Sean Mac Diarmada Summer School 2021

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Sean Mac Diarmada Summer School 2021 Online – June 4th and 5th

On Friday 4th and Saturday 5th June, the Sean Mac Diarmada Summer School 2021 will be live and online from Kiltyclogher, Co Leitrim. Starting with the Official Opening at 7pm on June 4th, the Summer School will host a terrific line-up of speakers over Friday evening and Saturday from 10.15am to 5.15pm. All lectures are free. Full information and registration is available on the website

Taking the theme, Reflections on the War of Independence 1919-1921, the summer school of 2021 focuses on a milestone event in early 20th century Irish history. A strong line-up of speakers includes eminent politicians, Bertie Ahern and Michael Mc Dowell. The event opens online on Friday 4th June with an introductory video and an address by Ambassador Adrian O’Neill, the Irish Ambassador to the UK.

Professor John Crown (leading consultant medical oncologist) will officially open the 2021 summer school and will be followed by a live presentation of three speakers comprising the Friday evening programme: Prin Duignan, Sinead Guckian and Frank White. The Friday evening programme focuses on the local and regional aspects of the theme and the three speakers will examine material pertaining to the life of Sean Mac Diarmada, the Selton Hill event in March 1921, and will analyse how the ideals of the past may contrast with contemporary thinking.

The programme for Saturday 5th June commences with three times former Taoiseach of Ireland, and a key broker in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, Mr. Bertie Ahern. Mr. Ahern will focus on how the War of Independence shaped the fabric of Irish life for the next one hundred years.

In his presentation, Senator Michael McDowell, former Tanaiste, Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, contends that the War of Independence was “A Justified Struggle.”

Dr. Sinead Mc Coole, historian and curator, author of No Ordinary Women: Irish Female Activists in the Revolutionary Years, 1900-1923 will speak on the role of women in the War of Independence, with special emphasis on Min Ryan and the Ryan sisters.

Jack Ryan occupies the Youth Speaker slot in a new initiative created by the summer school committee for the 2021 event. His presentation, “Youth Perspective on the War of Independence and its Legacy,” will analyse the War of Independence from the objective distance of one hundred years and the thinking of his generation.

Ronan Mc Greevy, award-winning Irish Times journalist and official State book recalling the commemorations of 2016., will examine how Ireland’s freedom was never a given, and was far from inevitable, in his presentation, “The Miracle of Irish Independence.”

Keynote speaker, Professor John Crown, brings the event to a close with his presentation, “Building an island of saints, scholars and scientists”.

The 2021 strong speaker line up combined with a range of interesting and diverse presentation titles should ensure a dynamic and engaging event. The committee of the Sean Mac Diarmada Summer School would like to acknowledge, and thank, Leitrim County Council, for its continued support of the event since its inception in 2009. The Summer School has taken place in the pretty village of Kiltyclogher each year since, until Covid-19 led to the event being run online in 2020. The pandemic forced a different method of operating on the summer school committee in 2020, but out of crisis arose opportunity; the opportunity to take the event far beyond Kiltyclogher and far beyond Ireland. By broadcasting online, the event connected with many who could not have been present in Kiltyclogher and so we hope to continue to connect with the Leitrim and Irish diaspora in this way in the future, in addition to resuming the event in Kiltyclogher when possible.

Don’t forget to register for both days on and all information relating to the event may be accessed there too.

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