TITLE - U3A walk in Monkstown
Leader - Séamus Cannon

Sun, 19/05/2024

15:00 - 16:30 

Séamus Cannon will lead a 90 minute walk in Victorian Monkstown. Meet at the Ring (centre of village opposite Church of Ireland). Numbers limited to 30. Names for this outing will be taken after his talk on 14 May.


TITLE - Did you notice?
Leader - Séamus Cannon

Tue, 14/05/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Does your house have a boot scraper, fancy fascias, jostle stones (as you know they are always in pairs!), a Victorian bellpull? What is a benchmark and why is it important? What does your streetname tell you about its history? What about the decorative masonry and ironwork in our neighbourhood? How would you know who made the iron railings? Seamus Cannon will focus attention on what is hidden in plain sight in our immediate neighbourhood and encourage you to see it in a new light. Dr. Séamus Cannon is an educator who, in retirement indulges his interests in James Joyce, Local History and furniture making. He is fascinated by the overlooked detail in our built environment and writes a monthly column for the Monkstown Voice on the topic. He is the author, with Carole Cullen, of Monkstown, a Victorian Village and of ‘You’d be filled with Wonder’, the Story of Dun Laoghaire Harbour.


TITLE - Tour of Eileen Gray Exhibition at National Musuem of Ireland - Collin's Barracks
Leader -

Tue, 07/05/2024

11:00 - 13:00 

There will be two guided groups of 20, one at 10.30 and one at 11.30. Cost €5. Names and €5 (cash only) for this outing, will be taken this Tuesday 30 April - some places left.


TITLE - Seizo Sugawara, Eileen Gray’s enduring collaborator
Leader - Ruth Starr

Tue, 30/04/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

This presentation will consider the influence of the Japanese sculptor and lacquer specialist, Seizo Sugawara (1884 – 1937) on Eileen Gray (1878 – 1976) in the context of the pervasiveness of Japonisme. Gray is best known for her pioneering work in early modernist architecture. Less well known is her acclaimed earlier career as a lacquer furniture designer. The presentation reveals Gray’s fine appreciation of the unique characteristics of Japanese lacquer. Ruth is a historian of Japanese art (including Japanese crafts) from the earliest times to the 20th century. Starr’s current research seeks to untangle the web of connections linking Japanese art and European art, following the common thread of lacquerware. Her major interest is how these links were manifest in Ireland during the Japonisme movement of the late 19th Century, particularly the Japanese influence on Eileen Gray, (1878- 1976); also Japonisme in 19th and 20th century Ireland and lacquerware in Japan and Europe.


TITLE - My Scientific Journey from Basic Research to Clinical Trials for Parkinson’s Disease and Heart Disea
Leader - Luke O'Neill

Tue, 16/04/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Luke O’Neill holds the Chair of Biochemistry in Trinity College Dublin. He is an immunologist, who has published prolifically in many scientific journals and has received numerous awards for his research. He has also founded companies which are developing new anti-inflammatory medicines. A regular contributor to radio and television programmes, he is well known for his enthusiasm and for making science interesting and accessible to lay people. He was a beacon of hope to many of us during the recent Covid pandemic. He has also published a number of best selling popular science books. Be prepared for an entertaining talk on his scientific career.


TITLE - The Beatles
Leader - William Hennigan

Tue, 09/04/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

This talk will cover the Beatles journey from their youth to the final days of the band. Along the way I will play excerpts from songs that were influential in their lives as Beatles. William is a retired Chartered Accountant having worked much of his life in financial services. He has lots of interests including choral singing, piano, golf, walking and reading. He has had a lifelong interest in the music of the Beatles.


TITLE - Beauty in Art
Leader - Jean Ryan

Tue, 19/03/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Jean Ryan is an art historian who is interested in creativity in the visual arts, it directs her focus of research into various artists and their practice. She uses this information in her gallery talks to introduce people to the work practice, the imagination, the area of interest, the relevant art theory that relates to the artist in question. In her talk Jean will explore these ideas as such what is beauty? why is beauty an important focus for artists? how is it expressed visually? and what happens when it is not there? She will see what conclusions can be come to about the emphasis of beauty in western art history.


TITLE - Power and Lordship in Norman Ireland
Leader - Linda Doran

Tue, 05/03/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

This talk will look at the Normans in Ireland, particularly in the south-east where Norman settlement is strongest and the evidence lordship is clearest. We will consider who the Normans were and how their adventure in Ireland fits the pattern of their activities elsewhere. The Normans in Ireland adopted and changed to the circumstances they encountered, and in doing so left an indelible mark on the Irish economy, religious institutions and landscape. In this talk we will follow them on that adventure. Linda Doran is a graduate of University College Dublin where she completed her PhD in 2001. She carried out a study of medieval settlement along the valleys of the Barrow, Nore and Suir rivers (2002-2004) funded by the Heritage Council of Ireland. She has published numerous papers on settlement and communication routes, is editor of the New Ross section of the Royal Irish Academy’s Irish Historic Towns Atlas and has edited books on medieval lordship (2008) and Glendalough: City Of God (2011). She is a former honorary general secretary of Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland and is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. She lectures in medieval history in University College Dublin.


TITLE - Visit to Yeats and Heaney Exhibitions
Leader -

Tue, 27/02/2024

10:00 - 12:30 

Both exhibitions and productions of the National Library of Ireland. Yeats: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats is located at the Nli, Kildare Street. Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again is located in Bank of Ireland Cultural &Heritage Centre Westmoreland St/College Green. The visit to Nli will include a short talk about its architecture and the work carried out there. It will also include a brief introduction to the Yeats Exhibition. A small number of places are still available. Further details will be provided at our meeting on 20th February 2024.


TITLE - From bogs to dunes: charting a course for restoration in Ireland
Leader - Catherine Farrell

Tue, 20/02/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Restoration is a key tool to help our natural systems recover. In this presentation, Catherine will outline her own experiences of peatland conservation and restoration since the mid 1990s, illustrating how peatlands have come to centre stage in the discussions on climate change. Dune systems are also important and yet there is no consistent planning evident around coastal sites and how we use or protect them. Catherine will outline the work of LIFE on Machair, an EU funded project to help raise awareness about machair and dune systems and support their restoration. She will highlight lessons to be learned for future restoration plans developed under the pending Nature Restoration Law. Catherine Farrel graduated from University College Dublin with a BSc in Environmental Biology. Following her keen interest in restoration ecology, her PhD research focused on vegetation ecology and practical measures to restore industrial cutaway Atlantic blanket bog in the west of Ireland. Since then she has worked across a number of sites and developed approaches to coastal restoration. She is a founding member of Natural Capital Ireland and an active member of a number of community led projects and restoration initiatives.


TITLE - Chadō or The Way of Tea in Japanese Political & Diplomatic History’
Leader - Declan Downey

Tue, 06/02/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

The Onin Wars – a period of civil warfare in late medieval and early modern Japan – were eventually resolved, not so much by military action, as by a reunification movement inspired by the philosophy of Chadō / The Way of Tea. This presentation will explore this fascinating dimension in the process of the reunification of Japan from c.1540 to 1600, and the emergence of the Urasenke School of Tea, and the role of its Grand Tea Masters, hereditary in the Sen family of Kyotō, in the subsequent political and diplomatic culture of Japan. Declan was awarded the Ph.D. degree in Legal & Diplomatic History from the University of Cambridge in 1993. Since 1995, he has been lecturing in European and Japanese Diplomatic History at University College Dublin, where he directs the BCL degree programme in Law with History. In 1995, he initiated the first ever Japanese History course at degree level in Ireland at UCD. He also supervised the first ever doctoral dissertation in Japanese Studies in Ireland. A former trustee of Chester Beatty Library (2012-’17), he is closely involved with Japanese cultural and academic events in Ireland. Also, he is a founding member of the Centre for Japanese Studies at UCD. In 2009, he was the first Irish citizen to be elected to membership of the Spanish Royal Academy of History (fd.1733). Since 2018, he is an Assessor for the Publications Board of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna. His extensive publications and leading role in major international research projects have been recognised with international distinctions and awards, including Austrian, Spanish and Japanese state honours, and the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2020. In Autumn 2022, Dr. Downey was the first Irish academic to be awarded the prestigious Gaimushō Visiting Scholarship, which he took up at the University of Tokyo & the University of Kyoto, during his semestral research leave from UCD last Spring. Currently, he is working on two books, a biography of the post-war Japanese statesman, Yoshida Shigeru, and a study of the Irish émigré nobility in Spain, Flanders and Austria.


