His­to­rian John Bow­man gives in­sight into women since 1916

New Ross Standard - - NEWS - By SARA GAHAN

His­to­rian and broad­caster John Bow­man opened the 24th Byrne Perry Sum­mer School on Fri­day evening in Gorey Li­brary where more than 80 peo­ple gath­ered to hear his lec­ture on Ir­ish­women since 1916, from marginal­i­sa­tion to lib­er­a­tion.

This year’s theme for Byrne Perry fo­cused on change, both on a na­tional and lo­cal level.

Mr Bow­man dis­cussed change on a wider na­tional con­text. He kept the au­di­ence spell­bound with his hu­mor­ous anec­dotes, that also served as an il­lus­tra­tion that the Ire­land of to­day is very dif­fer­ent from the 1980s, and that in turn was dif­fer­ent from the 1950s.

An­other topic cov­ered by Mr Bow­man was the role of woman in the 20th cen­tury: the Water­ford con­vent of­fer­ing 1919 cur­ricu­lum best suited to farmer’s daugh­ters; how mar­riages were bro­kered in Clare in the 1930s; and a Je­suits ad­vice on whether it was a sin for a young girl to use lip­stick.

Lo­cal change was the main topic for Satur­day’s events. In ad­vance of the 400th an­niver­sary of Gorey town, a group of lo­cal his­to­ri­ans, along with his­to­rian Ian Ken­neally, gave short talks to in­tro­duce the ‘Gorey 400’ book project.

The lec­ture was fol­lowed by a work­shop where peo­ple were in­vited to present their own fam­ily story or pho­to­graphic ma­te­ri­als re­lat­ing to his­tory, her­itage and cul­ture of north Wex­ford. Peo­ple were asked to sug­gest what as­pects of the his­tory of Gorey district and north Wex­ford should be cap­tured in the book.

The 24th Byrne Perry School con­cluded Satur­day af­ter­noon with a bus tour to his­toric houses around the district, nu­mer­ous sites from 1798, all while tak­ing in the com­mu­ni­ties of Hol­ly­fort, Ki­lanerin, Lim­er­ick and Coolgreany.

RIGHT: Cathaoir­leach of Gorey Mu­nic­i­pal District, Cllr John He­garty with John Bow­man.

Chris Mur­ray, Martina Hal­ford and Wil­lie Wil­loughby.

Ger Flem­ing, guest speaker Michael Con­si­dine and John Nan­gle.

Michael Dwyer, Michael O’Dwyer and Gorey 400 ed­i­tor Ian Ken­neally.

Mary and De­nis O’Dono­hoe.

Guest speaker Peter O’Con­nor.

Michael Downes, Siob­han Ros­in­grave and Aideen O’Neill.

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