Turas na mBan 2018 Celebrating the Journey of Women

A two day conference entitled Turas na mBan will be held in the Broadhaven Bay Hotel, Belmullet, Co Mayo

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Dr. Rhona Mahony, MD., FRCOG., FRCPI.
Master,National Maternity Hospital.
Title: Myths and Customs of Childbirth

Dr Rhona Mahony is the Master of The National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street in Dublin. Dr Mahony is the first  woman to hold such a position in Ireland. Dr Mahony from Dublin is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and a specialist in foetal and maternal medicine at the hospital.Her research into topics such as maternal weight gain and pelvic floor injuries following childbirth has been published in a number of international medical journals.Dr Mahony studied medicine at University College Dublin, graduating in 1994 with first class honours in obstetrics and gynaecology. Masters of the National Maternity Hospital are permitted to serve one term only. Dr Mahony will become the 17th Master of the hospital since its foundation in 1894. She is married with four children.

Anna Ní Ghallachair
Title: Irish women in modern French literature

Anna Ní Ghallachair is Head of the School of Celtic Studies and Director of the Centre for Irish Language Research, Teaching and Testing at Maynooth University. She is a member of the executive committee of the Association of Languages Testers in Europe (ALTE), of the Indicator Expert Group on Multilingualism at the European Commission and of the Royal Irish Academy’s Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication Committee. She is a former chairperson of the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics and Raidió na Gaeltachta and was reappointed chairperson of Údarás na Gaeltachta in January 2018 for a second five-year term. She has also served on a number of committees in Ireland and abroad focusing on the teaching and promotion of languages.
In 2008 she was made Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques by the French Government in recognition of her services to plurilingualism.

Rita (Marguarita) O’Donoghue. Ph.D
Title: Women of Erris.

Rita is a freelance writer, author, and lecturer affiliated to the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway.  She was brought up in Erris (Belmullet), where at times the worlds of the mythic and the supernatural coexisted with the natural. As a young adult, she moved to London and graduated as a teacher of Literature and Drama, and later, received her M.A. in Education.   In 1995, she re-located with her children to Galway, where she completed a Master of Philosophy (Irish Studies), and gained employment as coordinator of the Access Programme for Mature Students at NUI Galway, producing two Study Skills books for students.  In 2010, she received a scholarship from NUI Galway, Centre for Irish Studies, in order to pursue her doctorate entitled,  ‘Fios na mBan.’ Her thesis, using evidence from the archives of the National Folklore Collection, outlined the central role of women in death and burial customs in Erris in post-Famine Ireland.
Currently she lectures to visiting students from Boston College, USA at NUI Galway, and to visiting students from Aquinas College, Michigan at Tully Cross. Her academic interests include Literature, Theatre, Folklore, Irish Culture, Language and Gender Studies. She has a passion for all forms of language and creative expression, and has had modest success as a writer of poetry.  In between preparing Fios na mBan for publication in book form, she stays grounded by swimming nearly every day in Galway Bay.

Lucy Weir
Title: Human nature: free will, responsibility and the ecological emergency

I’m deeply curious about the big questions: what kind of creatures are we? How should we live? What does it mean to live a good life? I’ve striven to balance self-interest and the common, more-than-human good. I’ve spent many years working on how we can respond to fragmentation in societies, inequality and, more glaringly than anything else, ecological resilience. I’m a rationalist, a humanist and a believer in science. Primarily, now, I want to spend the rest of my life contributing to thinking on the ecological emergency: what, if anything, can we do to mitigate the impact of human living on the planet, without going backwards? As the crisis deepens, more harm is done. What can we do to mitigate this suffering? My response: being compassionate creates resilience, and love is not a weakness, but a strength.

I’m an organism: I’m not a mind in a body! Being compassionate is tough love, and I strive to act responsibly, by practicing yoga, and stepping back from the triggers that cause me to react. This is my agency, and yours. It’s an old battle, feeding the wolf of love, not the wolf of fear, and we have a very old battle on our hands between those who still think it’s okay to (or we have no choice, but to) exploit, and those who understand that our survival depends on learning to live together, not just as humans but as inhabitants of a planet we share. This demands awareness. I wrote a thesis about this, and I finally got a contract to publish a version of my PhD, which I’m in the process of turning into a book called, provisionally, Love is Green.