TITLE - Charles Haughey
Leader - Gary Murphy

Tue, 23/01/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Charles Haughey was perhaps the most talented and influential politician of his generation. His presence still looms large over Irish politics, yet the very roots of his success – his charisma, his intelligence, his ruthlessness, his secrecy – have rendered almost impossible any objective evaluation of his life and work. In late 2021 Gary Murphy published a widely acclaimed biography of Haughey. Based on exclusive access to the Haughey archives and interviews with dozens of Haughey's contemporaries, it offered a major reassessment of one of Ireland’s most significant and controversial politicians and a view of a man of prodigious gifts, who, for all his flaws and many contradictions, came to define modern Ireland. In this talk Gary Murphy will explore and reassess Haughey's role at heart of Irish political life for over three and a half decade and examine his controversial legacy. Gary Murphy is Professor of Politics at Dublin City University. He has published extensively on the politics of modern Ireland and is ar egular contributor to the print and broadcast media. His biography of Charles Haughey, published by Gill Books in late 2021 was widely acclaimed and was selected as a book of the year by the Irish Times, Sunday Independent, Sunday Business Post, Mail on Sunday, and Irish Examiner.


TITLE - John Hinde and his Picture Postcards of South Dublin
Leader - James Scannell

Tue, 09/01/2024

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

John Hinde is considered the leading innovator in the development of modern colour picture postcards and this presentation by James Scannell will trace the history of the picture postcard and concentrate on the work of John Hinde. Hinde revolutionised the development of the colour picture postcard in the late 1950s/early 1960s by using the latest developments in colour printing technology coupled with careful attention to image detail and content. The talk will include a selection of John Hinde postcard views of South County Dublin. James Scannell holds a Dublin City Libraries Certificate in Local History and Diploma in Local History Studies (NUIM) and is a Fellow of the Genealogical Society of Ireland. He is currently Hon. President of The Old Dublin Society and a recipient of the Old Dublin Society Medal. James is a regular presenter of talks to local history societies and community groups and a regular contributor to local history publications and since 1992 has compiled a weekly ‘Event Diary of Local History Society meetings’ which is currently broadcast on Dublin City FM and Phoenix FM radio stations. He is also the Hon. Irish Correspondent for the British Association for Local History.


TITLE - Christmas Lunch at Killiney Golf Club
Leader -

Wed, 06/12/2023

12:30 - 14:30 

Three course lunch €40. Payment will be accepted at meetings on 31 October and 14th November. Lunch will be served at 1pm with pre-lunch drink at 12:30.


TITLE - Guided tour Museum of Literature Ireland
Leader -

Tue, 28/11/2023

11:00 - 13:00 

Discover Ireland’s rich literary heritage from past to present here in the historic UCD Newman House on St Stephen’s Green in the heart of Dublin. Experience immersive exhibitions, view treasures from the National Library of Ireland, or relax amid the birdsong in the tranquil gardens and café. MoLI is a partnership between University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. The tour will cost €10 which will be collected at our meeting of 31st October.


TITLE - ARDNACRUSHA: THE SHANNON SCHEME 1923 – 1929 - 2023
Leader - Michael Hanly

Tue, 14/11/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Having qualified as an Electrical Engineer at UCD in 1971, Michael joined ESB and worked as a design, construction and commissioning engineer on high voltage networks and in Generating Stations He served on the Board of the Electro-Technical Council of Ireland (ETCI) for over 20 years and was its Chairman from 2010 – 2012 inclusive. ARNACRUSHA was the first major project undertaken by the ‘IRISH FREE STATE’ to acquire ECONOMIC FREEDOM. The proposal, made by Thomas McLaughlin a young Engineer from Drogheda, was to harness the River Shannon (average flow rate was 180 tonnes/second at Killaloe). This involved building a weir at Parteen, a 12.6 km Canal (Head Race) to the PowerStation at Ardnacrusha and then a 2.4km Canal (Tail Race) downstream, back to the Shannon. To distribute the output 281km of 110kV networks to Dublin and Cork and 660km of 38kV networks, in 4 loops to supply towns and villages, were also built. The projected cost was £5.2 million which equated to 20% of Annual Government Income in 1925. The project was undertaken by the German Firm ‘Siemens Schuckert’ between1925 to 1929 and employed 5,000 workers.


TITLE - After The Ball Was Over.
Leader - Frank Tracy

Tue, 31/10/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

For over 700 years Ireland was governed by a class of people generally referred to as "The Anglo-Irish Ascendency" who were renowned for their vast wealth and extravagant lifestyle. Who were these people? Where did they come from? How did their dominance of Ireland come to an end? This illustrated talk tells the story of the " Anglo-Irish Ascendency", their rise, their fall, and where they are now. Frank Tracy is a retired public servant with a lifelong interest in hillwalking and a particular interest in Irish history. In addition to giving talks on various Irish historical topics, Frank also leads groups on historically related walks.


TITLE - T. K. Whittaker
Leader - Anne Chambers

Tue, 17/10/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

T. K. Whittaker is widely regarded as the architect of modern Ireland, having played a hugely influential role in the economic, social and cultural evolution of the state. Anne will discuss the extraordinary extent and diversity of his work on behalf of the Irish state and his relationship with Irish and international political figures. Anne Chambers is author of ten biographies, including the best-selling Grace O’Malley – The Biography of Ireland’s Pirate Queen 1530-1603, an historical novel, short stories and screenplays. Her latest biography published in 2022, entitled FROM RAKE TO RADICAL: An Irish Abolitionist 1788-1845 documents the remarkable life story of Howe Peter Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo from Westport House. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been the subject of TV and Radio documentaries for Discovery, The Learning Channel, Travel Channel, ABC Australia, BBC, BBC World Service, RTE, TG4 and Lyric FM. She was short-listed for the Irish Book Awards in 1988 for Eleanor Countess of Desmond; in 2014 for TK Whitaker: Portrait of a Patriot and for the Hennessey Literary Awards in 2004 for her short stories. In 2018 she was awarded the Wild Atlantic Way Words Festival Hall of Fame Award in recognition of her contribution to Irish literature. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Ireland.


TITLE - Tour of Dublin Custom House
Leader -

Tue, 10/10/2023

10:30 - 12:30 

The Dublin Custom House is an architectural icon standing on the Liffey quays, which were once Ireland’s major trade route to the wider world. The architect James Gandon completed the building, a masterpiece of European neoclassicism, in 1791. The decorative detail of Edward Smyth's beautifully executed stonework carvings on the exterior and the famous carved keystones depicting the 14 terrible heads of the river gods– one for every major river of Ireland – are particularly worthy of admiration. The Custom House witnessed not only the development of a great city, but also some of the most turbulent milestones in its history. The building was destroyed by burning in 1921 and later restored to its former splendour. The stories of the building, burning and restoration of Dublin’s Custom House are now brought to life in a new and fascinating exhibition, revealing a rich, many-layered story that spans over 200 years. A tour of the Custom House will take place on10th October at 10:30am. More details will be provided closer to the date. The cost is €5 cash which will be collected at the meeting previous to the outing.


