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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Important Conference on Reformation this weekend


Religion, Reform, Identity:Ireland and the Age of Reformations

A day of lectures marking the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation

One of the most important conferences being held in the country on the subject of the Reformation in Ireland this year


Following on the highly successful conference on 1916 held in the cathedral last March, (available on podcast on another public conference, this time to mark the beginning

of the era of Reformation will be held on Saturday, May 20th from 10am – 6pm .


In 1500, everyone who lived on the island of Ireland was a member of a single Christian church in communion with Rome. Although the Martin Luther’s Reformation on the continent had little direct

impact on the religious landscape of Ireland, 1517 is generally considered by historians to mark the beginning of an era of Reformation. In Ireland the process of religious change, both Catholic and

Protestant, was far more protracted and complicated than in many areas of the continent, and although the Henry VIII’s Reformation was passed in the 1536 Irish Parliament, religious identities on the island

evolved over a century. By the 1640s, however, the emergence of Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland and Presbyterian identities created a fusion of ethnic and religious thinking that would go on to dominate the island for more than three centuries.

This public lecture series will mark the centenary of the historical period referred to as the Reformation to initiate a dialogue on the nature and impact of religious change in Ireland during the critical sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

It will also provide access to the public of cutting edge historical research from seven internationally recognised experts on the ecclesiastical and religious history of this island.

The format will be of 30 minute lectures interspersed with breaks and opportunity for public engagement.

The day will end with a fascinating analysis of how Catholics and Protestants historically have viewed each other. The conference has been organised by Dr. Jeffrey Cox, UCD and funded by the Priorities Committee of the Church of Ireland



Religion, Reform, Identity:

Ireland and the Age of Reformations

Panel 1 : 10:45 – 12:45

1. Professor Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin University College Dublin

Religious change in the “Celtic” world, 1530-1650

2. Dr Áine Hensey, Irish Association of Professional Historians

Diverging paths: the parish clergy of Waterford and Lismore in

the aftermath of the Reformation

3. Professor John McCafferty, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, University College Dublin:

From Urbs Intacta to Caput Mundi: Luke Wadding of Waterford’s reformations

Panel 2: 13:40 -15:10

4. Professor Marc Caball, University College Dublin

Print, religion, and culture in seventeenth-century Ireland:

the case of William Bedell ( 1571-1642), bishop of Kilmore

5. Dr Ivar McGrath,University College Dublin

The Penal Laws: Origins, purpose, enforcement and legacy

Panel 3 : 15:40—17:10

6. Professor Salvador Ryan, Pontifical University St. Patrick’s College Maynooth

Perceptions of Protestants and the construction of Irish Catholicism

in the post-Reformation period

7. Professor Alan Ford, University of Nottingham

From antichrist to ecumenism: Irish Protestant attitudes to Catholics, 1600-2000

Conference : €50

Concessions : €30

Social Welfare / Student Card / Member of an Historical Society / Early Booking

Light lunch included.


Professor Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin, University College Dublin

 Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin is currently Head of School of History at University College Dublin. He completed his PhD

at the European University Institute at Florence in 1995. He has published widely in journals such as English

Historical Review, History Compass, Revue Historique, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy and in numerous

edited collections. His research interests are primarily in the field of Early Modern religious history, and he is an

internationally recognised authority on the Counter Reformation. His most recent monograph was published

with Oxford University Press in 2015 and is entitled Catholic Europe, 1592-1648: Centre and Peripheries.

