greatly enjoy the opportunity to meet Anne Anderson - former Irish Ambassador and one of Ireland's most impressive and successful diplomats of recent times - and to hear her perspective on EU/US relations, informed by her extensive diplomatic experience both in Brussels and in Washington. She will discuss recent developments in Europe and in the US and how these contribute to a changing dynamic in the relationship. She will also reflect on the question of where the relationship goes from here. Anne Anderson served in the Irish diplomatic service from 1972 to 2017. Her forty five year career included five Ambassadorial postings: Permanent Representative to the United Nations Geneva (1996 to 2001), Permanent Representative to the European Union (2001 to 2005), Ambassador to France (2005 to 2009), Permanent Representative to the United Nations New York (2009 to 2013) and Ambassador to the United States (2013 to 2017). Her career achievements have been recognised with multiple awards and she holds Honorary Doctorates from the National University of Ireland and Fordham University, New York. Since retirement from the foreign service, Anne has continued her involvement with the United Nations , serves on Boards both at Georgetown University and New York University (NYU), and is also a Board Member of Druid Theatre, Galway. She is a Non Executive Director of the Smurfit Kappa Group.
Thu, 24/10/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubGarda Suzanne Byrne of the Bray Community Gardai and Ciaran Hayden, Greystones Fire Brigade Station Officer representing the ambulance and fire brigade services, have kindly agreed to come along and provide advice to Group members about keeping safe and sound in our homes and our lives more generally and to tell us about the services and support which are available to us if we ever need them. Their very useful talk will cover issues such as: - First Aid and Health - Emergency Services - Crime Prevention - Securing your Home while on Holiday - Neighbourhood Watch - Marking Valuable Property - Safe Online Shopping - Personal Safety - Bogus Tradesmen Callers; and - Elder Abuse There will also be an opportunity for members to raise other issues of concern or interest with Suzanne and Ciaran at the end of the talk. We would encourage as many members as possible to avail of this opportunity to receive invaluable advice from the professionals about protecting our homes, our property and ourselves and information about what to do in an emergency or dangerous situation.
Thu, 17/10/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubWilliam Trevor is one of our most respected and beloved writers – a master in particular of the short story, including a gem such as ‘The Ballroom of Romance’. We are delighted that Dr Dolores MacKenna – who knew William Trevor for over 30 years and who convinced this famously limelight-averse author to co-operate with her on her book – has agreed to talk toThe Bray Heads U3A Group about the man, his writings and his less well-known, but prize- winning works of sculpture. Beginning with a brief look at one of Trevor’s last stories entitled 'The Piano Teacher’s Pupil' - a short but perfect example of his art, she will then move to the writer’s family background – not Anglo-Irish ascendency as often presumed, but middle-class Protestant, illustrating this with rare photographs . This will be followed by a brief evaluation of the literary influences and creative evolution of his work - with particular reference to some of his best known writing. Dolores MacKenna was born in Castledermot, Co Kildare. She studied at University College Dublin, obtaining a Masters degree in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama and was awarded a Ph.D. for her study of the author William Trevor. Subsequently a critical biography entitled “William Trevor – the Writer and his Work” was published by New Island Books. In 2001 she scripted and narrated a T.V. programme in the series Undercover Portraits, which was broadcast on RTE 1 TV. In 2007 she was invited to be the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the American Committee of Irish Studies in Washington State. Dolores MacKenna’s career was spent in education. In 2007 she retired as Principal of Loreto Abbey Dalkey, but continued to work for some years at third level. She has written and broadcast on a variety of literary and educational topics. She lives in Greystones.
Thu, 03/10/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubWe are privileged to have as our speaker on 3 October, Loreto Sister Orla Treacy - whom we can claim to be at least partially a Bray girl - and who will tell us the remarkable and inspirational story of the life journey which brought her to South Sudan 13 years ago to educate girls in particular and support their nomadic community in one of the poorest and toughest regions of the world, ravaged by conflict and the effects of climate change. Her extrordinary achievements have won her international recognition, including the Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award in 2017 and this year her designation by the US State Department as an International Woman of Courage, an award which was presented to her by US First Lady Melania Trump in Washington DC in March. A traveller from a very early age, Orla has lived and worked in all four provinces of Ireland. Her secondary education was in Loreto Bray where she got to know the Loreto Sisters. During her school holidays she worked in Bray at the Westburn and Royal Hotels, Dunnes Stores and as a life-guard on Bray beach. She studied in Mater Dei, received a Bachelor in Religious Education there and became a teacher of religion and music. Her first job was teaching with the Presentation Brothers in Cork before joining the Loreto Sisters. When the Sisters decided to set up a new mission in South Sudan in 2006 as part of a global Loreto movement to revive the missionary spirit of one of their foundresses, Teresa Ball, Orla volunteered to go. She is currently head administrator of the mission, where the sisters have a boarding secondary school for girls, a large co-educational primary school and a mother and child clinic to support local families. Talking of the community which she serves in an interview with The Irish Times last year she said 'I work with people who live very much on the margins: life and death, hunger and despair. Every day they live on the edge. And yet in that you can still glimpse love and hope every day'. Photos show Sr Orla with girls from the Loreto girl's secondary school in Rumbek, South Sudan; child feeding and health programmes at the clinic created and administered by her; and Orla being presented with her US Department of State's International Women of Courage award by US First Lady, Melania Trump, in March 2019.
