Pi­rates and smug­glers fea­ture at Mar­itime Week­end

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

THE pi­rates, smug­glers and cor­rupt of­fi­cials who plied their ne­far­i­ous trades in and around Dingle Bay from the 16th to the 18th Cen­turies will form a cen­tral theme of this year’s Dingle Mar­itime Week­end, which is be­ing held on this Satur­day and Sun­day.

Dr Con­nie Kelle­her, one of Ire­land’s lead­ing ex­perts in un­der­wa­ter ar­chae­ol­ogy, will get the dis­cus­sion un­der­way at 2pm on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 28, in Dingle Ocean­world (Mara Beo) with a talk en­ti­tled ‘ The Coast of Kerry in the 16th and 17th Cen­turies: Trade, Ships, Piracy and Plun­der’.

Dr Kelle­her is cur­rently writ­ing a book on ‘Ire­land’s Golden Age of Piracy’ and her talk will out­line how the ex­pan­sion of mar­itime em­pires re­sulted in an ex­plo­sion in the vol­ume and value of cargo be­ing shipped around the world. Har­bours such as Dingle, Ven­try and Valen­tia, were part of the net­work that was cen­tral to the global de­vel­op­ment in com­mer­cial ship­ping and this pro­vided rich pick­ings for pi­rates and smug­glers who risked their necks for a share of the booty.

Dr Kelle­her is a mem­ber of the State Un­der­wa­ter Arche­ol­ogy Unit, a vis­it­ing lec­turer in un­der­wa­ter ar­chae­ol­ogy in the Ar­chae­ol­ogy Dept of UCC and is a board mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on Un­der­wa­ter Ar­chae­ol­ogy.

On the fol­low­ing day at 12.30pm, GP and lo­cal his­to­rian Dr Conor Bros­nan will con­tinue the theme with a talk en­ti­tled‘Smug­gling in Dingle in the 18th Cen­tury’.

Dr Bros­nan, who is a mem­ber of the Dingle His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, will delve into the rea­sons, sources, meth­ods and peo­ple in­volved in what was known as ‘free trade’. He will also out­line the ef­forts of the au­thor­i­ties to sup­press smug­gling in West Kerry and the legacy it left in the area.

In be­tween the talks on smug­gling and piracy, Paddy Barry will gave an il­lus­trated talk at 3pm on Satur­day on the Ir­ish An­tar­tic Ex­pe­di­tion, which fol­lowed the 800-mile route taken by Ernest Shack­le­ton and Tom Crean from Ele­phant Is­land in Antarc­tica to South Ge­or­gia.

A sailor, ex­plorer and re­tired en­gi­neer, Paddy Barry has sailed a Gal­way Hooker to Amer­ica, Nor­way and Green­land, he led an ex­pe­di­tion through the North West Pas­sage and, in his boat ‘Ar Seachrán’, pro­vided an es­cort for the first Camino na Sáile naomhóg voy­age from Dublin to France. His talk will be gol­lowed by the launch of his newly pub­lished au­to­bi­og­ra­phy en­ti­tled, ‘So Far, So Good – An Ad­ven­ter­ous Life’.

All the talks will take place at Dingle Ocean­world Aquar­ium and ad­mis­sion is free.

The Mar­itime Week­end, which is now in its sixth year, was set up by Kevin Flan­nery and for­mer Har­bour Mas­ter Brian Farrell with the aim of main­tain­ing an aware­ness of our mar­itime her­itage and marine en­vi­ron­ment.

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