TITLE - The Zen Koans – Who and what am I?
Leader - Garry Bannister

Tue, 03/10/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Garry Bannister, born in Sligo in 1953, has been interested in Buddhism for over forty years. He has also been very active in promoting the Irish language and has many books to his name. He brought out the first bi-lingual book on Zen Koans, ‘A Path Home, - Conair Siar’ where he unlocks some of the most profound mysteries of this great wisdom literature. Garry claims that the Koan tales reveal fundamental truths we all know but have forgotten in the confusion of our lives. Having worked for many years as an Irish teacher, he has also lectured at St Patrick’s College on early twentieth century Irish literature. He worked as an advisor on Alan Titley’s translation of ‘Cré Na Cille’ and with Dr David Sowby, he produced what is still considered to be the definitive English translation of Tomás Ó Criomhthain’s ‘An tOileánach’ Zen Koans appear, at first, to be seemingly nonsensical tales that may make us laugh or even shock our sense of what is rational but according to Garry Bannister, they are far more than merely amusingly bizarre anecdotes. Statements like: ‘Show me your original face before your parents were born!’ are pointing us to a ‘truth that is hidden in plain sight’ for all to see, yet surprisingly few ever do. This will be an exciting talk which may very well inspire you to reexamine long-established and conventional views about life and who we really are. For those of you who are interested in Zen, but more especially, for those who know nothing about classical Zen Koans - this talk is simply a must for your October calendar!


TITLE - Dublin and its maps.
Leader - Joe Brady

Tue, 19/09/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Maps are more than the means of finding your way to a particular place, they are a very efficient way of storing and communicating information. A recent project has looked at the history of the development of Dublin as revealed in the maps of the city produced since they first appeared in 1611. This lecture will focus on a number of lesser known maps of the city and discuss what they tell us about the times in which they were created. Joe Brady is an urban geographer who has been studying and writing about the development of the city of Dublin for many years. He is the editor of the long-established series - The Making of Dublin City (www.historydublin.com). His most recent book is Dublin - Mapping the City (2023).


TITLE - How Ireland Won the Battle of Brexit
Leader - Stephen Collins

Tue, 05/09/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Stephen will focus on Brexit for the talk but will leave plenty of time for questions about Brexit or any other issues that people want to raise. Stephen Collins is a political columnist with the Irish Times and was previously political editor of the newspaper for over a decade. He was educated at Oatlands College and UCD where he graduated with an MA in Politics. He has written a number of books about Irish political history, the most recent being ‘Ireland’s Call: Navigating Brexit’. Earlier books include ‘The Power Game: Ireland Under Fianna Fail’ and ‘Saving the State: Fine Gael from Collins to Varadkar’ which he jointly wrote with historian Ciara Meehan. He lives in Dublin.


TITLE - End of Season Lunch
Leader -

Tue, 30/05/2023

12:30 - 14:30  Royal Irish Yacht Club

Then end of season lunch will take place in the Royal Irish Yacht Club (https://www.riyc.ie/). The meal will cost €40 per person and can be paid using Cash, Cheque and Card at the meetings on 18 April and 02 May. Numbers are limited for this event.


TITLE - Annual General Meeting
Leader -

Tue, 16/05/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Membership Fees for May 2023-May2024 will be accepted at the meeting (Cash, Cheque and Card) fees can also be paid at the meetings in September.


TITLE - Wills, Inheritance Tax and Enduring Powers of Attorney
Leader - Eleanor Lindsay

Tue, 02/05/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Eleanor Lindsay is a Partner in Stephenson Burns Solicitors. She specialises in estate planning, the administration of estates, probate litigation and conveyancing. She has lectured for Stephenson Burns Probate Seminars, the Massey Bros lecture series "Courageous Conversations" and in relation to estate planning in the context of preparing for retirement. She is a member of STEP and Solicitors for the Elderly. Eleanor will talk about Wills, Inheritance Tax and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA). We will discuss why you should make a Will or EPA, what happens if you don't, what your solicitor will need from you and why they need it.


TITLE - Chester Beatty the man and his collection.
Leader - Diana Delia

Tue, 18/04/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Dr. Diana Delia, will present an illustrated talk about the colourful life of Chester Beatty, the American mining engineer popularly dubbed “the King of Copper” and first honorary citizen of Ireland. Beatty collected fine European, Islamic, African and Asian books, prints, and works of art that form the basis of the lifetime collection donated to the Irish people after his death. Highlights of the collection will also be discussed. Diana was a professor of Ancient History and Classical Languages at American universities before retiring to Ireland. Her research focused on the social and intellectual history of the ancient world, particularly life in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. For many years she has volunteered as a tour guide at the Chester Beatty and at the Pavilion theatre, so hers may well be a familiar face to many of you.


TITLE - Bees Wasps and Honey Bees- what they do for us.
Leader - Jim Ryan

Tue, 04/04/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Jim Ryan is a native of Thurles Co Tipperary where he lived for much of his life. He was educated locally and at UCD. He began beekeeping over forty years ago and went through the education system of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association. He qualified as a lecturer in 1989. He has lectured throughout the country and also in England and Scotland. For eleven years he was Editor of An Beachaire the Irish Beekeeping Journal. He currently keeps bees in Dublin and Tipperary. The talk will look at some of the more common and familiar insects we share the planet with. We will look at their lifestyle. their importance to us and the world at large. We will look at some small changes we can make in our gardens to help them survive.


TITLE - The Black & Tans', 1920-1921, A Short History & Genealogical Guide
Leader - Jim Herlihy

Tue, 21/03/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

The illustrated talk will include Jim's unique reasons for his life-long interest in Irish policemen; The origin of the Black & Tans; previous occupations and military service; recruitment and enlistment procedure; uniforms and training; critics and famous Black and Tan descendants. Jim Herlihy, a retired member of the Garda Síochána, an Irish police historian and a co-founder of the Garda Síochána Historical Society. His many publications include The Black and Tans, 1920-1921, a complete alphabetical list, short history and genealogical guide (2021); The Irish Revenue Police: a a short history and genealogical guide, 1832–1857 (2018); The Royal Irish Constabulary: a short history and genealogical guide (2016); The Royal Irish Constabulary officers: a biographical dictionary and genealogical guide, 1816–1922 (2005); The Dublin Metropolitan Police: a biographical dictionary and genealogical guide, 1836–1925 (2001).


TITLE - A Fading Light: the Challenge to Belief in Late Victorianism
Leader - Brian Cosgrove

Tue, 07/03/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

The lecture consists primarily of a close analysis of two late nineteenth-century poems: a sonnet by Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur” (1877), and a comparatively short poem by Hardy, “The Darkling Thrush” (1900). Hopkins, a convert to Catholicism, celebrates the beauty and “livingness” of a Nature which reveals its divine creator, while Hardy’s more sceptical poem, appropriately set at twilight, explores in a darkening landscape an ambiguous or even dubious promise of hope. Brian Cosgrove was born in Newry, Co. Down, and studied English as an undergraduate at Queen’s University, Belfast. He completed his postgraduate thesis while attending Balliol College, Oxford. He subsequently lectured in English at UCD for twenty-five years, before taking up the position of Professor of English and Head of Department at NUI Maynooth. He is the author of numerous articles and two books on major authors, William Wordsworth (1982) and James Joyce (2007).


TITLE - The Irish Civil War: a centenary assessment.
Leader - Michael Laffan

Tue, 21/02/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Michael Laffan was educated in UCD, Cambridge, and Mainz, in Germany. He lectured in UCD for thirty-four years and is now an emeritus professor. He has served as president of the Irish Historical Society. He is the author of numerous works on twentieth century Irish history, in particular The Partition of Ireland, 1911-1925; The Resurrection of Ireland: the Sinn Féin Party 1916-1923; and Judging W. T. Cosgrave. He has lectured widely throughout Ireland and across the globe, and he has featured in numerous radio and TV programmes. The Irish Civil War was long a subject of embarrassment in Ireland (was it ‘Much Ado about Nothing?, a conflict about ’the wrong question’?), and the first serious study (by an Englishman living in Scotland) appeared only in 1988. Since then numerous documentary sources have become available, and an extensive literature has widened and deepened our understanding of the war and its context. The lecture will examine the causes of the conflict, and will pay particular attention to civil-military relations.