Thu, 26/09/2019 from 11:00 - 12:00 inThe tour is restricted to 25 members, we can arrange a second visit if necessary. To book a place, please sign up next Thursday, 19/09/19, at the AGM. Suggest meeting at the Tower itself at the latest 10:45. The most convenient Dart station is Glasthule, so allow yourselves time to enjoy the walk to the tower. Admission to the tower is free. It is manned entirely by volunteers, but needless to say, there are overheads so a voluntary contribution would be greatly appreciated! There is a contribution box close to the reception desk. Optional extra activity? Swim in the 40 foot?
Thu, 19/09/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubDetails to be confirmed
Thu, 05/09/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubThe search for Josephine began in 2002 after a US Army nurse's ID bracelet, dating from the First World War and bearing the name Josephine G Heffernan, was found by a schoolboy in a field in Rimaucourt in France in 2002, arousing great local interest in its owner and the launch of what turned into a 15-year international search to identify her. Taken up initially by local, then national, media in France and eventually covered in detail in a documentary screened by France2 TV, the search for Josephine led by a circuitous route to contact with Brian, who was instrumental in identifying who this Josephine was, linking the search to members of her family and the return of her lost bracelet to them. Brian's vivid account of the intriguing search for Josephine - and the even more intriguing story of the remarkable, but largely unknown, woman that Josephine turned out to be - unfolds like a well-plotted mystery novel. Without giving away too much in advance about this fascinating story, it can be revealed that it contains a strong Bray connection, travels to far-flung countries of the world, an amazing photographic collection and something of a family tradition of changing names and birth-dates - a story that should definitely not to be missed! Brian White, a native of Bray and a former Civil Servant with the Revenue Commissioners who retired in 2015, is Chairperson of the Bray Cualann Historical Society. Since 1972 Brian has written a number of Books including The County Wicklow Database 432-2006; The Little Book of Bray and Enniskerry; and The Way to Bray - 150 years of Irish Railways. Brian is also a regular contributor on East Coast Radio and has appered on Track and Trails on RTE TV; Terry Wogan's Ireland with the BBC; Art and Railways in Ireland for Japan 5 TV; Enniskerry Powerstation for the ESB; World War One at Home for BBC Northern Ireland Radio; and of course in France2 TV's documentary on Josephine Heffernan.
Mon, 01/07/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in
Thu, 27/06/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubBrian Maguire, who is from Bray, is one of Ireland's most acclaimed artists, whose works have been exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally. He studied drawing and painting at the Dun Laoghaire School of Art, and fine art at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin and taught at both schools before being appointed Professor of the Fine Art faculty at NCAD in 2000. He is represented by Kerlin Gallery, Dublin For much of his life, Brian has engaged with victims of alienation, conflict, poverty, disability, crime and injustice, first in Ireland - north and south - where he worked in particular with prisoners -, as well as in a range of conflict zones around the world, including Brazilian favelas, drug cartel-dominated Juarez in Mexico (known as the most violent city on earth), the civil wars in Sri Lanka and Syria, the migrants drowning in the Mediterranean and, most recently, with many displaced by conflict and drought in South Sudan, which he visited in September at the invitation of Concern. Brian will be telling us about the way the issues about which he is so passionate have influenced him and his art and how he crafts and uses his art to connect with these largely invisible people and to tell their stories. He describes his art as 'a contrary viewpoint' and has chosen this as the title of his talk. Photos 1 & 2: Brian at Bentiu Protection of Civilians Camp, South Sudan, where he was invited by Concern last September (credit ConcernWorldwide): Photo 3: 'The Known Dead 2' depicting drowned migrants on Mediterranean beaches (Courtesy of Fergus McCaffrey Gallery, New York & Tokyo Photo 4: Brian in his studio with one of his paintings of the devastated city of Aleppo, Syria (credit: The Irish Times)
Thu, 20/06/2019 from 10:30 - 11:30 inFollowing Alfred's fascinating and entertaining talk to our Bray Heads Group on 16 May and the kind invitation that he issued to members to visit the magical woodland garden which he has developed over many years at his Corke Lodge home, beside Woodbrook House, that visit will be taking place on 20 May at 10.30. Around 35 members have already signed up for this but, for anyone interested who has not yet signed, a few more places are still available and you can either email us via our website (email@example.com) or add your name to the sign-up sheet at our next meeting on Thursday 13th (when our garden theme will begin with a talk by Dr Matthew Jebb, the lovely Director of the National Botanic Gardens). Alfred opens his garden to visitors in aid of charities, in particular Our Lady's Hospice and, given what a worthy cause this is, Group members participating in this garden visit who may wish to make a voluntary contribution to this may do so to Léonie when we meet up before the start of the tour, which we will then pass on to the Hospice. Directions to Corke Lodge from Bray: - From the big roundabout on the northern end of the town and Little Bray, continue north on the old road to Shankill, - Pass the large gates of Woodbrook House on the right shortly after and take the first turn on the right almost immediately after this, which has a signpost to Mullen's auctioneers - Corke Lodge is the first house on the left, close to the road and painted yellow (as shown in the photo above), but as parking nearby is very limited, continue on to the end of the road where there is a large carpark at Mullen's and park there - it is not too far - We will gather our group together here at 10.20, Léonie will collect voluntary contributions there, and we will then walk back up the road to begin the tour at 10.30. The route of the tour follows a winding path past some rare old trees and newer ones which Alfred has planted, with some grassy clearings and old stone architecture rescued from Glendalough House. There are quite a few benches and chairs for any who may wish to rest from time to time. Appropriate footwear is recommended. We hope for a lovely day for the visit but, should it be wet - or if it has been recently, the garden will still be beautiful, but cover up with good rainwear and maybe an umbrella.
