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Wales–Ireland Network: Public Events

17 September 2009: Paul Murphy MP – ‘Personal perspective on Welsh-Irish connections’

Paul Murphy MP

Paul Murphy MP

One of the key players in the Good Friday Agreement is set to give a very personal perspective on links between Wales and Ireland in an event hosted by Cardiff University's Wales-Ireland Research Network.

Paul Murphy MP visited the University to give an insider’s view of the devolution decade as well as giving a unique insight into the character and culture of our communities as they face a decade of devolution. 

As one of Wales’ most influential politicians and a former Secretary of State for both Wales and Northern Ireland, the public lecture drew on his unique experiences in Ireland and Wales and his own Irish ancestry.

17 April 2009: John Horgan & Geraint Talfan Davies, ‘Culture, Media and Markets in Small Nations’

Academics and professionals from the arts, broadcasting, theatre and museums will come together at a major international conference on Ireland and Wales at Aberystwyth University on the weekend of 17-18 April. Speakers at the event come from universities and institutions in Ireland, Wales, England and North America.

The theme of the conference is ‘Cultural Institutions and Creativity in Ireland and Wales’.

The contributions range from a comparison of art patronage in Cardiff and Dublin to a consideration of the campaigns for Welsh-language and Irish-language TV stations and the nature of theatre in the two countries.

Among the highlights of the conference programme is a discussion between Geraint Talfan Davies, chair of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, and Professor John Horgan, the Irish Press Ombudsman, on broadcasting in the two countries. The title of their discussion is: ‘Culture, Media and Markets in Small Nations’. The session will be hosted at the National Library of Wales. Among the other speakers are Ceri Sherlock of BBC Wales and Lloyd Trott of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

“Cultural institutions have played a huge part in the lives of small countries like Ireland and Wales. They have faced many similar challenges. They deal with a context that involves more than one language group and have complex relationships with the cultures of their more powerful neighbour,” said Dr Paul O’Leary of Aberystwyth University.

“However, there are important differences between the two countries, too, and it is only by comparing their cultural lives that the precise nature of those differences becomes clear.”

14 October 2008: Mike Young – ‘Taking on the Mouse: Ireland, Wales and the Animation Trade’

Drawing upon his experiences as co-founder of Mike Young Productions, one of the largest independent animation studios in the world, Mike Young the creator of SuperTed and Jakers!, visited the University to give a free public lecture.

Now an Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning creator of many highly successful television animation projects, Mike’s career began in Wales more than 30 years ago when he began to tell his four-year-old son tales of a crime-fighting teddy bear. SuperTed, the first ever programme to be broadcast on S4C, went on to become a huge success in the United Kingdom and was later licensed by Disney.

Mike Young Productions currently operates from both a digital production facility in Los Angeles and an international production studio in Merthyr Mawr – a 500-year old barn which has been converted into a state-of-the-art studio.

One of Mike’s most successful current productions is Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, an animated series which sees the title character entertaining his grandchildren with vivid tales of his childhood as a young pig growing up in 1950s Ireland.

The lecture was one of the highlights of a two-day symposium on ‘Ireland and Wales: Romantic Nations’ organised by the Ireland-Wales Research Network. Mike follows Pulitzer-winning poet Paul Muldoon and the first National Poet of Wales, Gwyneth Lewis, as the latest high-profile speaker attracted to the University by the Network.

16 May 2008: Gwyneth Lewis – ‘Literary adventures on Irish and Welsh shores’

Gwyneth Lewis

Gwyneth Lewis (courtesy of Tim Brett)

Gwyneth Lewis writes and publishes poetry in both English and Welsh. It is her words which adorn the facade of the Wales Millennium Centre in six foot high letters. Having published 6 books of poetry and 2 non-fiction works, she has garnered enthusiastic acclaim from readers and critics alike.

Gwyneth has previously served as Poet in Residence at Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy and was made an Honorary Fellow of the University in 2005.

During her talk on 16 May, the Cardiff-born poet will be reading from her own work and also from Irish writers who have influenced her. The event, which is open to members of the public, is the highlight of a two day symposium organised by the Ireland-Wales Research Network.

Speaking ahead of the talk, entitled ‘Criss-crossings: Literary Adventures on Irish and Welsh Shores’, Gwyneth said: “Irish writing has been a formative influence on me and I’m glad to be able to express my gratitude to it. Being Welsh, however, I assume the privilege of kin in order to criticize the ones we love, which is why the lecture is called Criss-crossings”

18 December 2007: Paul Muldoon – ‘Myself and Pangur’

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon enthralled a large audience at the University with a selection of readings from and about Wales Myself and Pangur.

The Northern Irish poet gave a free public reading of Welsh-themed poems, including many of his own, at the Concert Hall. The event was part of the Wales-Ireland seminar series, designed to explore the cultural and political links between the two.

Paul Muldoon has published ten collections of poetry, winning the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for the collection Moy Sand and Gravel. The Times Education Supplement praised him as “the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.” Much of Muldoon’s work draws on Welsh material, including his prize-winning long poem Madoc. This is an imaginative and playful retelling of the legend of Prince Madoc, who is claimed to have discovered American long before Columbus.

Event organiser Dr Claire Connolly of the School of English, Communications and Philosophy said: “Paul Muldoon’s reading attracted a large and varied audience - school children from Merthyr Tydfil sat alongside Cardiff University students and staff as well as politicians and figures from the media. Wales's first national poet, Gwyneth Lewis, was also in attendance, along with a strong showing of other local writers. All were entranced by the scholarly, witty and often moving readings of Welsh and Irish poetry by a writer who brilliantly exemplifies an innovative intersection between creative and critical scholarship.”


Recordings of Ireland-Wales Network public events


For further information:

Wales-Ireland Network


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