Past Irish History Round Tables

These are some of the Irish History Round Tables that we have had:

Women of 1916

Sat Feb 13, 2010 starting at 3 pm

Pat Heslin

Pat Heslin of the New Haven IHRT [ ] joined us to explain the "feminine side" of the Easter Rebellion, as well as briefly touching on the important role women played in Irish history overall.

The names of Constance Markievicz and Maud Gonne might be more familiar, but not so much Winnie Carney and Dr Kathleen Lynn. They were among the many women, Pat told us, that not only tended the wounded and fed the men, but carried messages under fire and even returned fire on the British enemy.

While we rightly remember the Boys from the County Cork or the Men Behind the Wire, we would do well to reflect on the contributions of the Women of 1916.

A Narrowback Rocks the Gaeltacht

Sat Jan 9, 2010 starting at 2 pm

Gerry "Chip" Costello

President of the Elms Cairde [ ], Chip Costello presented a personal look at the efforts of a latter generational Irishman to learn the language of his forebears. A son of Killorglin, Co. Kerry, Chip found that link to his past he was looking for when he enrolled in an Irish Language course. He took us along on his own trials and triumphs from the book Irish to two weeks total immersion in the Kerry Gaeltacht. He then presented us with tools and methods should we choose to take up the gauntlet and garner the "cupla focail".

Maith thú, an tUasal MacOisdealbhaigh!

Sinners and Saints in 19th Century America

Sat Nov 14, 2009 starting at 2 pm

Vincent MacMahon

MacMahon, member of the New Haven IHRT, joined us to explain the rise of the Irish in the United States. From the American-style Penal Laws to, ultimately, the Presidency, Vincent discussed the places and people who formed the mighty Irish diaspora here in America. His multi-media approach highlighted the struggles from indentured servitude in Baltimore to Tammany Hall in New York on to the present day.

the Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers - the Irish Brigade

Sat Oct 10, 2009 starting at 2pm

Bob Larkin

In 1862, during the US Civil War, the plan of the Union was to dig a canal in a Mississippi River oxbow beyond Vicksburg to bypass Confederate batteries. Connecticut’s Irish Regiment began to dig, but conditions and disease nearly wiped out the men. Bob Larkin (New Haven IHRT, Hartford Civil War Round Table  ) was the driving force behind the erecting of a monument to the Ninth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers in honor of their efforts in the Union siege on Vicksburg. He told us the story of the regiment, and the lives of the men before and after their time spent in service. He also brought a model of the structure residing in Vicksburg National Park.

the Irish Wolfhound

Sat Sep 12, 2009 starting at 2 pm

Janel Milner

Our 2009-10 season started off with a fine presentation from Janel Milner of the Irish Wolfhound Association of New England [ ]. Janel reviewed the history, as well as grooming, breeding and showing information, of this majestic Irish archetype. Accompanying her was her prize-winning best friend, McGuire, who charmed all with his gentle demeanour and massive presence!

Remembering Tommy Makem

Sat Mar 7, 2009 starting at 2pm

Sheri Mortimer

In the 60s, along with the Clancy Brothers, Makem charmed Irish music into the heart of America with his animated and exuberant style. With his musicianship and integrity, he vaulted Irish music and culture beyond the Tin Pan Alley trap it had been limited to for so long, and had it recognized for the fierce, live thing it had always been and should always be.

Sheri Mortimer visited us to tell how he did this, and interspersed Makem's story with anecdotes of her personal relationship with the Bard of Armagh. She also performed many of his multitude of songs.

The History of the Springfield Kiltie Band

Sat Feb 14, 2009 starting at 2pm

Paul Ritchie

Sat Feb 14th starting at 2 pm

They lead the club contingent each year at the Holyoke Parade. They're always there when someone wants to add a little class to a function. They've always seemed to be there. Turns out they always have been! But who are these people and whence they came? Club member and Kiltie Band president Paul Ritchie has the answers for you, as well as explanations for the uniforms and accessories. A perfect start to  your Valentine's Day.

Tomás ÓCriomhthain and the Blasket Islands

Sat Jan 10, 2009 starting at 2pm

Prof. Tom Shea

The Irish History Round Table begins the New Year with a look back at the Blasket Islands. Springfield native, Prof. Tom Shea (UConn-Hartford), originator of the "Blasket Writers" course at UConn, will relate the research he's done thus far on these astounding authors, with a focus on "The Islandman" scribe, Thomas OCrohan. Shea has just returned from a conference in Dunquin that featured several talks focusing on the Springfield bonds of the islands. Much local interest.


Selection of Irish Literature

Sat Dec 13, 2008 starting at 2pm

Bring your favourite bit of doggerel or serious verse: the Round Table gives a nod to Ireland's proud literary history by giving everyone the opportunity to step to the mic and share a personal favourite Irish poem. Could be Christmas-related; doesn't have to be. Anthologies will be available. Come join in the fun.

