nottingham irish studies group

Promoting Irish Culture in the East Midlands
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Current and Forthcoming Activities:

Bob Robinson: Paintings and Sculptures Art Exhibition

This two-part exhibition of painting and sculpture by Nottingham-based artist 
Bob Robinson, from Co Tyrone, is well worth a visit.
The venue is the Project Space on the top floor of  
Surface Gallery, Southwell Road, Nottingham NG1 1DL.

Robinson’s art is impressive: technically accomplished and symbolically rich. Those of Irish heritage will find some interesting cultural resonances, but anyone can appreciate this witty work, which is occasionally wickedly comic but always seriously good. 

Part 2 of the Bob Robinson Exhibition runs until 20 December 2014.
The work featured in Part 1 (24 Oct – 22 Nov) is viewable online at

Surface Gallery is open Tues-Fri 12-6pm, and Sat 11-5pm.
See their website for further details:


Nottingham Irish Studies Group has long been an admirer of this important artist’s work, and we gave a small grant towards the setting up of his website:

We have also contributed to the running costs of this exhibition.

Deirdre O’Byrne has written a short article on the artist’s work; it’s available online here: 
Bob Robinson’s Art of the Absurd.

A paper copy is available to read at the exhibition, alongside other commentary on Bob Robinson’s output.

Access to the exhibition:
Please note that the exhibition is on the third floor, and there’s no lift, so you’ll need to be able to climb stairs.


the-secret.jpgThis is The Secret‘ by Bob Robinson.



We’re planning a short series of Irish Studies talks for Spring 2015.  Likely venue: Five Leaves Bookshop.
Some possibilities:
* 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’Byrnes 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.

Recent Activities

It was good to have our work in Nottingham and elsewhere included in the Irish Times Generation Emigration blog on 9 April. 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.
* * * * *

Over Easter, 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, we told Irish stories at 
Crawley Irish Festivalstorytelling-crawley-2014.jpg

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

♧ ♧ ♧ ♧ ♧ ♧ ♧ ♧

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

* * * * * *

We had a very busy few months 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