Launch of Molyneux at Iveagh House

January 2019 saw the launch of Patrick Hyde Kelly’s edition of William Molyneux’s The Case of Ireland’s Being Bound by Acts of Parliament in England, Stated.

Regarded as the most celebrated Irish political pamphlet published before 1801, William Molyneux’s Case of Ireland, stated (1698) was written to demonstrate that English statutes did not have force in Ireland until they had been re-enacted by the Irish parliament.

The book was launched at Iveagh House  on Friday 25 January by Professor Ian MacBride.

The book is available for purchase from Four Courts Press, and is free to members of the Society.

Calling Time at the Bar: Helena Normanton and Her Challenge to the Legal Profession

2019 marks the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 which facilitated access to the legal profession for women.

Dr Judith Bourne, ambassador for the First 100 Years Project, spoke at Queen’s University Belfast on 8 March to reflect on this historic change and explore the story of Helena Normanton, the first woman to practice as a barrister in England. Normanton was the first woman to be admitted to an Inn of Court after the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 and was called to the Bar in 1922. Normanton would go on to be one of two first women King’s Counsels and one of the few women to maintain a practice at the bar at this time.

Dr Bourne is a Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

The use of Irish law in medieval Norway

Professor Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde of the University of Bergen delivered a lecture  entitled

“The Beauty and the Beast? The use of Irish Legal Ideas and Non-Use of Irish Substantial Law in Norwegian Medieval Law.”

This lecture was organized with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in collaboration with the UCD Sutherland School of Law.

26 April 2018 at 5pm, room F103A, Newman Building, University College Dublin.

The VV Giri Lecture 2018

Dr Jyoti Atwal (Jawaharlal Nehru University) delivered the annual VV Giri Lecture at the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin.

“Margaret Cousins (1878-1954) in India and Ireland: Revisiting Suffragettes, National Ideals and Anti Imperialist Politics”

Years 1915-1916 hold special significance in the history of India and Ireland. Politically, the radical anti imperialist groups acquired confidence in the belief that revolution was achievable through armed uprising. Historians of anti imperialist movements (Chandra:1989; Josh:1992; Mukherjee:2005; Malley:2008) have pointed out to the international impact on the Indian freedom movement. The presence of VV Giri in Ireland and of Margaret Cousins in India during 1916 is highly significant. Their unique international experiences prepared them for an anti colonial methodology which included constitutionalism, Gandhian Satyagraha (passive resistance) and socialism. Margaret, an Irish suffragette and a founder of Irish Women’s Franchise League (1908) with Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, sailed for India with her husband, James, when the suffragette activism was at its peak.

This paper seeks to explore how feminist scholars have attempted to ‘put women into history’ in Ireland (Murphy:1992; Daly:2008;Paseta:2013;Urqhart:2001) and India (Basu:1990; Forbes:1996; Kumar:1993). I will focus on the period from 1916 till 936 when Margaret and James were actively engaged in the political life of India. I seek to address three themes – one, the question of politics of collectivity; second, creation of national ideals and thirdly, issues of economic reconstruction.

Dr Jyoti Atwal is Associate Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India & Adjunct Professor, Department of History, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland (September 2017- August 2022).

She engages with issues pertaining to Indian women in the reformist, nationalist and contemporary perspectives; socio cultural and religious aspects of women’s lives in colonial and post colonial India; women’s  agenda and the nation; autobiographies of women and narratives of the personal and the political domains; politics of representations of gender relations in colonial India; dalit (low caste) women’s history.

She has recently published a book entitled Real and Imagined Widows: Gender Relations in Colonial North India, Delhi: Primus, 2016. She has recently introduced a new course on Women in Ireland: Reforms, Movements and Revolutions (1840-1930)’ for post graduate students at JNU.

Currently, Dr Atwal is researching on an Irish suffragist in colonial India – Margaret Cousins (1878-1954). She has been a Visiting Faculty at Dublin City University in 2013; Trinity College Dublin Long Room Fellow in 2012. She is a member of the executive team of the India Studies Centre Cork at University College Cork and a member of the editorial board of Women’s History Review (UK, Routledge).

Art Exhibition

‘The Trial’: a visual art exhibition which focuses on the experiences of those who have worked in the Irish penal system in the 19th and 20th centuries. It explores human rights and healthcare in the Irish criminal justice system.

UCD historians Catherine Cox and Fiachra Byrne have collaborated with men from the Bridge Project, Dublin to create this unique installation.

The exhibition ran from 18-23 April 2018 at the Old Courthouse in Kilmainham Gaol Museum.

See www.histprisonhealth.com for more details about the project.

