Programme of Public Lectures and Field Trips for 2019-2020 Season 


Thursday 19th September 2019

1840-1850 South American Escapades of

Clancy from Cork and McNamara from Clare 


Speaker: Mr. John O’Connell    Donoughmore Historical Society


Our Guest Speaker, John O’Connell relates the compelling story of these two Irishmen and their disastrous endeavours. 2 Rogue Priests – one, a Cork-man named Clancy, destroyed a diocese in British Guiana between 1837 and 1847, and the other, a Clare-man named MacNamara, triggered an event which culminated with the US/Mexican War of 1846/48.

Thursday 3rd October 2019

Due to severe weather alert, this lecture is postponed until Thursday 10th October.

Mary Elmes – The Quiet Heroine

Speaker:  Ms. Anne Twomey   Shandon Area History Group

 Cork woman Mary Elmes devoted her life to helping refugees and was responsible for saving hundreds of Jewish children from Nazi death camps during World War 11. Our Guest Speaker Ms. Anne Twomey of the Shandon History Group recounts her life from 1908 in Ballintemple through her incredible work to her death in 2002. A new bridge in Cork, is also named in her honour.

Thursday 7th November 2019

Cork Burning

Speaker: Mr. Michael Lenihan   Historian and Author

A tale of ‘arson, loot and murder’ was how one source described the events in Cork city on the night of 11-12 December 1920. British forces bent on revenge for the ambushes at Kilmichael and Dillon’s Cross, set fire to the commercial and civic heart of the city. Our Guest Speaker Michael Lenihan, author of his magnificent new book, ’Cork Burning’, tells the story of the events before, during and after that infamous night.

Wednesday 4th December 2019

 Launch of Issue 12 Old Blarney Journal


Takes place in The Blarney Castle Hotel at 8.00 p.m.

Everybody Welcome.

Contains an interesting selection of articles relating to Blarney and District

Makes an excellent Christmas Present

Thursday 5th December 2019

Gaol Break – Cork Prison Rescue of Donnacha McNeilus

Speaker: John Mulcahy  Blarney and District Historical Society

Guest Speaker John Mulcahy explores the incredibly brave activities of the rescuers in the 1918 escape from Cork County Goal of Republican Denis McNeilus who was due to face trial for attempted murder of a policeman and was in line for a death sentence. A fascinating and triumphant plan was put in place to affect his successful escape, causing huge public excitement.

Thursday 9th January 2020

Why Can’t I Find My Ancestors?

Ms. Karen O’Riordan    Librarian/Genealogist

This illustrated talk will be presented by Karen O’Riordan from Cork County Library and will include specific examples from parish registers, civil records and census returns. It will be of special interest to individuals who have conducted some family history research but have hit the ‘genealogical brick wall.’

Thursday 6th February 2020

Blarney – In Music, Poetry and Song

Mr. Barry Looney Traditional Musician-Archivist

Our Guest Speaker, local man, Mr. Barry Looney, an acclaimed traditional musician and archivist, will present a selection of music, poetry and song taking us through times of peace and tranquillity, war and mayhem and much more, all of them referring to the word and the place-name ‘Blarney’.

Thursday 5th March 2020     

Irish Police Casualties – Including those of the War of Independence

Speaker: Mr. Jim Herlihy  Historian and Author

The Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) was the unarmed police force of the city of Dublin from 1836 until its amalgamation with the Garda Síochána in 1925.  Mr. Jim Herlihy, an acknowledged expert on the history of the Irish Police, highlights the circumstances of an interesting selection of the casualties of both these police forces.

Thursday 2nd April 2020    

The Battle of Clonmult – Explosive New Evidence in New Book 

Speaker: Mr. Tom O’Neill   Historian and Author

Guest Speaker, Tom O’Neill, served thirty-two years in management with the Irish Prison Service and thirty-four years in the Army Reserve, retiring with the rank of Commandant. He has prepared and presented lectures of a military nature to historical societies. His exhaustive research of newly available material has unearthed new facts surrounding the Battle of Clonmult.


Thursday 7th May 2020


The Tragic Story of the Lusitania – 105th Anniversary of its Sinking 1915

 Speaker: Mr. Con Hayes Chairman Old Head Signal Tower Heritage Co., Ltd

 Guest Speaker Mr. Con Hayes, relates the sad story of the sinking of the ocean liner RMS Lusitania which occurred on Friday, 7 May 1915 one hundred and five years ago. The huge ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat, 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, killing 1,198 passengers and crew.

Wednesday 20th May 2020

Field Trip – Details to be Advised

Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Attack on Blarney R.I.C. Barracks 1st June 1920

Speaker: Mr. John Mulcahy Historian and Author

Guest Speaker, Mr. John Mulcahy of Blarney and District Historical Society, relates the story of the  Attack on Blarney R.I.C. Barracks on 1st June 1920 , its complete destruction and the damage done to the Blarney Castle Hotel by a large party of Cork Number 1 Brigade of the I.R.A.


Summer Vacation

August  2020

National Heritage Week    Event Details to be Advised

Thursday 3rd September 2020

Annual General Meeting

All lectures are in Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál (Blarney Secondary School) at 8.00 p.m. unless otherwise stated.  All events are correct at time of publication but some items may have to be cancelled or changed due to unavoidable circumstances from time to time. Some Field Trips may carry certain restrictions. Everybody Welcome. Please keep checking our web-site for up-to-date information.

Contact: Mr. Brian Gabriel Email: Tel: 021 4381349 Mob: 087-2153216