Conference Programme

 Making Connections: Oral History and Community

in Ireland



12-13 September 2014


The third conference of the Oral History Network of Ireland will be held at Butler House in Kilkenny on 12 and 13 September 2014.

Conference Programme

Friday, September 12:

9.30 – 10.30 am             Registration

10.30 – 12.15 pm           Training workshop: Ethics in oral history

(Arlene Crampsie & Regina Fitzpatrick)

12:15 – 1.30 pm             Lunch (at leisure)

1.30 – 3.00 pm               Session 1a and 1b:

Panel 1a: Oral history, community, performance



Nora Shovelin, Interlinking communities of activists and singers in Dublin

                                    Mick Fortune,’That’s what I was told anyway…’ an insight into the

                                    work of Michael Fortune

Thérèse McIntyre, Hitting the airwaves: an oral history project’s path to broadcasting

Panel 1b: Documenting hidden stories

Chair: Regina Fitzpatrick


Alan Noonan,Bringing up past hurts: the difficulties of conducting oral sports history in Ireland

Ultan Cowley, Who fears to speak?The Irish in Britain and the Irish at home: hard truths unspoken

Caroline Smiddy, She kept the place: the lives of farming widows in Ireland, 1922-1973

3.00- 3.30 pm                Registration & Tea/Coffee break

3.30 -5.15 pm                Training workshop: Archiving oral history recordings

 (Rob Perks, OHS, UK)

5.30 – 6.30 pm               Welcome and opening address

                                    Speaker: Adrian Roche (OHNI Chairperson)

followed by Wine reception

6.30 – 7.30 pm               Keynote address: Rob Perks, The development of community

                                    oral history in the UK: reflecting on the issues and challenges

8.00 pm                        Conference Dinner, Kilkenny Design Centre

Saturday, September 13:

9.00 – 9.15 am               Registration

9.15 – 10.45 am             Session 2: Moments in oral history

Convenor: Clíona O’Carroll

Panel 1: Dimensions of the interview: Discovery


Marina Ní Dhubháin, Oral history and folklore

Áine NicAodha, Cromwell invades Ormond

Adrian Roche, A way of working life now gone

Melanie Brown, Disclosures and their impact arising from oral history interviews

Lyndsey Anderson and Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, Third level and community

partnerships in collecting folklore and oral histories

10.45 – 11am                Tea/Coffee break

11am – 12.30 pm           Session 3: Moments in oral history

Convenor: Clíona O’Carroll

Panel 2: You, me and ‘the audience’


Fiona Byrne, Remembering St. Davnet’s mental hospital

Mae Leonard, Highs and lows of interviewing

Edmund Lynch, LBGT recollections

Brendan Smith, From another planet

Eimir O’Brien, Wider relationships and the interview

12.30pm – 1.30 pm        Lunch (at leisure) and AGM

                                    Convenors: Adrian Roche and Maura Cronin

1.30 – 3.00 pm               Sessions 4a and 4b:

Panel 4a: Oral history and folklore in a digital world

Chair: Arlene Crampsie


Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, The Donegal Gaeltacht Folklore Collection Project

Penny Johnston, Cork Folklore Project: can digital outreach help oral history groups to build communities?

Conor McGale, The Border Lives Project: life growing up, living and working along the border during the conflict

Panel 4b: Theories and approaches to oral history collection

Chair: Eunan O’Halpin


Margaret Steele, Constituting knowledge communities: a phenomenological look at oral history practice

Sarah Covington, “The Scandalous Bolt from the Abyss”: oral histories and the reconstitution of Irish communities in the

wake of Oliver Cromwell

Sam Manning, Recording cinema memory in Belfast

3.00 – 3.30 pm              Tea/Coffee break

3.30 – 5.00 pm              Sessions 5a and 5b:

Panel 5a: Inclusive communities

Chair: Catriona Crowe


Martin Rafter, The Kilkenny City Oral Histories Project

Zoe Hughes: After the research is over – experiences of storytellers with intellectual disability

Jennifer Yeager, The St. Mary’s (Waterford Institute of Technology) Oral History Project 

Panel 5b: Working class communities, trade unions and politics

Chair: Ida Milne


Mary Muldowney, Community of ideas and ideals: left-wing political activists in 20th century Ireland

Liam Cullinane, ‘They couldn’t survive alone’: working-class community in Cork, 1930-80

John Gibbons, ‘We really got the full blast’: remembering 100 years of the importance of trade union activism in Wexford town.

5.15 – 6.15 pm              Session 6: The place of oral history in the Irish heritage landscape

Chair: Maura Cronin


Beatrice Kelly, Head of Policy and Research, Heritage Council

Dearbhala Ledwidge, Heritage Officer, Kilkenny Local Authorities

Tomás Mac Conmara, oral historian

Thanks and closing address

                                    Adrian Roche (OHNI Chairperson)

The complete programme can be downloaded here: OHNI Conference 2014 – Programme