TITLE - Testing times; development in Clinical Diagnostics.
Leader - Cormac G. Kilty

Tue, 07/02/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Developments in scanning technologies, immunology and genetic testing have given us fantastic new tools for early detection of disease and susceptibility, guiding specific personalised treatments and increasing survival rates. This growing field can also help improve our day to day living. Dr. Kilty is a Biotech Entrepreneur( EY 2004) retired from executive functions but on the board of a number of medical startups. He has been involved in the foundation number of biotechnology companies in Ireland.Dr. Kilty holds a PhD in Zoology/Biochemistry from University College Dublin. He carried out post doctoral research in protein chemistry and immunology at the University of Texas, Austin and UCD. In 1986 he was Director of R&D at Baxter Diagnostics, Europe. He was voted one of the top 100 influential Ireland-US business leaders by 'Business and Finance' in 2007 and 2008 and was awarded the U.S.-Ireland Biolink award for contribution to Irish Life Sciences in 2007. He is a board member of the Irish Cancer Society and Chair of its Research Committee . He was awarded an Honorary D.Sc from UCD in 2011. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Medicinal Chemistry at UCD.


TITLE - Why we shouldn't feed the deer in Phoenix Park (or anywhere else)
Leader - Simone Ciuti

Tue, 24/01/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Simone Ciuti is assistant professor of wildlife biology at UCD and is leader of the Laboratory of Wildlife Ecology and Behaviour, a vibrant team with postgraduate students conducting research in Ireland and abroad. Simone has taken the position in Ireland after working on several international wildlife projects in Canada, USA, Germany, and Italy, where he is originally from. He is particularly interested in the behaviour of wildlife within human dominated landscapes, and he has been carrying research aimed at alleviating human-wildlife conflicts. In his talk Simone will address a question which is becoming ever more relevant to many people, i.e. Should we feed deer in the Phoenix Park? The same question would apply to seagulls, seals, foxes, and even the birds that visit our gardens. In this talk he will use the Phoenix Park deer as an example to explain why we should not feed wildlife, what the consequences of doing so are, and how we can alleviate the human-wildlife conflicts in urban areas.


TITLE - Making sense of Dublin's medieval castles
Leader - Tadhg O'Keeffe

Tue, 10/01/2023

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Prof. Tadhg O'Keeffe is Full Professor of Archaeology in UCD, where he has taught since 1996. His main expertise is in the archaeology of the Middle Ages, with particular reference to architecture. His most recent published book is Ireland Encastellated, AD 950–1550, Insular Castle-Building in its European Context (2021). He has just completed a new book, Romanesque Beyond Empire: Ireland and the Narrative of European Architectural History.


TITLE - Christmas Lunch
Leader -

Tue, 29/11/2022

12:30 - 15:00 

Chrismas Lunch at Killiney Golf Club Three courses plus tea / coffee and a welcome drink €35.00


TITLE - Jane Austen and her Men
Leader - Conor McCarthy

Tue, 15/11/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

This talk will focus on male characters in some of Austen's novels - their personalities, types and functions. Austen wrote chiefly about clever women in a society chiefly run by men. Her male characters embody and dramatise important value systems and even political attitudes, as well as romantic and marital prospects. Austen's brilliance lay in her capacity to reconcile the romance form with multiple other ideas and histories. Conor McCarthy teaches English literature and intellectual history at Maynooth. He is the author of Modernisation, Crisis and Culture in Ireland 1969-1992 amongst other academic works. He is a founding member of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign.


TITLE - Did you notice?
Leader - Séamus Cannon

Tue, 01/11/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Does your house have a boot scraper, jostle stones (as you know they come in pairs!), a benchmark, polygonal masonry (or just plain old ashlar), cast iron railings, an interesting old name? If not in your house, there are many examples in Monkstown but you probably don’t notice them. In fact even if you have an example, you many not have noticed it! This illustrated lecture will introduce you to interesting details of the built environment hidden in plain sight and which tell an interesting story. Séamus Cannon is a Monkstown resident with an interest in local history. He writes a monthly article for the Monkstown Voice and this lecture will elaborate on some of the topics covered in his articles


TITLE - Health and Wellness Throughout Life.
Leader - Denise Comerford

Tue, 18/10/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Denise Comerford trained as a nurse in St Vincent’s University Hospital and, after completing her midwifery and psychiatry, she headed to USA. While there she specialised as a cardiac nurse and this opportunity was to bring her back to her Alma Mater. After a number of years, she joined the staff of the Irish Heart Foundation where she worked until she had her family. This experience set her up to return to St Vincent’s where she headed up the Health Promotion function of the Hospital. St Vincent’s joined the World Health Orgainisation of Health Promoting Hospitals and throughout her career, Denise represented her Hospital and Ireland at the Annual International Health Promoting Hospital Conference. Denise was a founding member and president of the Nurse’s Cardiovascular association. She is still as enthusiastic about health and wellness as when she started her career and is delighted to share her expertise generously.


TITLE - Gamma-Ray Astronomy - A New Window on the Universe
Leader - John Quinn

Tue, 04/10/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

The development of gamma-ray telescopes has opened a new window on the Universe, through which normal stars are invisible and instead we see radiation produced in the environments of supernova remnants, neutron stars and black holes. A fraction of galaxies have also been found to emit powerful jets of radiation, believed ultimately to be powered by accretion onto supermassive black holes at their centres; such galaxies that happen to have their jets oriented towards the Earth dominate the extra galactic gamma-ray sky. In this talk John Quinn will give an overview of how gamma-ray telescopes work, in particular, ground-based telescopes such as VERITAS which Ireland played a major role in developing, and will discuss some of the key scientific results that have been achieved. John Quinn is an Associate Professor in the UCD School of Physics. He is the current spokesperson for the VERITAS Collaboration.


TITLE - Visit to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
Leader -

Tue, 20/09/2022

10:30 - 12:30 

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum Voted "Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction" at the 2019, 2020 and 2021 World Travel Awards. An experience like no other EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, located in Dublin's Docklands, covers the history of the Irish diaspora and emigration to other countries. Forget dusty archives and ancient artefacts. EPIC is unlike any museum you’ve ever experienced before – it’s a fully interactive experience. You will uncover the dramatic and inspiring stories of the Irish people who travelled the world, reliving some of their greatest achievements in music, literature, sport, politics, fashion, science and more. From the celebrated to the unsung, these stories speak of a shared character; of creativity and strength, audacity and ingenuity, resilience and brilliance and offer a unique lens through which this nation can be fully understood. Get under the skin of what it really means to be Irish Our language, our literature, our art, our music, our dancing, our sense of humour, our compassion, our politics – what makes us Irish? Explore Irish culture through the lens of emigration and discover what it really means to be Irish. Getting to EPIC - directions and transport options are provided at https://epicchq.com/visit/location/


TITLE - Murder, Mutiny and the Muglins
Leader - Des Burke-Kennedy

Tue, 06/09/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Des is a Dalkey resident with a strong interest in local history. He graduated from TCD in Business, Russian and Philosophy from where he went on to have a varied and successful career as an accountant, as a director in the IDA and several companies. As he puts it himself, he also has a fun part to his career being intimately involved with the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, Red Arrow Racing, Golden Falls Waterski Club and the IWWF World Cup Series, from whom he received a lifetime achievement award in 2021. He recently published a book entitled “Murder, Mutiny and the Muglins - A True 18th Century Saga Off Ireland’s Coast”. Des previously gave us a fascinating talk about the Eire sign in Dalkey


TITLE - Clouds, Blue Mountains and Black Bogs: Paul Henry's Ireland
Leader - Roisin Kennedy

