The University of the Third Age (DLDK)

Future Events Programme
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Jan

05

11:00

Patrick Kavanagh

Des & Mary Swan

  • 📅Tuesday, January 5, 2021
  • 🕥11:00 - 12:00
  • 🏟ZOOM meeting (map)

Prof. Des Swan is author of the only monograph on Patrick Kavanagh's greatest poem 'The Great Hunger'. His book has been described by academic critics in Ireland and the USA as "compelling", "richly insightful" and "incisive". It draws on psychology, history, anthropology and literary criticism, and his own experience of growing up in Lobinstown, Co. Meath, as well as later work as a psychologist. He was Professor of Education and Head of Department for 23 years at UCD, where he established five new programmes, particularly in the area of Education for Children with Special Needs. His PhD research, described as a "tour de force" by his extern examiner, earned him an international award in psychology while his pioneering research on the European Schools was reviewed as 'faultless', and he was associated with the writing of two dictionaries. He has published in Ireland, the UK ,Germany and Georgia, mainly on psychology and education. His MA thesis on 'The Great Hunger', for which he interviewed Kavanagh himself, was very favourably received by J.R. Tolkien, his extern examiner. Now enjoying his third decade of retirement, he has recently had his first poems published and is completing a book on Morocco.

Mary Swan is an award-winning actress and a retired teacher of Speech and Drama. She acted with Strand Players in All-Ireland winning productions and brought these talents into her teaching. Her pupils still thank her for unforgettable experiences in such plays as “The Story of Anne Frank”, Anouilh’s “The Lark – the story of Joan of Arc”, Brecht’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”, Miller’s “The Crucible”, and musicals “Fiddler on the Roof”, “The Sound of Music”, etc. She also produced Joyce’s “The Dead” with Bronze-by-Gold drama group. On the occasion of her retirement her colleagues described her as ”a wizard who gets magic out of the shyest performer” , and that “All her geese are Swans.”

Des and Mary have five children and thirteen grandchildren – all “very fine Swans indeed”!


Jan

19

11:00

The History of the Dublin-Belfast Railway

Dr.Ron Cox

  • 📅Tuesday, January 19, 2021
  • 🕥11:00 - 12:00
  • 🏟ZOOM meeting (map)

Dr Ronald Cox is a Chartered Engineer and well-known civil engineering historian. He is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. Until 1995, he was a Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering at TCD and a former Dean of Engineering. Between 1995 and 2009, he was a Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for Civil Engineering Heritage, which he founded on retirement from the full-time staff in 1995. He is a founder member and former President of the Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland, the current Chairman of Engineers Ireland Heritage Society, and a member of the Board of the Irish Architectural Archive. Recent publications include Ireland's Bridges (2002) with M.Gould, Engineering Ireland (2006)(Editor), Civil Engineering at Trinity (2009)….


Feb

02

11:00

ESCAPE…BUT TO WHAT? THE PLIGHT OF REFUGEES WAITING AT THE GATES OF EUROPE.

Valerie Cox, Journalist, Activist, Author and Broadcaster

  • 📅Tuesday, February 2, 2021
  • 🕥11:00 - 12:00
  • 🏟ZOOM meeting (map)

In 2015 Valerie and her spouse travelled to the Greek island of Kos where the refugee crisis had just started. It was a human disaster. Hundreds of people arrived on the shores of Kos every night in flimsy rubber dinghies. They had lost everything in their flight from war and death and terrorism and were dependant for food, shelter and clothes on the volunteers who came from all over the world.

For the past six years thousands of refugees have been arriving at the gates of Europe seeking shelter from war and persecution in their home countries which include Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iraq. Some made it into Europe and settled well, others got to Europe but have spent years in refugee centres, unable to move on with their lives.

In 2019 the European Commission said the migrant crisis had ended. But it didn’t! Today there are thousands of refugees stranded in appalling conditions in camps in Greece and Turkey. They are overcrowded, water and food are scarce and Europe has lost interest! And yes, the boats are still coming in smaller numbers.

Valerie will concentrate on the story of those who are caught up in these camps, some of them since the crisis began and Europe’s response. Their future is blighted by bureaucracy, blindness and a token response from some of the richest people on earth, ourselves.


Feb

16

11:00

My personal perspective on Conor Cruise O'Brien

John Biggar

  • 📅Tuesday, February 16, 2021
  • 🕥11:00 - 12:00
  • 🏟ZOOM meeting (map)

Conor Cruise O'Brien was one of the most controversial and influential Irishmen of his generation. He also happened to be John Biggar's uncle. John will give us a personal perspective on Conor, based on a relationship which spanned over four decades.


Mar

02

11:00

The Phoenix Park

Dr.John McCullen

  • 📅Tuesday, March 2, 2021
  • 🕥11:00 - 12:00
  • 🏟ZOOM meeting (map)

With a degree in horticulture in 1970 and an M.Sc in landscape ecology, design and maintenance, John arrived at Phoenix Park in 1984, where he became the Chief Park Superintendant, a position from which he retired in recent years. The 1500-acre Park was the subject of his PhD at Trinity College in 2007, which evolved into a book called An Illustrated History of the Phoenix Park – landscape and management to 1880.

The Park was established in 1662, when James Butler, duke of Ormond created it as a deer park for the use of aristocrats. The deer are still there – according to John they are the most studied deer in the world – twelve PhDs have been written on them! Much loved by the citizens of Dublin, it is said that the Phoenix Park is one of the largest enclosed parks in the world –bigger, apparently, than all the parks in London put together.

The park contains a great variety of facilities, among them a maze and gardens, Farmleigh House, a Cricket Club (estd in 1830), a Polo Club, a Model Flying Club, the Zoo, Aras an Uachtarain, visitor centre at Ashdown Lodge, the US embassy, Chesterfield Avenue (the main thoroughfare) and all those beautiful gate-lodges on its perimeter


Mar

16

11:00

Eileen Grey

Ruth Starr

  • 📅Tuesday, March 16, 2021
  • 🕥11:00 - 12:00
  • 🏟ZOOM meeting (map)

Ruth lectures in the history of Japanese art and architecture at Trinity College Dublin. Her current research interest is in looking at connections linking Japanese art and European art through the common thread of lacquerware, and particularly its influence on the Irish architect and furniture designer, Eileen Gray (1878-1976), whose work can be seen in the National Museum at Collins Barracks.


Mar

30

11:00

The Radio Universe from Birr Castle

Dr. Peter Gallagher

  • 📅Tuesday, March 30, 2021
  • 🕥11:00 - 12:00
  • 🏟ZOOM meeting (map)

Professor Gallagher is the newly appointed Head of the Astronomy and Astrophysics section of the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies and is the driving force behind the installation and operation of the new Radio Telescope at Birr Castle in Co. Offaly.

Birr Castle is an appropriate location because an optical telescope was set up there in the 1840s and it remained the largest telescope in the world for over 70 years.

The Radio telescope is the latest addition to a European wide network of such telescopes that are electronically linked so that the overall sensitivity and resolution are far larger than that of one of them alone. These characteristics make possible a wide range of research projects from studies of our sun to the nature of the early universe.





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