Thu, 13/06/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubDr Jebb will demonstrate how the botanical kingdom governs all life on earth and manipulates us humans, yet we scarcely give them a second thought. This is an error Matthew hopes to correct!
Thu, 30/05/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn her talk, Jenny McElwain will discuss what we can learn from fossil plants which will help us to address the challenges of climate change today. Human carbon use during the next century will lead to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations (pCO2) that have been unprecedented for the past 50–100+ million years according to fossil plant studies. The paleobotanical record of plants offers key insights into vegetation responses to past global change, including suitable analogs for Earth's climatic future. This talk will bring the audience on a journey of past climates and past atmospheric composition over the past 400 million years as revealed by fossil plants. Possible innovative solutions for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere using plant science, geochemistry and Mount Etna will be discussed!
Thu, 23/05/2019 from 10:00 - 12:30 in Glendalough Visitor CentrePLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TOUR WILL NEED TO BE LIMITED TO 40 PARTICIPANTS SO SIGN-UP WILL BE ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS AND THAT IT WILL START AT 10 A.M AT THE VISITOR CENTRE THERE. IF TRANSPORT IS IS PROBLEM WE MAY BE ABLE TO ARRANGE FOR SOME LIFTS. Bray Heads U3A member, Mary Kelly, who has worked as a tour guide at Glendalough since 2001, has very kindly offered to lead a two-hour Group tour for our members of this renowned heritage site and its visitor centre on Thursday 23 May, starting at 10 a.m. Even if you have visited Glendalough many times before, as most of us will have done, Mary's tour will be unique and should not be missed. You are guaranteed to learn things about the site that you never heard before. Beginning at the Visitor Centre, Mary will give a brief introduction to the history and function of the church settlement of Glendalough in the medieval period and refer to the restoration work carried out by the Board of Works in the 1870s. It will also be possible to see there the excellent exhibition on medieval Glendalough and the audio-visual show on early monasteries in Ireland. That should take about 30 minutes, following which she will bring the group on a guided tour of the main site, Gateway, Round Tower, Cathedral, St. Kevin’s Church and discuss the ‘corporate role’ of the site within the context of the Glendalough Valley. Then for those ready for more (and others who may prefer to depart at this stage can do so), Mary will lead the group on a 20-minute along the Green Road to St Saviour’s Priory where the ‘new’ approach to twelfth-century monastic life can be seen. Altogether, the full outdoor part of the tour will take around 90 minutes and the whole visit around 2 hours. Please note the following charges: There is a charge of €4 per car for the car park at the Visitor Centre. The charge is refunded when an admission ticket to the Visitor Centre is purchased. There is a ticket charge for the Visitor Centre of €4 per person at the group/senior rate but, with the refund for parking, no further payment is needed here so the total charge for the visit is €4 per person. Apart from her role as a guide Glendalough, Mary - who Mary holds an MA from UCD - is a writer who co-edited, with Linda Doran and Charles Doherty, Glendalough: City of God (2011); and, with Charles Doherty, Music and the Stars: Mathematics in Medieval Ireland (2013), the latter reflecting Mary's fascination with, and extensive knowledge of, medieval maths and the philosophy surrounding it, which she likes to say makes her a real wow at a party!
Thu, 16/05/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn this interesting talk, Alfred Cochrane will tell the story of his colourful Cochrane family, who rose to prominence in Victorian Ireland as co-owners of the the Cantrell & Cochrane (C&C) soft drinks company, founded in 1868, which invented ginger ale and Club soda and went on to become one of most successful export companies in these islands. Their huge business success won them a Baronetcy title and the funds to purchase Woodbrook House on the northern outskirts of Bray as well as a substantial home at 45 Kildare Street, Dublin. Members of the family were active in Bray life, serving as Bray Town Commissioners and involved in cultural and sporting activities here, creating an opera house and cricket and golf clubs in the grounds of Woodbrook . Alfred's father, Sir Desmond Cochrane, extended the family connection to the Lebanon when he married a daughter of the notable Sursock family there in 1946 but the family retained close connections with Ireland and both Alfred's father and his brother Marc served as Honorary Consuls General of Ireland in Lebanon for many years. Alfred himself was born in Beirut, studied architecture in Rome, and practiced in Ireland, Italy, the UK and Lebanon, mainly on urban renewal and restoration projects. He now paints, writes and gardens at his historic home, Corke Lodge beside Woodbrook House.