Tue, 17/05/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Paul Henry is one of the best known Irish artists of all time. His images of the Irish landscape were familiar to wide swathes of the population in Ireland and to the Irish diaspora and tourists overseas throughout much of the twentieth century. They remain central to the visual identity of Ireland. Tracing Henry's development as an artist in Belfast, Paris, London, Achill and Dublin, Roisin Kennedy lecture explores why his paintings became so widely known and admired in post-independence Ireland. Roisin Kennedy lectures in the School of Art History and Cultural Policy at UCD. She is the former Yeats Curator a the National Gallery of Ireland and of the State Collections at Dublin Castle. She is co-editor of "Censoring Art. Silencing the Artwork" and "Harry Clarke and Artistic Visions of the New Irish State"


TITLE - Annual General Meeting
Leader -

Tue, 03/05/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre


TITLE - Cyber Scams: A modern version of an old crime
Leader - Joe Carthy

Tue, 19/04/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

This talk will describe the problem of cyber scams and give some tips on how to avoid them. Joe Carthy is a professor of Computer Science at UCD. He was Dean of Science for 10 years until 2021. He was the founding Director of the UCD Centre for Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Investigation which has established strong links with Europol, Interpol, UNODC, and the Irish Banking Federation. Professor Carthy has a strong record in winning funding for research. He has also supervised/co-supervised 14 PhD and 19 MSc Research students to completion. He leads the UCD in the Community initiative which mobilises UCD staff and students in volunteering activities in communities in Ireland and internationally.


TITLE - Enjoying the garden
Leader - Mary Forrest

Tue, 12/04/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

There is always work to be done in a garden. But what can be done in April and May so as to make the garden a more enjoyable place over the summer and autumn months. This talk addresses just that with suggestions for ornamental trees and shrubs, labour saving herbaceous plants and bedding plants and vegetables for the dinner table. For Mary Forrest gardening has been her hobby and horticulture her occupation for many years. Mary studied amenity horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin and commercial horticulture in University College Dublin. On graduation she was appointed Heritage Gardens Fellow with An Taisce – preparing an inventory of trees and shrubs in private and public gardens in Ireland. This was followed by three years as Horticultural Supervisor at Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal. Both these posts set her in good stead as a lecturer in horticulture in UCD where Mary worked from 1986 until her retirement in 2020. Over the years she completed part-time an M.Sc in environmental sciences with TCD, a Ph.D in cut foliage studies with UCD and more recently an MA in Carmelite Studies with York St John University. Mary is long involved with the Irish Garden Plant Society having been foundation secretary in 1981 and now the current chair.


TITLE - Ireland's Garden Birds
Leader - Niall Hatch

Tue, 08/03/2022

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Niall Hatch of BirdWatch Ireland will explain how to recognise Ireland's most common garden birds, how to feed them, what plants they like and how to provide nesting boxes for them. Suitable for all; no prior knowledge of birds is required. Niall is the Public Relations, Branches and Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland's largest and most active wildlife conservation charity, where he heads up the organisation's membership recruitment, fundraising, education and communications work. He also edits Wings, BirdWatch Ireland's quarterly magazine. A keen birdwatcher since early childhood, he is a frequent contributor to radio and television programmes and writes scripts for radio and television wildlife documentaries. This is an opportunity to learn more about the bird life in our gardens, something which we all appreciated over the last two years.


TITLE -
Leader - Visit to Epic Emigrant Museum

Tue, 19/05/2020

10:30 - 12:30 


TITLE - The Middle East: An Introduction to its Lands, People and Complexities
Leader - Isolde Moylan

Tue, 21/04/2020

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Hardly a day passes in the international media without some sort of trouble in the Middle East featuring in it, be it war, uprisings, terrorism, extremism, tyranny, oppression, the massive refugee exodus, or threats to the west. Having spent nearly eight years living, working and travelling in the region, retired Ambassador, Isolde Moylan, has witnessed and chronicled a number of these conflicts and problems first hand, including the Israel-Palestine conflict and failed peace negotiations, the ‘Arab Spring’ in Egypt and other countries in the region; the war in Syria; the fall of some dictators and the rise of others; violence and terrorist attacks in the streets; people jubilantly throwing off the shackles of oppression and others wounded or traumatised by violent conflict; and the impact on the region of such factors as competing foreign agendas, the oil-wealth of the Gulf countries; the growth of Islam; and social media. In her talk, Isolde will briefly share her insights into these and other problems which the Middle East faces but her main focus will be on delving in behind the news headlines, the terrible press which the region attracts and the stereotypes which abound about it, to provide a more rounded picture of these lands, people and cultures and the main historical, economic and external factors which impact so heavily on it. In retirement since mid-2015, Isolde is a founding member and Team Leader of The Bray Heads U3A group; and she is heavily involved in rights, gender, climate action, and local issues.


TITLE - The Murder of Dr Muldoon
Leader - Ken Boyle

Tue, 03/03/2020

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

On a clear night in March 1923, as Dr Paddy Muldoon makes his way home in Mohill, Co Leitrim, a man steps from the shadows, raises a rifle to his shoulder and fires. The first shot misses its target, but two more are fired, Dr Muldoon is left dying on the road. in the days following the murder the doctor's grieving but determined wife, Rita, vows to bring the man she believes responsible to justice - a volatile priest by the name of Fr Edward Ryans. He is a man of the cloth with dark secrets and his own ugly reasons for wanting the doctor silenced. But in their fight for justice, Rita and her family come to see that there are powerful forces at the highest levels of the government, Church and republican forces who desperately want the case to remain unsolved. Ken Boyle is the author of the recently published "The Murder of Dr Muldoon". He is from Dublin and his father's family was from the Ballinamore area of Leitrim. Ken worked in the financial sector in both Ireland and England. Since his retirement he has had the time to pursue a lifelong interest in recent Irish history. Ken's grandfather was Dr Muldoon's cousin.


TITLE - A History of Pharmacy
Leader - Veronica Cosgrove

Tue, 18/02/2020

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Veronica Cosgrove, who has a well known pharmacy in Monkstown, will speak about the history of pharmacy, the changing role of the pharmacist, the radical change from the preparation of medicines to the more modern day role of dispensing medicine. In particular, she will be discussing the period from the late nineteenth century to 1970, using her own pharmacy and its evolution as a backdrop. Veronica obtained a BSc Hons degree from UCD in 1984 and then went on to obtain a degree in Pharmacy from Liverpool University in 1987. She worked as pharmacist in Britain before returning to Ireland to work as a Community Pharmacist. Wanting to run and own her own pharmacy, she was restricted from setting up a new pharmacy as she had graduated abroad. She had to buy an already established pharmacy, which she did in 1993 when she was fortunate to be able to acquire Lane McCormack Pharmacy in Monkstown, now known as Cosgrove's Pharmacy. The building itself is listed and there is a Conservation Order on all the historic contents, of which there are many.


TITLE - Bowel Screening - Just Do It!
Leader - Simon Hugh-Jones

Tue, 04/02/2020

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Dr Simon Hugh-Jones is an active member of Monkstown U3A; a former inner city GP partner who worked in the UK NHS for over 25 years. He currently practices as a part-time GP in South County Dublin. He will outline for us, in an understandable way, the value of participating in the free HSE Bowel Screening Programme. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Ireland. Doing the BowelScreen home test is a good way of looking after your health. The test looks for blood in your bowel motion, which is not visible to the eye. Blood in the stool can be caused by a number of harmless conditions, as well as by bowel cancer. So WHY are so few people between the age of 60 to 69 years taking the test? The talk covers registration, the test itself then moves into bowel symptoms that you need to know, rank their priority and when to urgently see your GP. The aim of the talk is to raise awareness, increase confidence in recognising red flags and to ensure that for those who have discovered a serious disease, there is a far better prognosis and for some, a possible cure.


