Irish monks’ efforts to counteract English ‘spin’ a theme of Donegal school

Event looks at monks’attempts to change 17th century idea of Irish as ‘barbarians’

Attempts to counteract English "spin" across Europe that the 17th century Irish were "barbarians" is the theme of this year's Micheál Ó Cléirigh summer school in Co Donegal.

The second annual school will take place in Rossnowlagh, near the Creevy home of the head of the Four Masters, Brother Micheal O’ Cleirigh, from May 15th to 17th, 2015.

O’Cleirigh and his acolytes worked from 1632 to 1636 to produce the all-encompassing Annals of the Four Masters, which became one of the principal sources for Irish history from the earliest times.

Principal speaker at this year’s event will be University College, Cork emeritus professor of early and medieval Irish, Pádraig Ó Riain.


Other speakers include Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute director Dr John McCafferty; medieval history specialist Dr Dagmar Ó Riain-Raedel; Franciscan friar Dr Micheal Mac Craith, who is guardian of Collegio San Isidoro in Rome, and former president of the Donegal Historical Society Helen Meehan.

A production of Dark Daughter by Soinbhe Lally, on the interaction between Aodh Rua O'Donnell's mother Nuala and Lughaidh O'Cleirigh, a cousin of Micheal, will also be staged, while art work from primary school pupils will be displayed.

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times