: Natural and Human Heritages

School of Geography, Archaeology & Irish Studies

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series programme posters 2015-2021
(with Vodcast links) below

Programme Coordinator: Angela Gallagher, Archaeology, NUI Galway.
Vodcast Producer, Grainne McGrath, CELT, NUI Galway.

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series 2021

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series, 2021:  Natural and Human Heritages (Vodcasts)

Dr. Shane Conway
Blinkered Vision:  Generational Renewal in Agriculture at the Expense of the Older Farmer
This lecture will highlight the lack of consideration given by agricultural policy to the creation of an age-friendly environment at farm level, a concept defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one in which ‘policies, services, settings and structures support and enable people to age actively’.

Dr. Nessa Cronin
Speculative Imaginaries:  Rethinking our Relationship to the Natural World
Nessa Cronin brings the Irish experience to bear on the current debate on climate change, focusing on the need for new ways of being in this Age of Extinction

Dr. Stefan Bergh
In Dialogue with the Land
The strong link between ritual and terrain in the Irish Passage tomb tradition (4000-2500BC) reveals a very special attitude to topography without counterparts in the rest of Europe.  This talk explores ways of thinking about terrain and ritual in the Neolithic, by contrasting some European examples with the passage tomb landscape of Sligo, suggested for inclusion on Ireland’s Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Dr. Michelle Comber
From Ore to Masterpiece:  precious metalworking in Early Medieval Ireland
Ever wondered how masterpieces like the Tara Brooch or Ardagh Chalice were made, and who made them?  This talk will trace the processes and techniques employed by the skilled (non-ferrous) metalworkers of the era, and will investigate the people involved and their places of work.

Dr. Kieran O’Conor
Moated Sites in Medieval Ireland:  The Current State of Knowledge
At least a thousand moated sites were built in the Irish countryside during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century, with many functioning as semi-defended farmsteads.  This lecture will outline recent research carried out at NUI Galway on these earthworks, under the headlines of distribution, numbers, function, the ethnicity of their occupants and the status of these people within medieval society.

Axel Leahy
A missed opportunity? Public participation in Ireland’s local climate change adaptation strategies
In 2019, local authorities have adopted their first Climate Adaptation Strategy, a new type of climate policy aiming at reducing Ireland’s vulnerability to climate change.  This talk critically addresses the apparent lack of participation in the development of these local climate policies. 

Anna Falkenau
Changing Soundscape of Irish Traditional Music in Galway, 1961-1981
Irish music revival of the 1960s and 1970s took place in Galway City in an intense manner.  This talk explores the emergence and importance of a new public music scene.

Dr. Karen Dempsey
‘Thinking Green’: plants and people at medieval castles
We know that present day landscapes hold evidence of past people.  But can plants tell us anything further?  Together we will explore what relict plants reveal to us of the ‘green’ lives of medieval people and their castles.

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series 2020

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series, 2020:  Natural and Human Heritages (Vodcasts)

Prof. Mary Cahill (Former Keeper of Irish Antiquities, National Museum of Ireland)
G is for gold, G is for Galway - the story of ancient goldwork in Galway
This lecture will look at what we know of ancient gold-working in County Galway and surrounding area over a period of 2500 years from the Early Bronze Age to the Iron Age. It will also cover the sources for gold, the techniques used by goldsmiths and discuss the cultural significance of gold as a symbol of power and wealth in ancient societies.

Prof. Michael O'Connell
Bog-deal, in Irish giúis: what is it? what does it tell us about past environments?
Bog-deal (giúis) is invariably associated with bogs. Most Irish people are aware of its existence and realise that its presence is of significance but there can be uncertainty as to what precisely bog-deal signifies. In this talk, the rich information on past environments that bog-deal gives us will be discussed.

Úna Kavangah
The Dillon Family of Ahascragh, County Galway: Irish Identities and the Clonbrock Photographic Collection (1860s-1930s)
This lecture explores how the Dillon family of the Clonbrock Estate, Co. Galway, used the medium of photography to articulate their Anglo-Irish identity dating from 1865 to 1910.