TITLE - Brú na Bóinne – a Triumph of Early Irish Civilisation
Leader - Muiris O'Sullivan

Tue, 21/01/2020

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Ireland’s earliest hunter-gatherer inhabitants arrived almost ten thousand years ago and thrived without making a significant impact on the landscape until the introduction of agriculture around six thousand years ago. Farming changed the face of the countryside, as seen vividly at Céide Fields in County Mayo, and led to a step change in many aspects of life. However, it was the emergence of passage tombs about five hundred years later, in the second half of the fourth millennium BC, that turned Ireland into a major cultural centre of Atlantic Europe. The Boyne Valley was the heartland of the Irish passage tomb tradition, at its high point around 3,000 BC. This talk will explore the timeless significance of the great sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth at Brú na Bóinne and other significant places associated with the Boyne river. Spectacular achievements in art and architecture as well as the more subtle layers of information about Stone Age attitudes and beliefs are examined against the background of the wider Irish and European context. Muiris O’Sullivan is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at University College Dublin and has served as head of the UCD School of Archaeology. Internationally recognised as an expert in megalithic tombs and prehistoric rock art, he has published on a wide variety of archaeological topics. In addition to leading three key publications dealing with the Hill of Tara, his work covers the Boyne Valley and other passage tomb complexes, notably his own excavations at Knockroe passage tomb in county Kilkenny. Since 2003, in partnership with Liam Downey, he has published approximately 60 articles in the popular Know your Monument series for the quarterly journal Archaeology Ireland. He was senior archaeological consultant for the newly revised Boyne Valley Visitor Experience and he serves on the Scientific Committee of the Paysages de Mégalithes Association in Brittany. Professor O’Sullivan is a member of the Heritage Council.


TITLE - Tom Crean - A Grandson's Perspective on an Antarctic Explorer
Leader - Brendan O'Brien

Tue, 07/01/2020

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Brendan Crean O'Brien is the eldest grandson of Tom Crean, the Antarctic explorer who travelled to Antarctica with both the great Captain Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton and we are fortunate that he has agreed to give us a talk on his famous ancestor. Brendan says,"The pride and humility of being the grandson of Tom Crean never escapes me. Growing up in Tralee and being the eldest grandson of both Crean/O'Brien families gave me the opportunity to have a wonderful relationship with my grandmother Ellen - Tom Crean's wife. As with the other survivors of Antarctica, he spoke very little on his return. She, however, often spoke of the difficult times in Annascaul during the "troubles". I was about 18 years when she passed at the age of 85. I also had the wonderful experience of visiting Antarctica including The Falklands and South Georgia where Tom Crean accompanied Shackleton. The feeling of history and closeness while standing at the foot of the Fortuna Bay Glazier in South Georgia knowing a lifetime earlier Shackleton, Worsley and Crean had traversed it on their rescue journey to Stromness was unique . Crean spent fifteen years of his life tracking in Antarctica with both Scott and Shackleton. He was also a member of the search crew who located Scott, Bowers and Wilson who perished on their return having reached the Pole. Evans and Oates had succumbed to the riggers of Antarctica earlier. In our youth we always had access to Crean's papers and medals however, at the time not really appreciating their importance in history."


TITLE - Our First Christmas Lunch!
Leader - Royal Irish Yacht Club

Tue, 03/12/2019

12:30 - 15:30  Royal Irish Yacht Club

Our first Christmas lunch will be held in the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire at 12.30. The cost is 20 euro per head, to be paid in cash or by cheque by Tuesday 19th November. Places are limited for a three course lunch, plus tea or coffee. Please note that gentlemen must wear a jacket.


TITLE - Plants, Potions and Snails
Leader - Professor Helen Sheridan

Tue, 19/11/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Dr Helen Sheridan is Associate Professor and Director of Research in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in TCD. She is a member of the Health Services Regulatory Authority. From time immemorial, mankind has explored and developed the healing powers of nature using plants, flowers, herbs, trees, fungi and even smaller creatures. All these have made a positive contribution to the improvement of human health and many continue to do so. Her expertise and experience ensure Helen is uniquely qualified to walk us through the centuries and indicate the enormous role of natural life in the continued existence of the world's population. Be prepared for a fascinating talk!


TITLE - The Foundation of St Michael's Hospital, Dun Laoghaire,1876
Leader - Tom Conlon

Tue, 05/11/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

50 years after the establishment of Kingstown, the community was severely divided. Wealth lived alongside poverty. Unionists lived alongside nationalists.and there was greater diversity of religion than in most other towns. Cholera outbreaks had resulted in a significant toll. A major row had developed on the moral aspects of certain treatments by the appointed dispensary doctors. How should a hospital be established in these circumstances? What services should it provide? Who should it serve? Who would provide a site? What moral code? Who would staff it? What design would provide the best possible outcomes using the most recent medical advances? Who would fund the construction and the ongoing operation? Using documentation from the time, Tom will describe how these considerations were addressed. Tom almost retired from the financial services industry about 15 years ago but still retains an interest. He is a dedicated local historian who has published books on Dun Laoghaire and Monkstown. He is also Director of IT at the Genealogical Society of Ireland.


TITLE - Rescuing the Eire Sign at Hawk Cliff in Dalkey
Leader - Des Burke-Kennedy

Tue, 22/10/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Des Burke Kennedy, a member of Dalkey Tidy Towns was centrally involved in the search for the Eire sign on Hawk Cliff in Dalkey, one of several dotted along the Irish coast during the Second World War. They were designed to alert US aircraft in particular, having crossed the Atlantic, to avoid landing in Ireland but to continue on to Britain. Des Burke -Kennedy will outline for us the search for this sign, its excavation and restoration.


TITLE - You Too Could Save a Life!
Leader - Attracta Kennedy

Tue, 08/10/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Thousands of people lose their lives every year due to cardiovascular disease which is a major cause of heart attack and stroke. Approximately 5,000 more lives are lost every year in Ireland due to sudden cardiac arrest. That is about 13 deaths every day and around 70 per cent of these cardiac arrests happen at home in front of a loved one. In this talk we will learn what we could do to assist people until more advanced help arrives. We will also learn how to administer basic first aid to children and adults in the event of accidents in the home. Attracta Kennedy is currently Resuscitation Officer in St Michael's Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, having previously fulfilled the same role in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin. She became a CPR Instructor during the 1990s and now, through her involvement with the Irish Heart Foundation, teaches lay rescuers, community groups and hospital personnel. She is a member of the National Teaching Faculty in both Basic and Advanced Life Support and also sits on the Irish Advanced Cardiac Life Support Council. Attracta is a registered nurse with qualifications in emergency medicine, clinical health science education and training. This promises to be a lively and informative session!


TITLE - The Life and Verses of Robert Service - 1874-1958
Leader - Denis Gill

Tue, 24/09/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Denis Gill has read and enjoyed the verses of Robert Service his entire adult life but only recently began to research his life of travel and adventure across the world and then realised what a truly amazing man he was. Robert Service was a poet and a writer known as the "Bard of Yukon". He was an ambulance driver during World War One and was in Warsaw at the outbreak of the Second World War. His verses earned him the disapproval of Hitler and Stalin but also great commercial success. In his time he acted with Marlene Dietrich. A fascinating man, with a background in Scotland, Canada and France, so there is a lot to learn about his life and poetry. Denis Gill has roamed the Wicklow Mountains all his adult life. He is a contributor to Walking World Ireland and leads walks for the Department of Education. He is a proponent of the verses of Robert Service and, like Service, he is never quite satisfied with the beauty and grandeur of the mountains and has relentlessly explored their history and folklore, putting flesh on the bare bones of history to tell enthralling tales of slaughter and suffering, of legends and fairytales, reminding us that... “History is who we are; a nation which forgets its history is no better than a wilderness!”


