Our next lecture is a departure from our recent themes and should be of interest to many of you. Please also note our later summertime of 8.30pm. See registration details below.

Recovering the Voices of West Cork in the American Civil War

Zoom Lecture


Dr Damien Shiels

Thurs May 13 2021



Around 250,000 Irish Americans fought for the Union during the American Civil War. The records they left behind offer us some of our most detailed insights into the ordinary lives of Irish emigrants in nineteenth-century America. Utilising new research, this talk will explore what these records can tell us about emigrants and emigration from West Cork to the United States, and what they reveal about how those from the area were impacted by the war. It will partly do so by using the words of the men and women themselves, left behind in their letters and statements from more than 150 years ago.

Dr Damian Shiels is a historian and archaeologist. A former curator in the National Museum of Ireland, he has run www.irishamericancivilwar.com website since 2010. He is the author of The Irish in the American Civil War (2013) and The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America (2016). His PhD at Northumbria University focused on the correspondence of Union Irishmen during the conflict. 

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: May 13, 2021 08:30 PM Dublin
Topic: Recovering the Voices of West Cork in the American Civil War by Dr Damian Shiels
Register in advance for this webinar: HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Our next lecture is in association with Cork Historical and Archaeological Society and is on next Wednesday 14th at the earlier time of 7.30pm
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Apr 14, 2021 7:30 PM
Topic: Between Glandore and New York: Judge Daniel Colahan and the Irish Revolution 1912-1922 by Dr Michael Doorley, Open University of Ireland
Register in advance for this webinar HERE  
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin: A Life

Zoom lecture

Philip O’Regan

Thurs Mar 18 2021

8 pm

Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin was one of a number of West Cork men who were closely connected to Michael Collins during the War of Independence. Gearóid had the distinction of hoisting the Tricolour over the GPO in Dublin on Easter Monday 1916. He was appointed Adjutant General of the IRA in 1919 and was a member of the General Headquarters staff. Following the Treaty, Gearóid was appointed Adjutant General of the Free State Army.

Philip O’Regan is a native of Skibbereen. He is a former Deputy Editor of the Southern Star newspaper.Philip has had a lifelong interest in history. He is current chairman of Skibbereen & District Historical Society.He has a particular interest in nineteenth-century Irish history and has studied the Famine in the Skibbereen union in great depth.

 You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Mar 18, 2021 08:00 PM
Topic: Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage Lecture on Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin by Philip O'Regan

Register in advance for this webinar HERE 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar

We are pleased to welcome back Liz Gillis for our next lecture on Feb 25th; many of you will remember the wonderful lecture she presented to us on the Hales Brothers in 2017. Please note the later time of 9pm. Registration details to follow nearer the time. 
The Women of the Irish Revolution
Zoom lecture
Liz Gillis
Thurs Feb 25th
9 pm

Liz Gillis will discuss the pivotal role that women played in the Irish Revolution. The women were more than mere supporters of the fight for Irish freedom and women from all over the country certainly played their part in the momentous events that shaped our history.

They were educationalists, socialists, community workers, radicals, feminists and realists with one thing in common: Independence for Ireland.  Through their participation they proved their worth and showed that they were indeed the invisible army of the revolutionary movement and without their dedication and resolve the struggle for Irish independence would have been very different. Highlighting many of the lesser known women this talk will show that the women of Liberties, Cork and beyond area were among the vital revolutionaries who gave their all in the hope of a better future for their country.

Historian and author Liz Gillis is from the Liberties. She has a degree in Irish History and currently works as a researcher for the History Show on RTE Radio and lectures at Champlain College, Dublin.  She is the author of six books about the Irish Revolution including, ‘Women of the Irish Revolution’ and ‘The Hales Brothers and the Irish Revolution’ and is co-organiser of the annual conference on the Burning of the Custom House in 1921. In 2018 Liz was a recipient of the Lord Mayor’s Award for her contribution to history.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jan 28, 2021 08:00 PM Dublin
Topic: Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage Lecture


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.



Finola Finlay 

Thurs Jan 28 2021 


What do we call a castle in West Cork? Who built them, when and why? How were they constructed? What was their role in West Cork history? Where have some of them gone and what's the future for the ones we have left? 

Finola Finlay studied history and archaeology at UCC. After spending most of her adult life in Canada she is back in West Cork, picking up where she left off. Finola and her husband, Robert Harris, write the popular arts and culture blog, Roaringwater Journal ( https://roaringwaterjournal.com/).

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Dec 10, 2020 08:00 PM Dublin
Topic: Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage Lecture: 

Register in advance for this webinar: click on link or copy & paste to URL bar in your browser window
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
KILMICHAEL AMBUSH – A Story of a Century 
Colum Cronin
Thurs Dec 10 2020 

Having recently produced a film documentary entitled Kilmichael Ambush – A Story of a Century, Colum tells the story of how he and his son Shane conceived the idea and went about producing what was to become a highly successful production, achieving more than 11.5k views online in just three days. He explains how they were motivated to tackle this ‘hot potato’ subject and how they managed to do all of this under the confines of Level 5 Covid lockdown. Colum will give an overview of the ambush story as told in their documentary, expanding on certain points of the story and adding some caveats of interest along the way.

The film may be viewed on www.coppeenheritage.com

Colum Cronin is the founding chairperson of Coppeen Archaeological, Historical & Cultural Society. For the past 50 years he has been a husband and father, a professional musician, recording engineer, music teacher, photographer, a community development officer and a farmer. He returned to education as an adult, achieving a B.A. in Comm Edu & Dev. He is an active member of several community groups but local heritage is a particular passion of his. Currently, Colum is studying for an M.A. in Local History through UCC.

From Ardfield to Santiago de Compostella/Finisterre

A journey in pilgrim footsteps of over 1000 years


Traolach Ó Donnabháinin

The Parish Centre, Clonakilty

on Thursday 28th February at 8pm


Pilgrims from West Cork have been travelling to Santiago de Compostella since the 10th century AD, either by ship to La Corunna, or on foot across England, France and Spain to Santiago, braving attacks by bandits and wolves along the way.

Traolach Ó Donnabháin had been intrigued by this tradition for some time and between 2007 and 2011, sometimes alone, sometimes with colleagues, he undertook the Camino Frances/Camino de Santiago, from Le Puy-en-Velay in France to Santiago de Compostella, and onwards to Finisterre on the west coast of Spain, having initially walked from St James Well in Ardfield to Cork Airport – a total distance of 2,000km. His reasons for undertaking the Camino were twofold: to experience, at first hand, this spiritual and historical tradition and secondly to undergo the physical challenge of 500km sections of continuous walking, carrying one’s worldly possessions on one’s back!

An important step in commemorating this tradition of pilgrimage between Ardfield and Santiago de Compostella was taken in 2009, when Traolach purchased a locally carved, wooden statue of Naomh Séamus/Santiago/St James, in Santiago de Compostela, which was later positioned in a specially constructed grotto at St James’ Well. In this lecture, Traolach will give an account of his experiences on the Camino.

Clonakilty 1918 Election lecture

PHOTO: Dr. Aodh Quinlivan, Dept. Local Government and Politics, UCC, (centre), who delivered an illustrated lecture entitled “A Crucial Moment in Irish History? Cork Stories behind the 1918 General Election”, recently at the Parish Centre at the invitation of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage, with members of the committee: Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin; Marian O’ Leary; John Hayes; Fachtna McCarthy; Rachael Cronin and Tim Feen. (Photo: Emmanuelle Schon-Quinlivan).