Lifelong Learning in the NLI

Adult Learning Courses in conjunction with UCD

Our cultural partnership with UCD Adult Education will continue with another series of learning opportunities in 2018

 NEW Courses starting in January include:

Heaney and Ulster Voices
Tutor: Garrett Fagan

This course offers students the opportunity to gain an indepth understanding of Northern Irish writing including Seamus Heaney, one of Ireland’s greatest poetic voices. The course will explore Seamus Heaney along with other Ulster writers, past and present, including Patrick Kavanagh and Brian Friel. As well as poetry, plays and prose will also be considered. This is intended as an introduction to enjoying these writers at a deeper level than the casual reader. No prior knowledge will be required only an enthusiasm for their work. The course will make use of the resources of the National Library.
The course will take a comparative approach, locating each writer in their own times and cultural context, while at the same time looking at the connections between them and exploring the ways in which they responded to Irish life.

8 Tuesdays, 10.30am – 1.00pm

January 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20     Fee €195

Garrett Fagan has taught at universities in Dublin and at Warwick University in the UK. He has interests in Renaissance literature, legal - literary relations and Anglo Irish writing.

Land Wars in Ireland 1876-1909
Tutor:  Brian Casey

This course explores the background and various stages of the Land Wars from 1876 to 1909. It explores the pre-Land War milieu, its various phases over a thirty year period and how the countryside was mobilised during this formative period as the strong farmers and shopkeepers consolidated their influence in the countryside, with the labourer, town tenant and small farmer losing out. In addition, it explores the role that local activists as well as people like Michael Davitt and Charles Stewart Parnell played in the mobilization of the countryside to demand peasant proprietorship and the end of landlordism in Ireland.

8 Wednesdays, 10.30am – 1.00pm

January 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7,14, 21, 28         Fee €195

Dr Brian Casey is a historian of 19th and 20th century Ireland and Scotland. His research interest focuses upon the dynamics of agrarian radicalism, the Land War, famine and poor relief and the Catholic Church. He is the editor of Defying the law of the land: Agrarian radicals in Irish History (Dublin, 2013) and Lords, land and labourers: The Big Houses and landed estates of Royal Meath (Dublin, 2016).     

Places on these courses can be booked through  UCD Adult Education:      01 716 7123

Memoir Writing

The National Library of Ireland works with Irene Graham, founder of The Memoir Writing Club and author of The Memoir Writing Workbook to offer workshops and lectures on memoir writing as part of our ongoing events programme.

 Find out more about the course here.

Bealtaine Festival

The National Library takes part each year in Age and Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival. The Bealtaine Festival takes place in May and celebrates creativity in older people. The NLI hosts Bealtaine events and has also embarked on series of research projects. Man, Woman and Child

Man, Woman and Child was a research and performance project devised and co-ordinated by Michael Fortune and featuring traditional singers, Luke Cheevers, Niamh Parsons, John and Brigid Tunney, Mick Fowler, Jerry O'Reilly, Rosie Stewart, Tim Lyons and Aileen Lambert.

Supported by the Arts Council, the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Age and Opportunity and the NLI, the project was based on the Child Ballad Collection - a collection of traditional songs collected by the American collector Francis J Child in England and Scotland between 1882 and 1898. Although many of the songs or variants of them are sung in the Irish tradition, no comprehensive study and performance of the ballads had been undertaken in Ireland prior to this project. The Child ballad collection is in the library's collection and this project provided the opportunity to bring the ballads from the shelf to the stage.

Follow this link to explore the concerts on the website

As I roved out

 In 2012, the group of traditional singers Jerry O'Reilly, John Tunney, Brigid Tunney, Cilona Ni Shuilleabhain, Brendan Kennedy, Larry Joy and Roisin Gaffney researched material and composed new songs on the theme of travel and emigration. The songs were performed in the library on May 30th as part of the Bealtaine 2012 Festival. The project was facilitated by Aileen Lambert and Michael Fortune in collaboration with the Bealtaine festival, the National Library and the ITMA and supported by the Arts Council. To  read about the project :

Read more about previous projects:

The Magpies Nest

In this project six local historians from County Wexford and artist Michael Fortune worked with the NLI and Age and Opportunity on the research of historical themes of local interest. The project was documented on the Magpies Nest website and features diary entries, images and video footage of the research process. The project culminated in an exhibition at the National Library for the duration of the Bealtaine Festival 2009.

The Wild Bees' Nest

The Wild Bees' Nest was a research and songwriting project involving a group of traditional singers throughout Ireland. Research for the project was carried out in the National Library of Ireland and the Irish Traditional Music Archive.  The project was conceived and devised by Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert and supported by The Arts Council in conjunction with The Bealtaine Festival and the National Library. Performances of the newly composed songs took place in the NLI during the Bealtaine Festival. The project was documented on The Wild Bees Nest website.  A CD of the songs was launched in May 2012. 

Wild Bees Nest performanceWild Bees Nest performance

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