TITLE - Climate Change: The Challenge of Transitioning the Dingle Peninsula to a Low Carbon Society
Leader - Brendan Tuohy

Tue, 10/09/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

The talk will outline what is happening on the Dingle Peninsula in respect of Sustainability and Transition to a Low Carbon Society. It is following on from the talk the previous week by Professors John Sweeney on Climate Change. It will also refer to the work of Kerry philosopher/storyteller John Moriarty, who addressed the issue of sustainability in his talks and writings in the 1990’s. Brendan Tuohy has served as a non-executive director of a number of companies and is Chairman of the Science Foundation Ireland-funded Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing, Advisory Group to United Nations Environment Programme (Global Environmental Monitoring System - Water Capacity Building Centre) and Destination Kerry Tourism Forum. He is also involved with the Dingle Creativity and Innovation Hub and “Transition Dingle Peninsula 2030”. Previously, Brendan worked in various Governments Departments and served as Secretary General of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources from 2000 to 2007.


TITLE - The Challenges of Climate Change
Leader - Professor John Sweeney

Tue, 03/09/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Climate is the defining problem for current and future generations. Professor Sweeney will examine the global dimensions of the problem, focussing on the likely impacts for Ireland, some of which are already becoming evident. How will we need to respond in order to protect the planet for the sake of our children and our grandchildren? He will also examine the policy response both at European and national level in the light of the current scientific evidence available and the Paris Agreement. Professor Sweeney is with the Geography Department of Maynooth University. He has published extensively on this topic and also contributed to media discussions. He is currently President of An Taisce.


TITLE - U3A Monkstown Members visit to Russborough House
Leader -

Tue, 18/06/2019

10:30 - 16:30 

“Russborough was built between 1741-1750 and is regarded as one of Ireland’s most beautiful houses. It has magnificent views of the Blessington Lakes and Wicklow Mountains. In 1978 Sir Alfred Beit opened the house for guided tours and there have been over 1 million visitors since. The house which is beautifully maintained and lavishly furnished contains fine furniture, tapestries, carpets, porcelain, silver and much of the Beit collection of paintings. It also has beautiful ceilings, plaster work and a fine mahogany staircase. A parkland walk with magnificent views of the house takes about half an hour. In addition a 20,000 sq. feet head high Beech hedge Maze is very popular with children and adults alike. There is also a 150 year old ‘Hippodrome’ building used for training horses in past centuries. A number of craft workshops are open at various times including a blacksmith with working forge and a weaver with working looms. Also a wood turner and a silversmith show how these ancient crafts are still undertaken today. The Kitchen Garden Cafe is available for snacks and light lunches and a souvenir shop is also on site. Disabled access, toilets & free parking.“ http://visitwicklow.ie/item/russborough-house/# We will have a sign-up sheet at meetings for this visit - for details please email: u3a.monkstown@gmail.com

Link - www.russborough.ie;


TITLE - Annual General Meeting and Enrolment
Leader - U3A Monkstown

Tue, 11/06/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

The AGM of Monkstown U3A will take place at 10.30 am, followed by renewal of existing membership and enrolment of new members at 11.30 am. Venue: Newtownpark Pastoral Centre, in the grounds of Guardian Angels Church, Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.


TITLE - Monkstown U3A is moving to Newtownpark Pastoral Centre, Guardian Angels Church, Blackrock
Leader -

Tue, 28/05/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Newtownpark Pastoral Centre

Monkstown U3A renewal of existing members and enrolment of new members for Sept. 2019 - June 2020 will take place after our AGM on: Tuesday, 11th June 2019 at 11.30 a.m. at: Newtownpark Pastoral Centre, in the grounds of Guardian Angels Church, Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Please note ****Our trip to Russborough House on 18th June will leave from Mounttown Community Facility as planned******** For further details and to receive a membership form please email us at u3a.monkstown@gmail.com


TITLE - Will We Cure All Diseases?
Leader - Professor Luke O’Neill

Tue, 21/05/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Luke O’Neill holds the Chair of Biochemistry in Trinity College Dublin. He is an immunologist, who has published prolifically in many scientific journals and has received numerous awards for his research. He has also founded companies which are developing new anti-inflammatory medicines. A regular contributor to radio and television programmers, he is well known for his enthusiasm and for making science interesting and accessible to lay people. He recently published a best selling popular science book entitled ‘Humanology: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Amazing Existence’. Be prepared for an entertaining talk on what’s happening in medicine.


TITLE - A View From the Hills
Leader - Michael Ryan

Tue, 07/05/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Michael Ryan is has lived on Dalkey Hill all his life. Formerly a committee member of the South Dublin Branch of Birdwatcher Ireland, he was involved in the Dalkey Tern Project for over twenty years and was instrumental in starting the KillineyRed Squirrel Project with the local parks department. He has been writing about nature for the Dalkey Community Newsletter for many years. Lucky enough to have a partner, Lucy, with brilliant eyesight and a great ability for spotting wildlife he has accumulated many photographs of local birds, beasts and insects over the years, as well as a few landscape views, sunrises and sunsets taken from the hill. Michael will share all of these with us in what promises to be a fascinating look at our local wild life.


TITLE - Biodiversity and Human Well-being
Leader - Tom Bolger

Tue, 23/04/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Tom Bolger is the recently retired Professor and Chair of Zoology at University College Dublin. His primary research interests have been in the assessment of biodiversity and particularly in the direct and indirect contributions of biodiversity to human well-being. This has included research on the effects of global change on biodiversity and the knock-on effects on nutrient dynamics in soil systems. He was a Fulbright Scholar, at the Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, examining the relationship between biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services. In this talk Tom, who is one of our members, will explain the term biodiversity describing the many facets of variation that it currently embraces. He will discuss the increased media interest in its loss and why it is the source of such anxiety. At the end of his talk we should all be a lot clearer on the importance of biodiversity and how it affects human well-being in the context of global change.


TITLE - Who in Their Right Mind Would Want to Read 'Ulysses'?
Leader - Seamus Cannon

Tue, 09/04/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

'Ulysses" is Ireland's most popular unread book: so many want to read it but are daunted by its complexity and cast it aside. Seamus Cannon encourages people to read 'Ulysses' for enjoyment and for the extraordinary way in which Joyce captures the human experience in a wonderful celebration of Dublin. Dr Seamus Cannon is an educator who in retirement indulges his interest in Joyce, local history and furniture making. He is a committee member of the Society of Friends of Joyce Tower. He recently published 'You'd Be Filled with Wonder, the Story of Dun Laoghaire Harbour', for children (well, for people with a reading age of 12!).


TITLE - Cholesterol: Understanding the Numbers
Leader - Simon Hugh Jones

Tue, 26/03/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Dr Simon Hugh Jones is an active member of Monkstown U3A and he will outline for us, in an understandable way, the facts and numbers concerning Cholesterol. He will tell us the facts about fat and tell us how to live longer. He will also provide us intriguingly with a medical horoscope! Simon is a former inner city GP who worked in the NHS in the UK for over 25 years. He was also an occupational physician for the Midlands Bus Company. In his career he has participated in many of the monumental changes in Primary care in the UK. He currently works as a part time GP in South County Dublin, having moved to Dublin with his Irish wife to escape Brexit!


TITLE - Genealogy Research: Principles and Practices for Beginners
Leader - James Ryan

Tue, 12/03/2019

10:30 - 12:00  Mounttown Community Facility

Dr James Ryan will outline the basic principles of genealogy research and indicate the main sources of information that can help you build your family tree. He will describe the content and availability of the major national records, including their access on free and subscription websites. He will also outline more obscure records and describe the principal Irish archives and libraries, and useful websites and support services. The talk will be illustrated with examples of different records and their use. James Ryan is a writer and publisher who has been active in Irish genealogy for the past 35 years. He founded Flyleaf Press which publishes an extensive list of genealogy titles in 1987 and has written and lectured extensively both in Ireland and the US on Irish genealogy.