Dr Áine Hensey, Independent Scholar

Áine Hensey graduated with a PhD from the Department of History, NUI Maynooth, in 2012. The subject of her

thesis was a comparative study of the lives of Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic clergy in the south-eastern

dioceses of Ireland between 1550 and 1650. She is currently conducting a study of the fate of Catholic priests in

Ireland in the immediate aftermath of the Cromwellian conquest. She also works as a presenter/producer of music

programmes with RTE Raidió na Gaeltachta and as an arts administrator

Professor John McCafferty, University College Dublin

 John McCafferty is an internationally recognised expert on sixteenth and seventeenth century religious history of

Ireland across the Protestant and Catholic divide. His main research interests include perceptions of the

medieval past in the early modern period, Irish Franciscan networks on the continent, religious autobiographies

and biographies, and the Church of Ireland and Reformation in early Stuart Ireland. He was awarded a UCD

President’s Research fellowship for 2010-2011 to lead a project entitled Making Ireland European, Making

Europe Irish: the Irish Franciscan project 1600-1690, which involved intensive study of early modern libraries in

Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Italy. He is Director of the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute at UCD.

Professor Marc Caball, University College Dublin

 Marc Caball is an historian of early modern Ireland with particular expertise in the cultural history of Gaelic

Ireland. He has recently begun to publish on the long neglected topic of the history of print and the book in early

modern Gaelic Ireland. A former research scholar of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, he holds a D.Phil.

from the University of Oxford and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has published widely on the

cultural history of early modern Ireland. Among his recent publications are: ‘’Solid divine and worthy scholar’:

William Bedell, Venice and Gaelic culture’ in James Kelly and Ciarán Mac Murchaidh (eds.), Irish and English:

essays on the Irish linguistic and cultural frontier, 1600-1900 (Four Courts Press, 2012); ‘Gaelic and Protestant: a

case-study in early modern self-fashioning, 1567-1608’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy (110C, 2010).

Professor Charles Ivar McGrath, University College Dublin

 Ivar McGrath publications include Ireland and Empire, 1692-1770 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2012), The

Making of the Eighteenth-Century Irish Constitution: Government, Parliament and the Revenue, 1692-1714

(Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000), articles in The English Historical Review, Irish Historical Studies, Parliamentary

History, Eighteenth-Century Ireland and several edited collections and reference works, as well as co-edited

works as follows: Converts and Conversion in Ireland, 1650-1850 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005); Money,

Power and Print: Interdisciplinary Studies on the Financial Revolution in the British Isles (Newark: University of

Delaware Press, 2008); and People, Politics and Power: Essays on Irish History 1660-1850 in Honour of James I.

McGuire (Dublin: UCD Press, 2009).

Professor Salvador Ryan, Pontifical University St. Patrick’s College Maynooth


 Salvador Ryan is a native of Moneygall, County Offaly. He studied Nua-Ghaeilge and History at NUI Maynooth and

Theology at St Patrick’s College Maynooth and St Patrick’s College, Thurles. He completed his doctoral dissertation on

‘Popular religion in Gaelic Ireland, 1445-1645’ at the Department of History, NUI Maynooth, in 2003, and was based in

the department as an IRCHSS Postdoctoral Fellow from 2003-05. From 2005-08 he taught Church History at St

Patrick’s College, Thurles, and was employed as Academic Coordinator from 2006-08 before returning to St Patrick’s

College, Maynooth as Professor of Ecclesiastical History in 2008. In 2011 he was appointed secretary to the Faculty of

Theology at the Pontifical University in Maynooth. In 2013 he was elected to the Ecclesiastical History Society as an

Executive Committee Member for a three-year term. In 2014 he was appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board

of British Catholic History (Cambridge University Press), the journal formerly known as Recusant History. In June 2015

he was appointed joint Review Editor of Irish Theological Quarterly.

 Faculty of Theology, and now pro-vice chancellor at University of Nottingham, as well as a Fellow of the Royal

Historical Society, Alan Ford works on Irish history in the early-modern period, and has published a number of

highly important works relating to the reformation and religion. He has a particular interest in religious identity

and sectarianism – why and how Protestants came to hate Catholics and vice versa. His publications include The

Protestant Reformation in Ireland, 1590 – 1641, and he was editor (with John McCafferty) of the important

volume The Origins of Sectarianism in Early Modern Ireland.