Roscrea conference director honoured


A SPECIAL presentation was made to George Cunningham at the 50th consecutive biannual Roscrea conference at Mount St Joseph (MSJ) abbey in the town at the weekend.

Mr Cunningham has been conference organiser and director since it began in 1987.

On Saturday he was presented with a specially bound collection of essays, A Carnival of Learning: Celebrating 50 Conferences at MSJ, edited by Peter Harbison and Valerie Hall.

Its cover is of local oak with calligraphy by Tim O’Neill. The presentation was made by the abbot general of the Cistercian Order, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald.

Two historical/archaeological conferences are organised each year at the abbey, one on early Christian Ireland, which takes place the weekend after Easter, and the second, held around Hallowe’en, which concentrates on medieval Ireland.

Mr Cunningham served on the governing authority of the University of Limerick for 17 years, during which time the Glucksman Library was opened there, a project in which he played a major role. He is founding editor of the Roscrea People.

On March 17th last he was invited to review Roscrea’s St Patrick Day’s parade. On that occasion the Tipperary Star described him as a “renowned scholar, historian, educationalist, writer, community activist and visionary”.