nottingham irish studies group

Promoting Irish Culture in the East Midlands
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We’re here all year….

Irish culture is not just for St Patrick’s Day.
We are here all year round.
Join us on our facebook page, and on our forum.
We are open to suggestions, especially for ways to commemorate the anniversary of the 1916 Rising, Ireland’s part in World War 1, and the Irish War of Independence. It’s been an exciting century and we want to remember the part our country and culture played in it.


As part of St Patrick’s Day festival, we told traditional Irish stories in schools: St Mary’s (Hyson Green), Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (Bulwell), St Philip Neri (Mansfield) and St Anthony’s (Solihull).

The theme story this year was Caoilte and the animals and birds. Artist Julie Turner worked with children in three Nottingham schools, making costumes and props to use in the parade on 17th March. The festival was a great success. See the photos on facebook.

Art & Music

Following the success of the BOB ROBINSON EXHIBITION at the Surface Gallery Moss Book Publications produced

BOB ROBINSON PAINTINGS, a twenty-seven page booklet with 14 colour reproductions, introductory and critical notes, and a full list of works included in the recent BOB ROBINSON EXHIBITION. The launch took place in the Cafe Bar of Nottingham Contemporary at 6pm on Tuesday 10th March.
The booklet costs £5 from
Bob is originally from Co Tyrone, and now lives in Nottingham. Nottingham Irish Studies Group provided some financial support for the publication of this book, and for Bob Robinson’s recent two-part exhibition of paintings and sculpture.


On Wed 18th March, Graham Caveney gave a really interesting talk on Shane McGowan.
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop.

Nottingham Irish Studies Group is planning a short series of Irish Studies talks for 2015.
Some possibilities for talks include:

* A history talk by Pat Murphy on the Great Lockout in Dublin, 1913;
* An evening where we share family stories about WW1. For instance, Pat Murphy’s uncle and Deirdre O’Byrne’s granduncle fought in the Great War – it would be great if people brought their own memorabilia/ memories;
* A reading group meeting based around James Plunkett’s Strumpet City;
* A session on poetry and drama focused on the years 1913-14 in Ireland.

Other Activities

It was good to have our work in Nottingham and elsewhere included in the Irish Times Generation Emigration blog on 9 April 2014. That particular week, the focus of the blog was on the Irish in Britain, to mark the highly successful state visit of President Michael D. Higgins, 8-11 April 2014.
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Over Easter 2014, we ran an event in Ireland: storytelling for children at Tullow Library, Co Carlow, Tues 22 April 10.30 – 11.30am. The session was aimed at 4 – 11 year olds, who enjoyed some old stories of the Fianna and Ireland fadó fadó.
In September 2014, we told Irish stories at 
Crawley Irish Festival. We plan a return visit for their 2015 festival. storytelling-crawley-2014.jpg

~On Monday 6 October 2014, we were storytelling at Carnival MAD16

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We were very pleased to have been included in the Literary Weekend at Tinahely Courthouse on Sat 29 March 2014. Deirdre gave a brief talk on the influence of Patrick Kavanagh on Seamus Heaney, as part of ‘Kavanagh . . . in Conversation’.

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We had a very busy few months in 2014 running our Crossroads series of talks at Five Leaves Bookshop, and participating in Nottingham Irish Festival. More details on our ‘Diary 2014′ page (link above).

Other News / Nuacht Eile

Deirdre O’Byrne has an essay, ‘The Kerry Babies Case: A Crime Against Women‘ in Crime, the current issue of the Five Leaves journal:

The collection is edited by Ross Bradshaw. crime.gif

London Review of Books Chrismas recommendations



We’ve been delighted by the many invitations from groups and organisations to present and/or participate in events in both Ireland and Britain over the past year. As you’ll see if you click on the ‘Diary 2013′ and ‘Diary 2014′ buttons above left, we’ve worked in Britain with Beeston Library, Beeston Poets, Crawley Irish Festival, Curve Theatre (Leicester), Five Leaves Bookshop, Loughborough University,  and Stanza Poetry Group.  In Ireland we’ve worked with Courthouse Arts Centre (Tinahely, Co Wicklow), Tullow & Carlow Libraries,  History Festival of Ireland, and Pan-Celtic Festival (all in Co Carlow). 

If you have ideas/suggestions/requests for events, complete our short survey here, or email: 

History of the Irish in Nottingham

Click on the link ‘Irishnottingham‘ to read Patrick Murphy’s article:
Irish Settlement in Nottingham in the early Nineteenth Century
Published in Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, vol xcviii, 1994


(PDF requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Facebook ~ leathanach / page & grúpa / group

Tá ainm Gaeilge againn: Grúpa Nottingham don Léann Éireannach.
NISG has its own page on Facebook: Irish Studies Group.
Please click on the link and ‘Like’.

We set up and administer Facebook group East Midlands Irish Forum, which has members around Britain and Ireland. Join us there to find or post Irish-related news and activities.

For those interested in the Irish language, we regret to say that our Rang Gaeilge (Irish language class) has now ceased due to low /irregular attendance. If you would like a list of useful internet sites, or some free Irish language worksheets, email us on


Irish History

REBELS AND DISSIDENTS Click on this LINK to read (or download – right click and  ‘save as’ a word document) about the series of Nottingham talks in Autumn 2009. This series was repeated for Mansfield Irish Association in 2010: Rebels and Dissidents Word Doc