Future Events Programme
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Kipling's Kim and "The Great Game"

Professor Peter Lynch

  • 📅Thursday, June 11, 2020
  • 🕥10:30 - 12:00
  • 🏟Zoom Online(map)

The 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.




Zoom Online Talk: Margaret Thatcher and Ireland

Former Ambassador Frank Sheridan

  • 📅Thursday, July 2, 2020
  • 🕥10:30 - 12:30
  • 🏟Zoom Online(map)

Frank'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.




Zoom Online Talk: The Future of the EU in a Shifting World Order

Former Ambassador, Marie Cross

  • 📅Thursday, July 16, 2020
  • 🕥10:30 - 12:30
  • 🏟Zoom Online(map)

In her talk to The Bray Heads U3A Group, Marie Cross will be discussing the strategic agenda which the EU is developing to strengthen its role in a world that has become increasingly unsettled, complex and subject to rapid change. In highlighting the challenges which the EU and we ourselves face, she will also be talking about Ireland's role in addressing these challenges. Marie's talk was originally scheduled to be delivered in March before the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our country, Europe and much of our planet has demonstrated just how uncertain and fragile our world can be and she will be adapting her talk to explore at least some of the implications of this for the EU and ourselves.

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, Germany, before being appointed as Ireland's first Ambassador to the Czech Republic in 1995 and at the same time to Ukraine, and subsequently as our Ambassador to the European Union's Political and Security Committee in Brussels. Marie retired in 2011 from a Director General post in the Department of Foreign Affairs 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.




Zoom Online Talk: The Georgians: from country house to the ‘season’ in Dublin

Dr Patricia McCarthy

  • 📅Thursday, July 30, 2020
  • 🕥10:30 - 12:30
  • 🏟Zoom Online(map)

Every 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!