Irish Lecture Series with Sean Murphy


with Sean Murphy       ADULTS
4 classes, Tuesdays
Oct 31-Nov 21   The Rebellion of 1641
Nov 28-Dec 19   The Protestant Ascendancy

The Rebellion of 1641, the Irish Catholic Confederation, and the Cromwellian Conquest and Plantation (1649-1658): The  Rising in 1641 was followed by the formation of the Catholic Confederation which became the de facto government of Ireland, free from the control of the English administration and loosely aligned with the Royalist side in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.The subsequent Irish Confederate Wars continued in Ireland until 1652, when Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army decisively defeated the Irish Catholics and Royalists, and re-conquered Ireland.
Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan, believed he was an instrument of divine retribution for (alleged) atrocities committed by Catholics against Protestants in 1641 and he accordingly gave orders to deny mercy to Catholics. His campaign was savage and is remembered for the slaughter of women and children as well as unarmed captives. As a result of deaths from war, killings, plague, disease, exposure to the elements, famine and deportations the population of Ireland fell by an estimated  600,000 - almost by half.

The Protestant Ascendency and the Penal Laws, Late 17th and 18th Century Ireland: After the Cromwellian Settlement in the 1650's  and the Battle of the Boyne (1690) Catholic Ireland was devestated and defeated. After the Treaty of Limerick (1691) more than 30,000 people were exiled to France. In the following fifty years it is estimated that upwards of 450,000 Irishmen - the "Wild Geese"- died in the service of the Frence armed forces. By the end of the 17th century Ireland was under the control of a new Protestant landowning elite who took control and ownership of almost all the land and excluded the Catholic and dissenter population from the political structures in the country. Penal Laws were introduced to isolate and marginalize the native Irish people from all aspects of the political, social, economic and educational life of the country. The effect was to criminalize and impoverish much of the population and lay the ground for the Rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916;  the Act of Union, the famine of the 1840's and the partition of Ireland.

4 one-hour lectures per session, each followed by a 30-minute discussion period.

October 31 - November 21: The Rebellion of 1641
November 28 - December 19: The Protestant Ascendancy
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm upstairs in the Black Box
$75/$63.75 members per 4 sessions
$20 drop-in

Sean Murphy is an Irishman now living and teaching Irish history, music, and dance on Cape Cod and Nantucket. He studied Irish social, economic, and political history as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Trinity College Dublin. In 2016 he organized and presented a number of lectures and events related to the 1916 Easter Rebellion including one at the Irish Village with Derek Warfield. In Ireland, Sean was involved in social and political movements including the Irish Civil Rights Association (ICRA) in the '70's and the "Reclaim the Spirit of 1916" Committee that organized the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Easter Rising in 1991. In the 1990's he was elected to be a member of the Dublin City Development Board. In 2014, Sean was awarded the Thomas P. McCann "Altruism Award" trophy by the Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Committee for his "support and commitment to the Culture and Heritage of Ireland and its people."