TITLE - Exercising to Maintain Our Muscle Mass - a practical session
Leader - Paul Kirwan

Tue, 12/03/2019

12:00 - 13:00 

Exercising to Maintain Our Muscle Mass Following on from the talk given to us by Brendan Egan of DCU, we all know now how important it is to engage in regular exercise to develop and maintain our muscles as we grow older. We have engaged Paul Kirwan of Siel Bleu to give us a session explaining and demonstrating the kinds of gentle exercise we can do in our own homes without having to go to the dreaded gym! Sile Bleu specialises in exercise for people over 50. Next Tuesday, 12th March we have our talk on Genealogy Research by James Ryan. Following our tea/coffee break, at about 12 noon, we shall have our session on exercise. There will be two kinds of exercises. Some are for those of us who prefer to be seated, others are a bit more active. We shall have handouts available that you can take away with you, to continue them at home. We should be finished by about 1.00 pm. Please wear comfortable clothes and flat shoes but don’t be concerned as it will not be too hectic and we can all proceed at our own pace. Laraine Joyce Chairperson – Monkstown U3A

Link - http://www.sielbleu.ie/;


TITLE - Art, Text and Textiles
Leader - Ann Fleeton

Tue, 26/02/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Ann Fleeton is a textile maker and a graduate of TCD in geology. Her work has been included in major European Quilt and Textile exhibitions and at the RDS Craft Awards in Dublin. Her narrative quilts are pieces based on artists' writings, poetry, exploration and theories of current interest. Her interest in Natural Sciences and her study of art history influence both the colour and texture of her work. The talk will include slides and samples of her textiles. This promises to be a fascinating talk from a true Renaissance woman.

Link - www.annfleeton.com;


TITLE - Say Hello to Brain Health - how to boost your brain health and reduce dementia risk
Leader - Sabina Brennan

Tue, 12/02/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Learn how simple lifestyle changes can boost your brain health. Sabina Brennan will explain how scientific research is showing that modifiable factors can promote brain health and protect against dementia. She will share top tips for brain health and answer any questions you may have. Sabina Brennan is a psychologist, innovative public educator and experienced communicator with a unique skill mix acquired over her career working in the private sector, in media and most recently in academia. Her scientific research in TCD has focussed on how cognitive decline can be prevented or delayed. She is passionate about engaging people in an educational preventative context. Get ready for a most entertaining talk from an engaging speaker, who, interestingly, attended university for the first time at 42!


TITLE - As Senior Citizens, What Are We Entitled To and What Do We Need To Think About?
Leader - Joe McCarthy

Tue, 29/01/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

This topic has been selected following feedback from our members. Joe Mc Carthy from the Citizen’s Information Centre in Dun Laoghaire will outline to us the services they offer to advise senior citizens on their rights and entitlements. He and his colleagues Diana Ferguson and Denis Dineen will also talk to us about planning for the future in terms of Think Ahead forms and Advanced Healthcare Directives. Maybe something we don’t want to think about but we really should and we and our relations will be glad we did! It promises to be a lively presentation followed by a question and answer session on all these issues. So get your questions ready for our experts! Citizens Information can be contacted on their helpline 0760 07 4000 between 9am and 8 pm and their website is www.citizensinformation.ie. The Dun Laoghaire office is open from 9.30 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday, phone 0761 077 400 or email dunlaoghaire@citinfo.ie.


TITLE - Muscling in on Healthy Ageing
Leader - Brendan Egan, Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Physiology, Dublin City University

Tue, 15/01/2019

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Brendan will examine the role of exercise and nutrition to support health and healthy ageing. He will focus particularly on the role of strength-based exercise for improving our physical capacity as we age. He will also explain how protein can support the benefits of exercise for us. Brendan is well placed to speak on this topic. He is the Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Physiology in Dublin City University. He has led research teams for a number of years in both DCU and UCD using human trials to examine the impact of exercise and nutrition. Outside of academia, he is performance nutritionist to the Dublin hurling team! Prepare yourself to be motivated to get out of the armchair and get moving!


TITLE - A Celebration of Christmas
Leader -

Tue, 27/11/2018

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

We plan to celebrate our first Christmas with some appropriate Christmas refreshments. Pat Smith will give a talk on “A Life in Wine”. Pat is an ex Cellarmaster in Tain l’Hermitage. He will talk about his life in wine, the winemakers and about wine in general. He was decorated by the French Government with “ The Order of Merit in Agriculture”. After spending six years in France he is well placed to talk informally and to let us learn more about wine in simple language. After that, why not have a glass of wine and sample some Christmas goodies? We’ve already received offers of a taste of foie gras, sausage rolls and some mince pies. Maybe even a Christmas carol or two?


TITLE - National Maritime Museum - a Guided Visit
Leader - National Maritime Museum Guide

Tue, 13/11/2018

11:00 - 12:30  National Maritime Museum, Dún Laoghaire

An experienced guide will enthrall you with stories of discovery, heroism, war and disasters at sea. You will learn about maritime history, exploration, navigation, radio and deep-sea cable technology. See the revolving Bailey Optic; try the electrified steam engine and pause to reflect at the Titanic exhibit, the Royal Navy prisoner’s docks and the war memorial. See some of the recovered artifacts from the RMS Leinster. There will be a small admission fee of €5.00 to the museum.

Link - http://mariner.ie;


TITLE - High Speed Vacuum Driven Train from Dun Laoghaire to Dalkey
Leader - Tom Conlon

Tue, 30/10/2018

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

It would be quite difficult in 2018 to travel from Dun Laoghaire to Dalkey in 75 seconds, uphill, from a standing start to a standing finish. Amazingly, Frank Elrington, TCD student, the unintended sole passenger of a vacuum-driven train, accomplished such a feat in the mid 1800s. The lecture will be illustrated with seldom seen original engineering drawings and reports of the train and the route. Tom Conlon retired from the financial services industry about 15 years ago and is a dedicated local historian who has published books on Dun Laoghaire and Monkstown, namely, Dun Laoghaire – A Town Divided and Twice Built on St Patrick’s Church, Monkstown. He is also Director of IT at the Genealogical Society of Ireland.


TITLE - The Question of Palestine in the Age of Trump
Leader - Conor McCarthy

Tue, 16/10/2018

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Conor McCarthy will outline the historical background to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. He will then describe the nature of the day-to-day life in Palestine and discuss what the future holds. Conor teaches English literature and intellectual history at Maynooth. He is the author of Modernisation, Crisis and Culture in Ireland 1969-1992 amongst other academic works. He is a founding member of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign


TITLE - The RMS Leinster Sinking, one hundred years on, our worst maritime loss
Leader - Seamus O'Connor

Tue, 02/10/2018

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

October 2018 marks the centenary of the sinking of the RMS Leinster by a German U-boat off the Irish coast, with the largest loss of life in Irish maritime history. Seamus O’Connor is a leading scholar on the Leinster sinking and a member of the Board of the Maritime Museum which we will be visiting on November 13th.

Link - https://www.rmsleinster.com;


TITLE - Air Traffic Control – What’s It All About?
Leader - Paul Humphreys

Tue, 18/09/2018

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Many people with many different skills work together towards ensuring that your flight gets safely from A to B including aircraft manufacturers, aeronautical engineers, software developers, safety analysts and of course pilots. Paul Humphreys will focus on the work of air traffic controllers, where they work, what they do and how they do it. Paul joined the Air Traffic Control Service in Ireland in 1970, subsequently moving to Eurocontrol in France where he worked on National and pan-European research projects relating to air safety.


TITLE - Introduction to Monkstown University of the Third Age
Leader -

Tue, 04/09/2018

10:30 - 12:30  Mounttown Community Facility

Our first meeting will include a presentation from a representative of Age Action Ireland, which is the sponsor of U3A in Ireland. Donal Denham of Dun Laoghaire-Dalkey-Killiney U3A will outline their experiences and plans. Finally, the Monkstown U3A steering group members will welcome you, introduce themselves and tell you about how we hope to stimulate and entertain you in the months ahead. We will outline our future plans and suggest ground rules for us working together



Print Date: 28 May 2024