Bairbre Nic Aongusa
Title: Women in the Civil Service

Bairbre Nic Aongusa is Assistant Secretary in the Department of Rural and Community Development, where the mission is “To promote rural and community development and to support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland”.   As Head of the Community Development Division, Bairbre’s objectives include encouraging active citizenship (including volunteering), supporting the growth and development of philanthropy, developing the library service as a vital social support for communities and engaging with stakeholders to develop an overarching vision for the future of local and community development in Ireland.  Supporting community development through funding programmes such as SICAP and the CSP, and ensuring best practice in the governance, management and administration of charities through oversight of the Charities Regulator, are also key priorities.  Bairbre previously served as Assistant Secretary in the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government from 2014-2017, where she was responsible for Social Housing Policy and Rental Policy.  Prior to taking up her Housing role, Bairbre spent 20 years in the Department of Health in various roles, including Head of Finance from 2012-2014.  She was Director of the Office for Disability & Mental Health, within the Department of Health, from 2008-2012.

Mike McCormack
Title: Minding the Landscape

Mike McCormack is the author of two collections of short stories Getting it in the Head and Forensic Songs, and three novels Crowe’s Requiem, Notes from a Coma and Solar Bones which was published in May of 2016. In 1996 he was awarded the Rooney Prize for Literature and Getting it in the Head was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. In 2006 Notes from a Coma was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award. In 2016 Solar Bones was awarded the Goldsmiths Prize and the Bord Gais Energy Irish Novel of the Year and Book of the Year; it was also long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. In 2018 it was awarded the International Dublin Literary Award. He is a member of Aosdána.

Lillis Ó Laoire

Title: Forgotten Voices: Some Gaelic-singing women of Mayo. Glórtha i ndearmad: Roinnt banamhránaithe Gaeilge as Maigh Eo.

Mayo has a great wealth of tradition in Gaelic song but its singers have been eclipsed perhaps by Connemara and the Aran Islands. This talk will look at some of the women of the Mayo Gaeltacht whose voices can be heard in the archives in order to highlight their contribution to traditional song in Irish.

Cé go bhfuil saibhreas mór amhrán Gaeilge againn as Contae Mhaigh Eo, b’fhéidir nach bhfuil an t-iomrá céanna ar amhránaithe Gaeilge an Chontae. Féachfaidh an chaint seo ar roinnt ban as Gaeltacht Mhaigh Eo a bhfuil a nglórtha le fáil sna cartlanna le béim a chur ar a ndearna siad le hamhráin Ghaeilge an Chontae a chaomhnú.

Léachtóir sinsearach é Lillis Ó Laoire in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus amhránaí aitheanta ar an sean-nós. Tá a lán scríofa aige i dtaobh na n-amhrán Gaeilge. D’fhoilsigh sé alt ar amhráin Mhaigh Eo sa leabhar Mayo History and Society sa bhliain 2014.

Lillis Ó Laoire is senior lecturer in Irish and Celtic Civilisation at NUI Galway. He is also a recognized traditional singer. He has published widely on the Gaelic song tradition, including a discussion of song in Mayo in Mayo History and Society (2014).

Ailbhe Nic Giolla Chomhaill, Ollscoil Luimnigh

Talk title: “Béaloideas na mBan”: the contribution of women from the Joyce Country to the National Folklore Collection

Ailbhe Nic Giolla Chomhaill is a lecturer in Irish at the University of Limerick. She studied Irish and French at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and graduated with a BA International degree in 2012. She completed her PhD thesis, which was funded by the Irish Research Council, under the supervision of Dr. Lillis Ó Laoire, NUIG, in 2017. She is particularly interested in the folklore and storytelling tradition of the Joyce Country and has presented her research on this topic at national and international conferences in recent years. Her first book to date, An Chaora Ghlas agus Scéalta Eile as Seanadh Farracháin, is a study of the international folktales collected in Seanadh Farracháin (Finny) National School in 1937-38. It was published by Leabhar Breac in 2016 and was awarded the Phelan Conan Prize, NUIG, in 2017