Irish Conference of Medievalists 2015


This year’s Irish Conference of Medievalists is taking place at University College Dublin between the 1st and 3rd of July. It features a huge range of speakers, discussing a variety of topics and you will be hard pressed to find a better conference line up this summer. For delegates who sign up by June 1st, the fee is €40, with a student/pensioner/unwaged rate of €20. This registration fee will also cover refreshments as well as the ICM receptions. You can see the full list of speakers and their chosen subjects below. As you can see its very extensive!

More information on the conference can be found here, while a detailed programme of events can be viewed here.

Wednesday July 1st

11:30 – 13:00 Sessions 1a, b, c


Elise Alonzi (Arizona State University) To sample the Salmon of Knowledge: historical and archaeological evidence for the impact of dietary practices on the biogeochemistry of medieval Irish populations

Gill Boazman (UCC) The Conaille Muirthemne kings and Faughart, Co. Louth: the material culture of image projection

Christina Wade (TCD) Power in death: an examination of Viking grave goods in Dublin

Session 1B (A106)

Nathan Millin (UCD) The hammer of God: an early Irish exposition on Pontius Pilate

Catherine Coffey (QUB) Medieval spin doctors: an analysis of the interplay between political and salvation history in the Annolied

Jennifer Farrell (University of Exeter) Women and the supernatural: reflections of patronage and social identity in Romance and History?


Rhiannon Carey Bates (TCD) The Anglicisation of the Irish episcopate: the first English bishops of Irish dioceses

Maeve B. Callan (Simpson College) The secret of Ledrede’s success: how Richard de Ledrede, Bishop of Ossory, overcame months of resistance to effect the British Isles’ first execution at the stake (Kilkenny, 1324)

Brian Coleman (TCD) The gentry of English Ireland and ‘self-government at the kings’s command’

Sessions 2a, b, c 14.00-13.30

SESSION 2A (A109) Panel: Medieval Carlow / Sponsored by Carlow County Museum supported by Carlow County Council

Linda Doran (UCD) Vikings in the Carlow Corridor

Cóilín Ó Drisceoil (Kilkenny Archaeology/ Maynooth University) William and Isabella Marshal in Ireland

Margaret Murphy (Carlow College) Medieval Carlow: origins, growth and decline


Margaret Smith (Saint Louis University) Kinship and kingship: identity and authority in the Book of Lismore

Thomas Herron (East Carolina University) Centering Spenser: a digital resource for Kilcolman Castle: reception and new directions in research

Catherine Emerson (NUI Galway) Who were the Irish readers of medieval French early printed books?

SESSION 2C (K114) Panel: Churches, monasteries and social-economic change

Paul Stevens (UCD) Archaeology, Marxism, and the early Irish Church: a preliminary review of the evidence for production on early Irish ‘monasteries’

Roy Flechner (UCD) Converting the Isles: some preliminary conclusions from an international research network

Gabor Thomas (University of Reading) Places of power and economic intensification in Anglo-Saxon England: new archaeological perspectives from Lyminge, Kent

16:00-17:30 Sessions 3a, b, c

SESSION 3A (A109) Panel: Medieval castles & their communities

Kieran O’Conor (NUI Galway) New research at Rindoon Castle, Co. Roscommon

Patrick J. Goode (Lea Castle Conservation Group) The O’Dempseys of Clanmalier and Lea Castle

Karen Dempsey (UCD) Lea Castle, Co. Laois: some initial observations….


David Woods (UCC) An unpublished follis of Tiberius Apsimar: a siege-issue from Tyana c. 708?

Emmett O’Byrne (IT Carlow) Cormac Ua Maelsechlainn (d. 1239)~warrior of the Irish resurgence

Stephen Hewer (TCD) The free Gaelic man in English Ireland, 1252-1327


Ksenia Kudenko (UCC) The survival of áer ‘satire’ in Irish Saints’ Lives

Colin Ireland (Arcadia University) What constitutes the learning of a sapiens? The case of Cenn Fáelad

Pamela O’Neill (University of New South Wales/ University of Sydney) Adomnán of Iona: lawmaker or lawyer?


Thursday July 2nd

9:30 – 11:00 Sessions 4a, b, c

SESSION 4A (A109) Panel: Political communities and civil societies in the Atlantic Arc: understanding Ireland in its European context

Patrick Gleeson (NUI Galway) Framing scales of community and civil society in the Atlantic Arc: perspectives from early medieval Ireland

Álvaro Carvajal Castro (UCD) Modelling local political communities in early medieval Ireland: a comparative perspective from NW Iberia

Russell Ó Ríagáin (University of Cambridge) Kings in a contact zone: the shifting configurations of social power in the early medieval North Channel


Freya Verstraten Veach (University of Hull) How Irish was the Earl of Ulster? An excursion into the genealogies of the de Burghs and Uí Chonchobhair

Catherine Swift (Mary Immaculate College, UL) Paddy le Carpenter and surname formation in the mid-West

Caren Mulcahy (UCD) The Husseys, Barons of Galtrim, a county gentry family of Meath, 1170-1540

Session 4C

Michael Clarke (NUI Galway) The Irish Liber Hymnorum and its affinities

Mariamne Briggs (University of Edinburgh) What’s in a tale title: Togail na Tebe as an editorial construction

Gregory Hulsman (TCD) The evolution of a Lollard book of instruction: a case study

11:30 – 11:30 Sessions 5a, b, c


Emma Anderson (University of Edinburgh/ University of Glasgow) The musical landcsape: audience, sound and boundary in early Irish literature

Ann Buckley (TCD/ QUB) Varieties of song in medieval Ireland

Siobhán Barrett (Maynooth University) Keening in the poems of Bláthmac

SESSION 5B (A106) Panel: Hagiography and historiography

Alban Gautier (Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale) Vita or res gestae? Asser’s Life of Alfred between hagiography and historiography