Thu, 09/05/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 inOur fellow-Group member, Liz McManus, has very kindly extended an invitation to Bray Heads U3A members to visit her home at 1 Martello Terrace - a childhood home of James Joyce from 1887 to 1891. Of the many houses in which the Joyce family lived when young James was growing up, this was the home he was happiest in and it featured in his first semi-autobiographical novel,The Portrait of The Artist and a Young Man. In addition to being able to see some of the rooms where the Joyces lived, Liz has invited writer David Butler, a former Education Officer at the James Joyce Centre, to read for us the famous Christmas Dinner scene from that work, which recounts in only slightly fictionalised form a bitter political row that broke out among Joyce family members over that dinner, and which took place in Liz's ground-floor front room. The tour of the house will begin at 10.30 and last approximately 45 minutes. Around 30 can be accommodated at a time. If more members than this would like to visit the house, Liz has offered to arrange a second tour at around 11.30. Very generously, she is also offering us tea and biscuits. To help Liz plan the visit/s, we would be grateful if members who are interested in participating would register ASAP, either by responding to this email or signing up on the sheet which will be at the desk at our meeting next Thursday, 2 May. Some further details sent by email. Photos: 1. James Joyce, aged 6, when he lived at 1 Martello Terrace 2. Number 1, Martello Terrace on Bray Seafront, today
Thu, 02/05/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubStained glass re-appeared in Ireland in the 1840s after hundreds of years of absence. Why and how did this happen? Is there such a thing as a distinctively Irish artistic tradition and iconography? How do we learn to really look at church windows again? Finola grew up in Bray but now lives in West Cork with her husband Robert Harris where they produce the popular weekly blog "Roaringwater Journal". Having whetted our appetites to explore further the wonderful world of Irish stained glass, Finola has generously shared these reference points to aid in our research. IRISH STAINED GLASS RESOURCES •gloine.ie - Church of Ireland Stained Glass •harryclarke.net - for confirmed Harry Clarke work, not HC Studios •heritagemaps.ie - Based on the Gazetteer of Irish Stained Glass (out of print) •roaringwaterjournal.com, by Finola Finlay and Robert Harris •Instagram: Irish Stained Glass, by David Caron •Gazetteer of Irish Stained Glass - next edition, 2020 •Richard King by Ruth Sheehy due out this year •National Gallery for book selection WHERE TO GO •Harry Clarke: Terenure CC; Carrickmacross CC; Honan Chapel at UCC; Castletownshend C of I; Ballinrobe CC; Hugh Lane; National Gallery •Richard King: Peter and Paul CC, Athlone •Geddes: St Anne’s C of I Dawson Street •Evie Hone: Manresa Centre Clontarf; Blackrock CC; Greystones CC •Túr Gloine: Loughrea Cathedral •Mid/Late 20th Century Artists: Galway Cathedral •Murphy Devitt: Newbridge College; Mayfield CC (Cork) •George Walsh: Irish Martyrs CC (Naas): Dominican Church Tallaght; Dublinia; Cammillus Nursing Centre Killucan; Eyeries CC
Link - www.roaringwaterjournal.com;
Thu, 25/04/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubThis Group meeeting has been added to our programme of events following a query raised recently by member Siobhán Quigley about whether our Bray Heads U3A Group may be able to do anything practical ourselves in relation to climate change - as many young people are trying to do -, which generated significant interest among members. The dual purpose of the meeting - which will be quite different from our usual ones in that it is to be a participatory discussion or brainstorming session, not a standard lecure - is: - firstly to set out the facts about climate change and the sort of global and national measures that need to be taken to stop it becoming a calamity; and - secondly to brainstorm what we as individuals, and collectively as a Group and community, can do about this ourselves (and there are things that we can do!) and to try to pull this together into an action plan or checklist. In the first part of the meeting, there will be two brief presentations by our members Richard Webb and Jane Grimson, with Richard talking about the causes and effects of climate change and the evidence which supports what is happening; and Jane drawing on her work with Mary Robinson's Foundation on climate justice, which is fundamentally about addressing that fact that those who being worst affected by climate change have done the least to cause it – whether it is people in developing countries or our grandchildren. As regards the facts, it is now virtually impossible to refute - as some have tried to do for decades - that climate change is a major threat to our planet as it is already happening, so we are not talking about an abstract danger in some remote areas of the globe or in some far-off future age, but much more immediately and locally - in the lifetime of our children and grandchildren and here in Ireland, starting in coastal areas like ours. In the second part of the meeting - and this is really the most important part - we will be seeking ideas from members participating in the meeting about specific actions which we as individuals and collectively as a Group and can do, in our daily lives, as members of a community, and as citizens in terms of direct and indirect measures to tackle climate change. Our intention will be to list the ideas suggested as we go along, with the aim of producing an agreed checklist of possible actions that we can take. Is there anything that we could do, for example, in terms of lobbying candidates in the upcoming local elections and the government? And making our homes and personal travel more energy efficient? Planting trees? Eating less meat, using less plastic, reducing food waste and food packaging? Should we be trying to encourage braoder community action? Talking to local shops and busineses? Anything useful we can do via mainstream and social media? Should we could take inspiration from the recent children’s protests and consider some action on the streets? What about joining the international movement of grandparents for climate action? And would members like to join a sub-Group to work further on this? We hope that as many members as possible will join us for this event and we much look forward to hearing your ideas about what we as individuals, a Group and a community can do right now that could make a difference, if only a small one. Richard Webb is a former scientist with the British Antarctic Survey; Past President of the Irish Landscape Institute; an environmental consultant; a former MSc lecturer on Sustainable Development at DIT, who is currently an environmental representative on the Wicklow Public Participation Network and the Wicklow Environmental Network. Amongst many other things, Jane Grimson is a former Professor of Computer Science and Vice-Provost of Trinity College Dublin and currently a Pro-Chancellor of the university. She is a Trustee of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice. Siobhán is a retired geography teacher.