The Middle East and the Good Friday Agreement

Sat Nov 8, 2008 starting at 2pm

Joe Gannon


Gannon returned to posit the theory that the methods used to bring stability to the north of Ireland (working with violent factions as well as aside from them, etc), would successfully bring an end to the killings and extreme violence of the Palestinian situation. Hopefully, currently, George Mitchell will prove Joe right.


The Irish Brigade in the American Civil War

Sat Oct 11, 2008 starting at 2pm

Matt and Rich Huebner

Brother members in the present-day 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 4th Regiment Irish Brigade, the Huebners came in full regalia to explain the Irish contribution to the war that preserved the Union and ended slavery.


Postal Censorship and Special Postmarks of Ireland

Sat Sep 13, 2008 starting at 2pm

Tim Oshea


Using a multi-media approach, and combining his philatelic tendencies with his love of history, club member Tim OShea demonstrated the unique way of looking at and understanding Irish history via the ubiquitous postage stamp/postmark.


Saint Patrick

Sat Mar 8, 2008 starting at noon

Tom Moriarty

Holyoke native Tom Moriarty, Notre Dame alumnus and former head of the History Dept at Elms College, details the life of our patron saint just in time for Patrick's feast day. Tom will separate fact from fiction, history from legend. Shamrocks, snakes and slavery.

The Titanic

Sat Dec 8, 2007 starting at 5pm

Karen and Ed Kamuda

Founders of the Titanic Historical Society and curators of the Titanic Museum down the road in Indian Orchard, the Kamudas revealed a thorough look at the tragedy of Belfast's Harland & Wolf's most famous liner. Long association with many of the ship's survivors provided the Kamudas with a detailed inside look at the stories of and behind the ill-fated Titanic.

The Story of the John Boyle O’Reilly Club

Thu Nov 8, 2007 starting at noon

Dick Devine

Dick Devine, longtime and active member of the Club, did painstaking research into our club's history for the celebration of our 125th anniversary back in 2005. Now he's finally ready to share all his findings with you. Think you know about the Boyle? Come down and see.



Sat Sep 15, 2007 starting at noon

Eamon Burke


Club member Burke used the multi-media approach to outline the mythological origins of Ireland's native sports: hurling, football, road bowling and hand ball. He followed up with the organizing and the influence the sports and the organization have had on Ireland and the Irish.


John Boyle O'Reilly – the Man

Sat May 12, 2007 starting at noon

Dan Shea

Club member Shea related the life story of the man our club is named after. As rebel, prisoner, writer and sought-after orator, OReilly was revealed through Shea's research as the pillar of Irish history he was.


The Tan War

Sat Apr 14, 2007 starting at noon

Bill Matthews


Matthews returned to continue his lecture on the start of Irish independence. Utilizing his multi-media approach, Matthews effectively brought the birthing pains of the Irish Republic to life, with the focus on the Big Fella, Michael Collins


Ireland and the American Revolution

Sat Feb 10, 2007 starting at 2 pm

Tom Moriarty


What effect did the American Revolution have on the English rule of Ireland? Did the British-run Irish Parliament see her chance for freedom or regard the goings-on in the Colonies as a threat? Retired Elms College professor Moriarty explored these questions and more.


Bloody Sunday

Sat Jan 13, 2007 starting at 12 noon

Kelly Ann Moore


Advisor and co-founder of West Springfield's Céilí Crew, club member Moore used the multi-media approach to tell the woeful tale of the British Army's shameful acts on 30 January 1970, weaving her own experiences in Derry into the mix


The Good Friday Agreement Ten Years Later

Sat Dec 9, 2006 starting at noon

Jim Gallagher


One-time national AOH president and co-founder of the Irish American Unity Conference, Gallagher had an insider's look at the stuttering steps that led to the historic document and a practiced eye in determining its worth.


The Hunger Strikes

Sat Nov 11, 2006 starting at noon

Joe Gannon

As a young man in 1981, Gannon gained possession of a US press pass and hit the streets of Belfast to see the situation on the ground. He gained incredible access to the movers and shakers of that stressful time, for a unique and up-close perspective. Gannon presented an earnest talk on the 25th anniversary and gave a heartfelt roll-call of the martyrs at his finish.

Ireland Before the Famine

Sun May 28, 2006 starting at noon

Michael Ryan


Dr Ryan, out of Southern Connecticut Community College led an informal discussion on the lives and situations of the Irish in the relatively prosperous years before the Famine, touching briefly on the devastating effects of that calamity.


The Easter Rebellion

Sun Apr 30, 2006 starting at 1 pm

Prof. Bill Matthews


Our premiere IHRT features Professor Matthews out of UMass-Amherst speaking on the 90th anniversary of the Easter Uprising. Using a multimedia presentation of archival photos, newsreels and clips from the movie “Michael Collins”, Matthews presented an entertaining and informative talk on the factors leading to, and the events of, Easter Week.