Inishowen’s ancient past focus of conference

People who attended Lands of Eogain Mabel Colhoun event earlier in the year pictured at the ancient Carrowmore Crosses site between Carndonagh and Gleneely.
People who attended Lands of Eogain Mabel Colhoun event earlier in the year pictured at the ancient Carrowmore Crosses site between Carndonagh and Gleneely.

A major conference will explore the impact of Inishowen’s monastic settlements in Europe this weekend.

Clonmany Market House is the venue for the international archaeology and heritage event, which runs from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 September.

The conference is being organised by local group the Lands of Eogain committee.

The theme of the festival is the link between Inishowen and Europe from Early Christian times onwards.

Rosemarie Doherty will speak on Friday at 7.30 pm to welcome participants, while well-known archaeologist Brian Lacey will join Colm O’Brien of the Bernician Studies group to open the weekend. Musicians from the Inishowen Traditional Music Project will provide the entertainment afterwards.

A full series of lectures in planned for Saturday. The first is by Herman Moisl, an early medieval historian with an international reputation who will explore links between the Early Irish Church and its European counterparts.

The keynote event is the Lands of Eogain lecture which will be delivered by Michelle Brown, who will examine the contribution of Irish monks to the spread of Christianity in Europe. Michelle has held many distinguished posts in University of London and as Visiting Professor at University College London and Texas.

The programme continues with a talk by Brian Lacey on how monks from Inishowen monasteries contributed to the development of Christianity in Northumbria from the 7th century.

An author and archaeologist who has led excavations in recent years, Max Adams, will deliver a lecture on Viking associations with Inishowen. A progress report on the work of the St Columba’s Church Conservation Group will conclude activities on Saturday, with an account of the geophysical survey carried out recently.

Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh’s talk, the Clachans of Clonmany, meanwhile, will highlight placenames and their context based on the OS map of 1834. Dessie McCallion, well known tour guide, will lead a bus tour through key sites in Clonmany visiting Dunaff Mesolithic site and speaking about the Famine Walls at Binnion, various Clachans and Straid Church.

The fee for Friday and Saturday for all talks and the concert is E10. The charge for the bus tour and Sunday’s talk is also E10. A weekend ticket can be bought for E20 for all events. Booking is through Eventbrite and tickets will be on sale at the door on Friday night and during the weekend. For more information contact www.landsofeogain.com or (00353) 87 6478138.