Thu, 18/04/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubMany myths still surround the moment of the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948: that 'the land was empty', that the Palestinians 'just ran away', that Israel's forces, desperately outnumbered, beat off six Arab armies. Conor's talk will seek to draw on modern scholarship to right the record and offer a more even-handed account of that founding moment of 'independence' for Israel and of the 'Nakba' (catastrophe')for the Palestinians. Conor McCarthy teaches English at Maynooth University. He's the author of The Cambridge Introduction to Edward Said (2010). Conor is a founder-member of both the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Academics for Palestine.
Thu, 11/04/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 inAt the kind invitation of the organisers, Bray Heads U3A Group members will be visiting the lovely exhibition ‘Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again' for a guided tour and workshop on 11 April at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre opposite Trinity College, starting at 11 a.m. Our party will be divided into two groups, one starting with the exhibition followed by the workshop and the other doing this in reverse order, with the tour and workshop taking around 90 minutes in total. For anyone who has not yet visited this exhibition, this is a great opportunity to do so and there are a small number of places still available for interested members who have not yet signed up for it. Sophie Doyle from the national Library, who has organised this visit for us, tells us that she will be leading the workshop, while her colleague Kathryn, will be conducting the exhibition tours. Sophie has worked with us to come up with some Heaney works which we hope Group memers participating in the workshop will enjoy and these will include: - a poem recalling Heaney's childhood: Mossbawn: Sunlight - one of his bog poem: Bogland - a Wicklow poem: Exposure - the iconic lines that speak of times 'when hope and history rhyme' from The Cure at Troy; and - some of the poet's Nobel Prize for Literature speech. The exhibition - which is a partner project between the National Library of Ireland, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Bank of Ireland - celebrates the life and work of one of Ireland’s greatest writers - our late, beloved, 'national poet' and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, Seamus Heaney (1939-2013). Featuring, in part, sophisticated, interactive, audio-visual technology, the exhibition also includes original manuscripts, letters, unpublished works, diary entries, and photographs, along with a number of personal objects, such as the desk at which Seamus Heaney wrote in the family’s attic home in Sandymount; a lamp, which once belonged to WB Yeats; and a portrait by Louis le Brocquy, are included in the exhibition. Bray Heads U3A members who have signed up to participate in this visit should arrive at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre in the old House of Parliament building on Westmoreland Street opposite the front gate of Trinity College no later than 10.50 a.m.and meet up with the group in the lobby. The DART scheduled to depart Bray station at 9.55 (or Greystones a bit earlier than this or later at other stations on the route) should get participants to the venue on time and some of us will be taking that. An ealier train departing Bray at 9.45 may suit some who would like to move at a more leisurely pace. A direct and pleasant walking route to it from Pearse Station, Westland Row is through the grounds of TCD to the venue, crossing the street after exiting the station, heading right there, then left around the corner onto Pearse Street, through the College gate there, then right shortly after that past some college buildings through the playing fields, front square and the main gate and crossing the road there to the BoI Cultural Centre. Our Meetings Co-ordinator, Leonie, will be assisting with the co-ordination of the visit and will be on hand at the venue to help sort us into groups.