 

Double Book Launch

The Irish Legal History Society was delighted to announce the official launch of two recent publications in January 2018: Juries in Ireland:Laypersons and Law in the Long Nineteenth Century by Dr Niamh Howlin & Guardian of the Treaty: The Privy Council Appeal and Irish Sovereignty by Dr Thomas Mohr

The books were launched at a special event at the UCD Sutherland School of Law on Tuesday 30 January 2018.  Professor Hector MacQueen of  Edinburgh Law School, delivered a lecture entitled ‘Reflections on Legal History.’

    

pictured: Dr Niamh Howlin, Dr Thomas Mohr, Professor Hector MacQueen and Ted.

Centenary of the Representation of the People Act

In February 2018 the Royal Irish Academy hosted “REPRESENTATION, GENDER AND POLITICS: PAST AND PRESENT”, an interdisciplinary conference reflecting on the centenary of the Representation of the People Act (1918) and the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 which allowed women to stand for and vote in general elections for the first time.

This conference, produced in partnership with the Houses of the Oireachtas, critically reflected upon this history whilst also celebrating the lives and experiences of women in Irish politics, past and present.

With contributions from Maria Luddy, Margaret Ward, Myles Dungan, Mari Takayanagi, Senia Paseta, Diane Urquhart, Sonja Tiernan, Mary E Daly, Catherine Martin, Frances Fitzgerald, Ivana Bacik, Fiona O’Loughlin, Alice Mary Higgins, Clare Daly, Louise O’Reilly, Jane Suiter, Yvonne Galligan, Fiona Buckley, Gail McElroy,  Sarah Childs, Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Michael Peter Kennedy.

Details available here.

 

Professor Norma Dawson awarded CBE

We are delighted that one of our former presidents, Professor Norma Dawson, was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to legal education and the development of the legal profession in Northern Ireland.
Norma Dawson

Professor Dawson is a distinguished legal historian and holder of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. She was President of the Irish Legal History Society from 2009-2012. She is also a former Head of the Law School at Queen’s University Belfast. Last year she was made an Honorary Bencher of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland.

Her research interests are intellectual property law, especially the law of trade marks, cultural property law, and legal history. She has taught in areas including Equity and Trusts, Trade Mark Law, Land Law, Charity Law, Landlord and Tenant Law, Irish Legal History, Planning Law and Introduction to Property Law. She has published widely in these areas, and her list of publications can be viewed here.

A Letter of Rights: Bringing the ‘Great Charter’ to Irish musical audiences.

We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right’

 – Clause 40 of Magna Carta

In November 1216, The Great Charter of Ireland (Magna Carta Hibernae) was issued and arrived in Ireland in February 1217.  800 years later it is still noted as an international symbol of freedom and rights paving the way for the democratic systems which exist in in the world today.

Commissioned by Salisbury Cathedral in 2015, British and American composer, Tarik O’Regan has collaborated with poet and librettist Alice Goodman to create a commemorative piece for Magna Carta – ‘A Letter of Rights‘ for chamber choir and orchestra.

Marking the 800th anniversary of the arrival of Magna Carta in Ireland, Chamber Choir Ireland and the Irish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Paul Hillier will perform this large-scale work in Belfast, Limerick and finally in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, where a 14th century copy of Magna Carta is currently exhibited.   Partnering A Letter of Rights in the programme is Handel’s brilliantly virtuosic Dixit Dominus.

Chamber Choir Ireland and Irish Chamber Orchestra are recognised as leaders in their artforms both on the island of Ireland and internationally and are delighted to once again partner for this unique programme of the new and the old. The tour has been made possible through a Touring and Dissemination of Work award from the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

 

Performances:

Thursday 23rd February, St. Thomas’ Parish Church, Belfast 7.30pm, £15/5  Tickets viawww.belfastmusicsociety.org

Saturday 25th February, St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick 8.00pm, €25/22 Tickets viawww.irishchamberorchestra.com/events/a-letter-of-rights

Sunday 26th February, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin 7.30pm, €25/22 Tickets viawww.irishchamberorchestra.com/events/a-letter-of-rights

Podcasts: Law and the Idea of Liberty in Ireland

The Irish Legal History Society marked the 800th anniversary of the transmission of Magna Carta to Ireland with a two-day conference in Christ Church Cathedral in November 2016. The conference explored the legal-historical background to Magna Carta in Ireland, the reception of the charter into English law in Ireland, the political and polemical uses to which the charter was put, and its twentieth and twentieth-first century invocations as a living presence in contemporary Irish law. Professor Paul Brand (All Souls, Oxford) delivered a keynote address on the impact of Magna Carta on the development of English law in medieval Ireland.

Speakers included: Claire Breay, Sean Duffy, Ian Campbell, Coleman Dennehy, Sparky Booker, Colum Kenny, Adrian Empey, James Kelly, Patrick Geoghegan, John Larkin, Bláthna Ruane.

The conference was recorded for podcasting by Real Smart Media, and is available here: