Thursday, 6 October, 2016
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This event takes place on Saturday 15th October 2016

Conference Schedule

10.00 am – 10.30am         Registration & Tea/Coffee

10.30 am – 10.45am        Welcome by Cllr Michael Connolly, Cathaoirleach, Galway County Council

10.45 am -11.30am          “Cumann na mBan - Neither Handmaidens or Camp Followers” by Sinead McCoole

11.30 am -12.15pm          “Sources for the study of revolutionary women: The Women in the Military Service Pensions Collection 1916-1923” by Cécile Gordon

12.15 pm - 12.45pm         “The Mná 2016 Project” by Anne Carey & Áine Ní Shioradáin          

12.45 pm -1.00pm            Questions & Answers

1.00 pm - 2.00pm             Lunch

2.00 pm  -  3.15pm           Aeraíocht

3.15 pm – 3.30pm            Tea/Coffee

3.30 pm – 4.00pm            “Ada English - A revolutionary doctor” by Pat Johnston

4.00 pm – 4.45pm            “Women emerging from the Shadows...? Cumann na mBan in an historical perspective” by Dr Conor McNamara

4.45pm – 5.00pm             Questions and Answers & Concluding Remarks



Mná 2016 - Women’s Stories and Emblems 1916 – 2016

This exhibition tells the story of eight women, with west of Ireland connections - Peg Broderick, Brigid O’Mullane, Eileen Costelloe, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, and Lily and Lolly Yeats - told in panels and a timeline of Irishwomen’s activities.

Clarinbridge Cumann na mBan Exhibition

This exhibition comprises of display panels that seeks to give an insight into Cumann na mBan and some of the local women who were involved in the organisation.


The Aeraíocht which is co-ordinated by Jo Vahey, Executive Librarian, is a presentation and celebration of the cultural traditions of the county in music, song, dance and poetry, with a range of world-class musicians, singers and dancers taking to the stage.


Sinéad McCoole

Sinéad is a Historian, Broadcaster, Scriptwriter and Curator. She is the author of many books on the revolutionary period including No Ordinary Women and Easter Widows. She is a member of the Government's Expert Advisory Group on the Decade of Centenaries. She is currently Historical Advisor to the 2016 National Commemoration Programme and Curator of the Department's travelling exhibition on the role of women. 

Cécile Gordon

Ms Cécile Gordon is an Archivist and has been working on the Military Service Pensions Project in Cathal Brugha Barracks since the beginning of the project in 2008. The MSP Project holds an important place in the centenary commemorations as part of the Government’s plans, along with the opening of a new building for the ever growing archive collections held in the Military Archives.

Cécile has been working as an archivist for more than 10 years and prior to 2008, was managing the archives of the Mid-East region (Wicklow, Kildare and Meath County Councils). She was awarded a Higher Diploma in Archival Studies and a Master’s Degree in Archives and Records Management from University College Dublin. Her areas of interest include the impact of the work of the archivist on the nature and use of primary sources and the connection between archives, nationalism, identity, commemoration and collective memory. She has published various articles in specialised publications such as History IrelandIrish Archives, the Irish Labour History Society’s Soathar and has given numerous talks about the Project and the Collection in Ireland and abroad.

Mná 2016

This project started out when members of a reading group began reading women's histories in 2015 realising that the 2016 commemorations were eminent. It became clear very quickly that there were many stories about women of 1916 that had been untold. The group then decided to bring the names of some of these women into the public domain. Mná 2016 was anxious to portray the lives of all types of women and to put their lives, vision and activities into the context of women's lives today. Mná 2016 is a year-long initiative and seeks to honour the voices of women in 1916 and to create interest and engagement with their vision by women in Ireland today. Aine Carey and Áine Ní Shioradáin are two members of the Mná 2016 group.

Anne Carey

Anne Carey is an archaeologist with a particular interest in Medieval History. She hails from Ballygar, Co. Galway and lives in Galway city.

Áine Ní Shioradáin

Áine is from Milltown , Co.  Galway and has a particular interest in the music, folklore and Gaelic language of this part of the county. 

Both Áine and Anne have been involved in delivering a heritage programme to Primary School Children in Galway City for the last few years.   

Pat Johnston

Pat Johnston taught History at Garbally College, Ballinasloe and is now retired. As a member of St. Brigid’s Hospital Heritage Group she has worked towards keeping alive the history of the psychiatric hospital and its community. Her play,For a Little Lonely While, is an exploration of the life and work of Dr. Ada English.

Dr Conor McNamara

Dr Conor McNamara teaches the history of the Irish Revolution in NUI Galway and is the author of numerous books and articles on the Irish revolution. He was formerly an archivist in the Manuscripts Department of the National Library of Ireland and has written extensively about the social history of the Independence struggle. His most recent book was, The Easter Rebellion 1916: A New Illustrated History and his study of the independence struggle in the west of Ireland will be published in 2017.


Pre-booking is essential, as places are limited, so please RSVP your attendance to:

Gráinne Smyth, Forward Planning, Galway County Council. Phone 091 509121 or email 

Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer, Galway County Council. Phone 091 509198 or email

Marian Donohue, Forward Planning, Galway County Council. Phone 091 509165 or email