Link - https://www.dublintown.ie/bank-of-ireland-cultural-space-opens-with-seamus-heaney-exhibition/;
Thu, 04/04/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn his intriguing and entertaining talk to the Bray Heads U3A Group on 4 April, eminent clinical psychologist, cognitive neuroscientist, TCD Professor Ian Robertson, described current times as 'the Age of the Mind', with scientific research now confirming the extent to which we can control the direction and quality of our lives through choices that we make and with confidence, as compared with the previous Ages of the Gods, Physics and Biology respectively, where mankind believed that their lives were largely pre-determined by deities, the laws of physics or our genes, the result being a fatalistic approach to life, belief that one's future was not in one's own control. The good news which Professor Robinson reported was the evidence that confidence that we can control and better our lives through the choices can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. For further information about this talk and the research supporting Professor Robertson's arguments, a copy of his presentaton can be accessed via the link below. In addition to the credentials mentioned above, Professor Robertson, who is originally from Scotland, is the Founding Director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, and a member and occasional acting chairman of the Wellcome Trust Neuroscience Committee; Co-Director of Global Brain Health Institute created by him/TCD and the University of California at San Francisco, which is the recipient of major sponsorship by Atlantic Philanthropies for studying ageing-realted conditions; leader of the Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL) programme and also the TCIN-GlaxoSmithKlein Neurodegeneration Programme. The first psychologist in Ireland to be elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy, he is a visiting Professor at University College London and a visiting scientist at the Rotman Research Institute, Toronto. . A former regular science contributor to the London Times, he was also a columnist for the British Medical Journal, and his multiply-translated popular science books include 'Mind Sculpture', 'The Mind's Eye', 'The Winner Effect' and 'The Stress Test' and he is currently working on another, 'The Confidence Trick'.
Thu, 21/03/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubOur planet is unique in the solar system because it hosts living beings, among which our species - Homo sapiens – exists. The planet is about 4.5 billion years old, (a billion is a thousand million) and extremely primitive life began on Earth about 3.7 billion years ago. Our Human species did not arrive until about 2 million years ago, so we have been in existence for a mere tiny fraction of the history of life on our planet. Professor Stillman is a graduate of Leeds University. His doctoral research was on volcanic rocks in what was then Rhodesia, following which he worked with the Geological Survey of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, for six years. After this, he began his long and distinguished association with Trinity College Dublin, beginning with a lectureship in the Geology Department and for some years he was Head of TCD's Environmental Science Laboratory. Since retirement, Professor Stillman has been closely following the effects of climate change, a process which has occurred time and again in the World’s history.
Thu, 07/03/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubProfessor Judith Devlin's topical and fascinating talk on 7 March focused on post-Soviet Russia up to the current Putin era, outlining earlier developments and trends which shaped it. She discussed how Russia ended the twentieth century as it started it - with an unexpected but ultimately failed experiment in democracy and how, after more than a quarter of a century since the collapse of Soviet communism, authoritarianism under Vladimir Putin is the route which Russia has adopted. After studying in Dublin, Paris and Oxford, Professor Devlin spent a decade in the Department of Foreign Affairs, working on European political integration, before being sent to Paris (the Ecole Nationale d'Administration) and then Moscow, where she served as Gorbachev's perestroika got underway. This gave Judith the chance to observe the elite revolution of the late 1980s and of the early 1990s. As a result, Judith moved back to academic life and since then, her work has focused on Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. She is currently writing a book on Stalin.
Thu, 21/02/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 inFollowing our retirements, top of our list of places to visit and inspired by Irish explorers Tom Crean and Ernest Shackleton, was the great white continent of Antarctica. Next was Alaska, at the other extreme of the globe, which we visited in 2016 and then finally in 2017, we fulfilled a long held dream of cruising the Norwegian fiords and sailing around the North Cape. We were inspired to put these three places at the top of our list for many reasons but chief among them in the case of Antarctica was undoubtedly the amazing story of Shackleton’s famous expedition and escape from what seemed an impossible position. The extraordinary story of how USA bought Alaska from the Russians in 1867 for $7.2 million, not appreciating its enormous natural wealth intrigued us. Finally, we had long been drawn by the beautiful images of the Norwegian fiords. All three places share the fact that they are in the higher latitudes, enjoy sub-zero temperatures for most of the year and not surprisingly are very sparsely populated. Equally, however, they are very different. Our talk will be a mixture of travelogue, scheduled and unscheduled dips in the freezing ocean, history and culture.
Thu, 14/02/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 inOn 14 February, our Bray Heads U3A member, artist Brigid O'Brien, led an informal class attended by around 30 members - the first of our Group's meetings featuring a hands-on activity rather than our usual Talk. Brigid's approach to drawing is that everyone can do it, that it should be fun, and that the best practice is always to have a small pad and pen/pencil on hand and to make a habit of roughly sketching simple objects and scenes around us, from the breakfast table on. The drawing task she then set focused on the hand - reminding us of its key importance in almost every aspect of our lives - with a fruit or vegetable held in it. With this class deemed to have been stimulating, encouraging and enjoyable by who those who participated in it, Brigid was asked to lead a follow-up one, which she has very kindly agreed to do.
Thu, 07/02/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn his inimitable style, Tim shared his life-long passion for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, covering the life-story and works of this extraordinary composer and outlining his enormous influence on music of many sorts, playing a number of pieces from his glorious musical repetoire.
