nottingham irish studies group

Promoting Irish Culture in the East Midlands
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Forthcoming Activities: Trent to Trenches; Festival of Words

Some NISG members were interviewed for a project now showing at Nottingham Castle Museum: a team of film-makers led by Vanessa Cardui investigated memories related to the 1914-18 period from people of non-British cultures and communities. Among other things, NISG members spoke about family participation in WW1 and how it’s commemorated in Ireland, and about the commemorations of 1916 which went on in Ireland in 1966. The short films are running at Nottingham Castle Museum from 26 July-16 November 2014, as part of the Trent to Trenches exploration of the Great War period.

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We did some Irish storytelling on 5 July, as part of the launch of Bulwell Arts Festival. It was an enjoyable event, and we met interesting people.

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On Sunday 19 Oct 2014, Nottingham will hold its second
Festival of Words. Nottingham Irish Studies Group will participate, as we did first time round. We plan to run a session called ‘Translations‘, looking at Irish literature (in English) which shows the influence and importance of the Irish language. We’ll discuss some poetry, some prose and a piece from Brian Friel’s play Translations. Other writers discussed will include Eilis Ni Dhuibhne, Seamus Deane and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill. The venue will be Five Leaves Bookshop, just off Market Square.

All welcome. No previous knowledge of Irish language or literature required.


We’re also planning to do some Irish storytelling for children on 19th October, as part of Festival of Words. This will also take place at Five Leaves Bookshop.

‘It’s A Long Way to Tipperary’: Irish Literature and the First World War. 
On Monday 20th October, Deirdre will run a literature discussion on Ireland and World War 1: Nottingham Central Library, Angel Row, 2pm. We’ll look at some short extracts from prose and some poems of the time. Some of the writings will date from that period, eg the poetry of Tom Kettle, and some will be by writers who are looking back and reappraising it, such as Sebastian Barry in his novel A Long Long WayThis event will be part of the centenary re-appraisal of the ‘Great War’.

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.
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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. 

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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’.

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We’ve just 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