The ‘Gathering the Scattering’ festival takes place in Ennis, Co Clare, next week (2-6 April, 2013) and will feature tours, lectures, book launches and film screenings. The five-day series of events, which is being hosted by the Clare Roots Society, will culminate on Saturday, 6 April with an International Family History Conference featuring contributions from genealogical experts.
Speakers include Michael Gandy, Editor of The Genealogist’s Magazine; Irish and UK Workhouse expert Peter Higginbotham; Catriona Crowe, Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland; and Steven and Kit Smyrl, RTE’s Dead Money.
Meanwhile, Fiona Fitzsimons, Director of Eneclann will present a talk on pre 18th Century genealogy sources; while and Eileen O Dúill of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland will explore the tracing of American relatives.
According to Conference Secretary, Clara Hoyne: “Anyone who has Irish blood, a link to Ireland or even just a love of our country is invited to join us in Clare on Saturday 6 April 2013 for our Genealogy Conference, 'Gathering the Scattering’. This conference will take place at the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis and will be preceded by a week of genealogy-based talks and events including a tour of the Clare Local Studies Library, Ennis town walk, a tour of Ennis Friary and two evening lectures, one on traditional Irish music by Kilfenora Ceili Band member Tim Collins and another on Irish soldiers in the British Army by Army Historian Liam Curran.”
‘Gathering the Scattering' will also afford members of the public the opportunity to hold personal meetings with Genealogists who will be equipped with Army records and American records. The ‘Meet the Genealogist’ sessions take place on April 5th from 4 to 7pm in the Temple Gate Hotel.
The Festival will also feature two film screenings in the Banner Suite of the Old Ground Hotel on Tuesday 3rd April at 7pm. A Room in Air was filmed in the Auxiliary workhouse in Ballyvaughan in 2012. The film by Frank Golden, which runs for 22 minutes, explores the way in which the famine proved to be a psychic and emotional fault line for Ireland and its people. The second film, The Poorhouse, a film made by Frank Stapleton and screened on RTE in 1996 runs for 30 minutes and is an evocation of the Famine period in a Cavan workhouse.
Meanwhile, Eric Shaw of the Clare Roots Society will launch his new book, ‘Memorials of Past Lives – the stories behind the wall- memorials in St Columba’s Church of Ireland in Ennis’ on Thursday 4th April at 7.30 p.m.