Thu, 24/01/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn his moving talk on 24 January, Oliver Sears told the story of his mother, Monika - a surivivor of the Holocaust (seen as a young girl in photo 1 and with Oliver in Dublin in June 2018 in photo 2). She was born in Łódź, Poland in 1939 just before World War 2 began, her father was arrested and shot by the Nazis within a month of the German invasion and Monika and her mother Krysia went on the run in Nazi occupied Poland. They survived the Warsaw ghetto, and managed to escape from a train destined for Treblinka, making their way eventually to London, where she grew up and where Oliver and his two brothers were born. Relating her story from a Second Generation perspective, Oliver illustrated his talk with a video and slides of 'Objects of Love', which link the generations. In the form of a letter to her first grandchild, Monika wrote a short book about her wartime childhood and life entitled 'From my war to your peace, love Nonna', recounting a child's understanding of identity, loyalty and love, copies of which were purchased by Group members, with proceeds going to the Hertzog Centre of Near Eastern, Jewish and Islamic Studies, TCD. London born Oliver Sears runs his fine art gallery in an elegant Georgian building in the centre of Dublin. He presents a contemporary exhibition programme including Irish and international artists. After more than twenty-five years experience as an art dealer, while making frequent visits to New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Basel and Miami primarily Oliver has also built his own art collection. He has lived in Ireland for over 30 years and currently lives in Dublin with his Irish wife. He is a former Board member of the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland and is a frequent contributor to radio programmes and newspapers.
Thu, 10/01/2019 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubMark's talk to the Bray Heads Group on 10 January profiled the role which the GAA - the country's most significant sporting, cultural and social organisation - has played in Irish life since the foundation of the Irish State and Partition, charting the ways in which it has adapted to changing social, economic and political circumstances. Examining also the contemporary GAA, Mark provided an assessment of its current standing and issues that now challenge its positioning within Irish society. Mark Duncan is a historian, research consultant and a founder of the InQuest Research Group. A former Director of the GAA Oral History Project based at Boston College-Ireland, he has authored several books on major areas of Irish history and public policy. He is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book 'The GAA: A People's History' (2009) and 'The GAA, County by County' (2011) and was a central figure in the development of the GAA Museum at Croke Park. Among other projects, he is currently a Director and Content Editor of the Government-funded and RTÉ-supported online project for the decade of Centenaries, Century Ireland (website: www.rte.ie/centuryireland) and, linked to that, he has recently appeared in RTE documentaries on the historic 1918 Election and Ireland After the Rising. Mark lives in Bray.
Link - www.rte.ie/centuryireland;
Thu, 13/12/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubOn 13 December, Bray Heads U3A Group members celebrated the first 4 months of our new Group's activities and our first Christmas together, with communal carol-singing, some solo performances, storytelling, poetry and seasonal readings by the Golf Club fireside, organised by Léonie - our Meetings Co-ordinator.
Thu, 29/11/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIrish Ambassador David Donoghue retired from the Department of Foreign Affairs in September 2017, following a distinguished diplomatic career in which he served in a number of key positions at home and abroad, including Director General of Irish Aid, Political Director and Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Germany, Austria and the United Nations in New York. At a number of stages in his career, he also worked on issues relating to Northern Ireland and Anglo-Irish relations. He was involved in the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 and, in his capacity of Irish head of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast from 1995-99, in the negotiations which led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Twenty years after the signature of the Good Friday Agreement, David will describe the long journey leading to its negotiation and present his perspective on the operation and impact of the Agreement which, he argues - remains one of the few examples of successful conflict resolution in the world today, despite all the current difficulties.
Thu, 15/11/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubTony's informative talk covered the major records available on line for genealogical research and how to access the various sites and archives, helping those starting out their research to quickly access the most important and relevant records. Tony O’Hara is a recently retired IT Professional with a passionate interest in genealogy. He studied genealogy in UCD under Sean Murphy and qualified in 2012. He is an active member of the Genealogical Society of Ireland and is a director with responsibility for the lecture series which occurs on a monthly basis. He previously worked in the IT business in the field of civil engineering and computer aided design (CAD) and geographic information systems (GIS) and was president of IRLOGI (Irish Organization of Geographic Information) for a 2 year period. He has acted as a genealogy adviser in the National Library and has liaised with many organisations on behalf on GSI. A graduate of DIT Bolton Street in the early seventies he worked with Dublin County Council until the late eighties when he moved over to the private sector and the IT business.
Thu, 01/11/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubCatherine Day born in Mount Merrion, Dublin is a former Secretary-General of the European Commission. Appointed in November 2005 she served two terms with President Jose Manuel Barroso and continued with his successor, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker until she retired in September 2015. She is the first woman to hold the post of Secretary General of the European Commission. In her talk, Catherine Day spoke about key moments in the development of the EU from enlargement to the East to the Euro crisis and the ongoing Brexit negotiations. With 36 years experience of working in Brussels she recounted, from her insider perspective, the politics, the compromises, the highs and lows that she experienced during her long and distinguished career in the EU, especially during her ten years as Secretary General of the European Commission, when she was involved in all the major issues facing the EU and one of very few officials present when Prime Ministers met and when key negotiations went down to the wire.
Thu, 25/10/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn her talk to The Bray Heads Group and the lively discussion which followed it, Michael Jansen drew on her experiences living in, and reporting on, the Middle East for over 50 years, presenting eyewitness accounts of a number of historical events and figures that have shaped, defined - and so often racked - the region, referencing in particular events in Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Cyprus, Egypt and Syria. Originally from the US, Michael Jansen came to study in the Beirut, Lebanon, in 1961 and soon after began her long and distinguished career as a journalist covering the region. She is the author of a number of books on the region, the most recent being 'Windows on Interesting Times', launched in Dublin the day before Michael's talk to the Group, copies of which she signed after her talk. An Interesting commentary by Michael on how Ireland is perceived in the Middle East, which appeared in the 'Irishwoman's Diary' column of The Irish Times on Monday 22 October, can re viewed via the link above.