Paul Walsh
Back to the future: Renaissance Galway in the mid-seventeenth century
Galway is unique in possessing a large-scale pictorial map of the mid-seventeenth century city. Commonly known as the ‘1651 map of Galway’, this talk will highlight its origins, design and content.

Dr. Karen Molloy
Landscape and environmental history of Galway: prehistoric woodlands to Medieval city
Fossil pollen provides a window on past landscapes. This lecture presents evidence of landscape change in Galway, through the millennia, as revealed by analysis of sediments from within Galway city.    

Dr. Méabh Ní Fhuartháin  
Geneologies of Irish dance in Galway, 1922 to 1992
This talk will trace the genealogies of Irish dance and its teachers in 20th century Galway, from the first decade of the new state until the early 1990s.

Patria McWalter (Archivist, Galway County Council Archives)
Archives, a valuable cultural  resource
Archives are integral to the history of our nation. Patria discusses what archives are, and their value to society, with a particular focus on local authority archives and a glimpse at some of Galway County Council Archives’ treasures.

Dr. Gordon Bromley
Shaped by shock: How abrupt climate change helped mould Galway's LandscapesThe temperate façade of modern-day Galway hides a turbulent history of climatic upheaval and environmental calamity. We explore the events and processes that shaped our landscapes, from shoreline to summit (Lecture cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic).

Dr. Nessa Cronin
Speculative Imaginaries: Rethinking our Relationship to the Natural World
Nessa Cronin brings the Irish experience to bear on the current debate on climate change, focusing on the need for new ways of being in this Age of Extinction (Lecture cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic).

Patrick Larkin (Vice-President of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society)
Some student days from UCG, 1920
A photographic journey illustrating Larkin’s parents’ undergraduate days during the Revolutionary Decade; how they met, their shared experiences, good, bad and momentous during their university years (Lecture cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic).

Axel Leahy
Do we worry about climate change? Understanding climate change perceptions in the North West region of Ireland
A survey was conducted in five communities situated in the North-West of Ireland to explore relationships between climate change perceptions, trust, information/communication, willingness to participate, sense of community, and place attachment (Lecture cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic).

Gavin Duffy
From Medieval Galway map to 3D model - a window into the past
This talk takes place on the 200th anniversary of the first seminal analysis of the 1651 map of Galway published by James Hardiman.  Here we discuss the process of digitizing the map in to an interactive 3d model, and the role the city museum has played in making this 21st century version accessible to a modern audience (Lecture cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic).

or click HERE for the link directly to Vodcasts of the 2020 spring lunchtime lecture programme.

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series 2019

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series 2018

 Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series 2017 (Town Hall Theatre)

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series 2016

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series 2015: Natural and Human Heritages

Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series, 1015: Natural and Human Heritages (Vodcasts)

Dr Brídín Carroll
Locating the Locale of Local Food.
A review of Irish consumers’ varied understandings of ‘local food’, arising from research which recognises the power attributed to localisation to address the ‘grand challenges’ facing the food system.

Dr Michelle Comber
Early Medieval Royalty to Gaelic Nobility - Excavations at Caherconnell Cashel, Co. Clare.
Caherconnell cashel was a high-status dwelling constructed around the 10th century AD, and occupied until the start of the 17th century. This talk explores its story and wider significance.

Dr Frances Fahy & Dr Mary Jo Lavelle
What’s Ireland Consuming?
Household consumption remains somewhat of a black box for policymakers. Focusing on external conditions – the impact of a global recession and economic downturn – we examine consumption activities based on a survey of 1,500 households.

Dr Maura Farrell
Rural Ireland: Moving Forward or Remaining the same.
Rural Ireland has witnessed unprecedented change in recent decades. These changes in contemporary spaces of rurality have resulted in the agricultural community sharing the landscape with a diversity of people, industry and communities.

Joe Fenwick
Repopulating the Archaeological Landscape of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site.
A presentation of the re-emerging traces and places of past human settlement and activity hidden in the shadow of the great prehistoric monuments of the ‘bend of the Boyne’.

Conor Newman
The Sword in the Stone: the Galway Connection
Though usually considered the stuff of kingly legend, the motif of the sword in the stone appears to have some basis in reality. The story begins on the Maree peninsula.