Denis Casey (Maynooth University) Angry saints: (un)sympathetic readings of Irish hagiography Jean-

Michel Picard (UCD) Hagiography and historiography: Columbanus saviour of European civilisation


Rebecca Boyd (Independent Scholar) New questions for old buildings: exploring ‘home’ in Viking Ireland

Karen Dempsey (UCD) Chamber-towers and their ‘private’ spaces: indentifying and understanding the ‘living-room’

Lynda Mulvin (UCD) Form follows function: change in plans of Irish medieval friary architecture

14:00 – 15:30 Sessions 6a, b, c             

SESSION 6A (A109) Panel: Crusaders behaving badly

Léan Ní Chléirigh (UCD) ‘For devotion alone, and not to obtain money or honours’: evidence for disqualification of crusaders from spiritual benefits of crusading in the early narratives of the crusades

Kathryn Hurlock (Manchester Metropolitan University) The use and abuse of the crusading ideal by England’s kings

Paolo Virtuani (UCD) Two alleged Hospitaller murders: a comparative analysis


Elaine Pereira Farrell (Utrecht University/ UCD) The recycling of the Penitential of Cummean in the Excarpsus Cummeani

Máirín Mac Carron (NUI Galway) Bede’s Anno Mundi chronology and Irish computistica

Nicole Volmering (DIAS) The adaptation of the Visio Sancti Pauli in the West: the evidence of Redaction VI

SESSION 6C (K114) Panel: Aspects of the Middle Ages in County Wexford/ Sponsored by Wexford County Council

Charles Doherty (RSAI) The ‘life’ of St Abbán: an alternative reading

Linda Doran (UCD) Medieval New Ross

Bernard Browne (RSAI) Old Ross the town that never was

16:00-17:30 Sessions 7a, b, c


Laura McCloskey (TCD) Celtic stylistic influence in early medieval Irish illuminated manuscripts: reflections of the Roman Empire

Robert D. Stevick (University of Washington) Morphogenesis of Macregol Gospels evangelist pages: what the eye doesn’t see

Rosemary Power (NUI Galway) Iona~crosses and shadows


Cherie N. Peters (TCD) Who wore the trousers in early medieval Ireland?

Santa Jansone (Independent Scholar) Dress in Scandinavia in the 7th – 8th century: possible reconstructions

Artis Aboltins (Independent Scholar) Military gear of the Scandinavian military elite during the Vendel period and possible ways of using it on the battlefield

SESSION 7C (K114) Panel: The after-lives of St Columba: new approaches

Neil McGuigan (University of St Andrews) Columba and the Scotification of Cuthbert

Victoria Whitworth (University of the Highlands and Islands) Adoring lions and glamorous bosses: a sculptural hint at the cult of St Columba in tenth-century York

Russell Ó Ríagáin (University of Cambridge) (Post)Colonial Columba


Friday July 3rd

11:30 – 13:00 Sessions 8a, b, c

SESSION 8A Panel: Perspectives on medieval Ireland and modernity

Tara Kelly (Independent Scholar) Purchasing the past: consumers of Irish facsimile jewellery and metalwork

Colleen M. Thomas (TCD) The ‘Irish’ crosses of Earley & Powell in the 1860s

Niamh NicGhabhann (UL) Medieval Ireland and the Shannon Hydro-Electric Scheme: reconstructing the past in independent Ireland


Duncan Sneddon (University of Edinburgh) Would you Adam and Eve it? Women as givers of advice in Vita Sancti Columbae

Marion Deane (Independent Scholar) Buile Suibhne (The Frenzy of Sweeney). Symptom as desire: an appraisal of Sweeney’s madness

Jake Ryan (UCD) The Auchinlech Manuscript: a how-to guide for medieval manliness

SESSION 8C Panel: Projects in Celtic lexicography

Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh (University of Glasgow) DASG, Faclair na Gàidhlig, and their relevance to the study of medieval Gaelic G.

Angharad Fychan (Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies) The University of Wales Dictionary of the Welsh Language

Sharon Arbuthnot (QUB) Revisiting and repurposing eDIL

15:00 Sessions 9a, b, c

SESSION 9A (A109) Please note this session, only, will run 14:00 – 15:30

Lenore Fischer (Independent Scholar) Brian Boraimhe, his evolving legend

Stephen H. Harrison (University of Glasgow) Between tide and text: a new approach to the Battle of Clontarf


Alexander O’Hara (Austrian Academy of Sciences) Columbanus ad locum: the establishment of the monastic foundations

Gavin Dillon (Independent Scholar) ‘Claiming ground’ a response to the rise of monastic empires

SESSION 9C (K114) Panel: Irish medievalists: writings and legacies I

Nollaig Ó Muraíle (NUI Galway) Items of correspondence of John O Donovan preserved in the Royal Irish Academy

Jamie Blake Knox (TCD) James Henderson Todd and the origins of the early Irish Church

15:00 – 16:00 sessions 10a, b

SESSION 10A (A106)

Claire Collins (UCD) Saint Patrick vs. Cenn Cruaich in the Patrician Lives: elements of narrative

Grigoriy G. Grigoryev (Russian State University) The symbolic meaning of St Patrick’s Crozier (‘Staff of Jesus’) and its role in St Patrick’s hagiography

SESSION 10B (K114) Panel: Irish medievalists: writings and legacies II

Dáibhí Ó Cróinin (NUI Galway) Some new letters of Whitley Stokes in Leipzig

Mairead Carew (UCD) Adolf Mahr: a Celtic archaeologist in 1930s Ireland

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