Link - https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/we-understand-each-other-an-irishwoman-s-diary-on-ireland-and-the-middle-east-1.3670701#.W80_2wnBKdA.mailto;
Thu, 18/10/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubUlysses is 'Ireland's most popular unread book' and one of the most influencing, inspiring, intriguing and infamous novels in world literary history - many want to read it but are daunted by its complexity, and cast it aside. In his hugely entertaining, informative and accessible presentation to The Bray Heads U3A group, recounting colourful stories about its author, history, themes, characters, language and humour, and with recorded readings and songs from the book, Seamus Cannon encouraged members who have not yet read it or who have given up on it to read Ulysses for enjoyment and for the extraordinary way in which Joyce captures the human spirit in a wonderful celebration of Dublin. A member of the Friends of Joyce Tower Society and volunteer at the Joyce Museum at the Martello Tower in Sandycove, Dublin, Seamus Cannon delivers a course in Reading Ulysses for readers who wish to deepen their appreciation of the work or for those who dare to read Ulysses for the first time! (see link )
Link - https://www.blackrockec.ie/cpd-courses/search-result.html?search=ulysses&layout=table;
Thu, 04/10/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubYvonne Galligan is an Irish political scientist, currently at Queen's University Belfast. She is a Professor of Comparative Politics, Founding Director of the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics and Director of University Gender Initiative, Queen’s University Belfast. Her interesting and informative talk, marking the centenary of women in Ireland (and the rest of the British Isles) first being permitted to vote in elections and to stand as candidates in them, outlined and analysed women's representation in Irish politics, in an international context, from 1918 to the present. Graphically documenting the trajectory of women's political activity, and changes in the social perceptions of women's role and status in society, over the last 100 years, Yvonne's talk highlighted various landmarks in the advancement of women in Irish life and politics, as well as some key setbacks, noting some significant of areas of progess towards gender equality - and others where more wore work is needed.
Thu, 20/09/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIn a fascinating and very well-received talk, Dr Helen Sheridan set out the background to the use of natural medicines by humans from earliest Neanderthal man to modern times, travelling from archaeological remains in the Shanidar caves in Iraq, through the poisoning of Socrates by hemlock in ancient Greece, the opium wars of the 19th century which led onto the discovery of morphine and the creation of heroin, and on to the present day. She went on to describe the role of key natural medicines such as aspirin derived from the willow tree; lead anticancer agents derived from Taxus or Elm species; the Madagascan periwinkle in the treatment of cancer; potent painkiller Prialt discovered from a family of marine cone snails; and the challenges associated with the development of the anticancer drug Yondelis, derived from a marine organism in tiny concentrations. Highlighting the fact that 80% of the world's population still use complex traditional medicines, she emphasised the importance of the role of these countries and communities in healthcare and their potential as sources of new medicines. Her talk concluded with a brief account of her own interesting work in the development and testing of a medicine drawn from nature to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Dr Sheridan is a lecturer and Director of Research in Natural Product Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Trinity College Dublin. Helen carries out original research in the use and development of new medicines from natural sources. She has brought the new natural medicine to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease which she has helped to develop to Phase 1 human clinical trials and is continuing her work on this. Helen serves on the Traditional medicine sub-committee of the Irish Health products Regulatory Authority (HPRA; 2000 To date), is a founder member of the Sino-European GP-TCM Research Association, is on the Board of the International Natural Product Foundation, a pan global organization working toward the development of new medicines. Helen's research has been funded Nationally by Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, EU-FP7, The Wellcome Trust and Venture Capital Investment.
Thu, 06/09/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubMarking the occasion of the official launch of The Bray Heads U3A Group and the 400th anniversary this year of the Brabazon family at the Killruddery estate, Fionnuala Ardee gave a fascinating talk about the history of the Brabazon family, of which she is a member, the historic house which is her home and the estate where she serves as CEO and CFO.
Thu, 21/06/2018 from 10:30 - 12:30 in Bray Golf ClubIsolde Moylan, Team Co-ordinator and Eamon Geraghty, Bray Golf Club President welcomed participants to the event. Sam O'Brien-Olinger from Age Action Ireland, provided information about the U3A movement and AAI's role in promoting and supporting U3A groups in Ireland. Linda Uhlemann from the Bray U3A Group (Fassaroe) and Donal Denham from the Dun Laoghaire-Killiney-Dalkey U3A Group shared their experiences of creating and running their branch of the U3A. Each of the Bray Heads U3A Co-ordinating Team members introduced themselves and their work. Highlights from the Talks programme 2018/19 were revealed. Large numbers of enthusiastic participants attended the Preview and brought the number of registered members up to full Group capacity level..
Print Date: 20 Mar 2023