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23 March 2018  

John Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary Party:
a Centenary Symposium


John Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary Party:
a Centenary Symposium

John Redmond Group

Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Tuesday 6 March 2018
The National Gallery of Ireland
Merrion Square West, Dublin 2

John Redmond Oval

On the centenary of John Redmond’s birth, the symposium “John Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary Party: a Centenary Symposium” was held on 6 March 2018 in the National Gallery of Ireland. Jointly organised by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the National University of Ireland, the Royal Irish Academy and the School of History UCD, as part of the John Redmond State commemorative programme, the symposium set out to reassess John Redmond and the achievements of the Irish Parliamentary Party under his leadership. In this the Decade of Centenaries, it considered issues and events relevant to the IPP such as Home Rule, World War 1, Women’s Suffrage and parliamentary democracy.

The Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, TD, delivered the opening address. Professor Paul Bew, Dr Margaret O’Callaghan and Dr Margaret Ward gave keynote papers and there were other speakers from universities in Ireland and Britain. Former Taoiseach John Bruton chaired the opening session. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren of John Redmond, John Dillon and other IPP members were in attendance.

NUI Chancellor Dr Maurice Manning commented that “Redmond and the Irish Party were a central part of Irish politics at the start of this decade one hundred years ago. By the end of the decade they were seen as largely irrelevant. That is a harsh fact but a fact nonetheless. But it is also a fact which obscures the very substantial and enduring contribution of Redmond and his predecessors as leaders of the Irish Party, Isaac Butt, Charles Stewart Parnell and later John Dillon, and of course the Irish Party itself, to the development of our modern State.

Minister Josepha Madigan said: “I would like to commend Dr Maurice Manning and all involved at the NUI, RIA and UCD, for their vision and ambition in ensuring that John Redmond's contribution to the emerging Irish State, which spanned a parliamentary career of 37 years, is appropriately acknowledged with this fitting and imaginative symposium. I am delighted to support events such as this, which facilitate the exchange of views about our shared history and provide a new generation with the opportunity to explore John Redmond's life and complex legacy – a legacy that has, until now, often been misunderstood and overshadowed. Our popular, collective Irish memory has never embraced Redmond as one of Ireland’s mythic father figures on par with the ultimately unsuccessful previous leaders of the constitutional nationalist movement, such as Daniel O’Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell. The Decade of Centenaries, however, has created a new opportunity to reflect upon individual historical events of 100 years ago and how each impacted upon the next. By re-examining our turbulent and complex past, we give key participants in the events of that time, such as John Redmond, their rightful place in history.

The symposium was followed by a Royal Irish Academy Discourse by Professor Alvin Jackson at 6pm that evening in the RIA, 19 Dawson Street.

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Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor of NUI and Dr Attracta Halpin, Registrar of NUI, pictured here with speakers and chairpersons at John Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary Party: A Centenary Symposium:  Dr Martin O’Donoghue, Dr Colin Reid, Dr Michael Wheatley, Dr Margaret O’Callaghan, Dr Conor Mulvagh, Former Taoiseach John Bruton, Professor Alvin Jackson (Royal Irish Academy Discourse Speaker), Professor Marianne Elliott,  Dr Margaret Ward and Dr Mary McAuliffe.
NUI Chancellor Dr Maurice Manning, James B. Dillon, Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, TD, John M Dillon, Dom Chris Dillon, Dr Attracta Halpin, NUI Registrar.
Former Taoiseach John Bruton chairing the first session of the symposium.
Barbara Lockyer, John Green and Mary Green, great-granchildren of John Redmond, pictured with Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor of NUI.
Professor Paul Bew delivering the final keynote paper.

The symposium was recorded. Videos of each session will be available on our website in due course.

Programme available

Further information contact:
Dr Attracta Halpin
National University of Ireland
49 Merrion Square
Dublin 2 D02 V583
E-mail registrar@nui.ie
T:    353 (0)1 4392424  

Twitter: @NUIMerrionSq    #Redmond2018
Facebook: National University of Ireland

John Redmond Group


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