Lecture and book launch to focus on Hugh O’Neill – Wednesday 22nd June at 8.00pm Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive

Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha/ONeill  Country  Historical  Society

 Lecture and book launch to focus on Hugh O’Neill

 The combination of a history lecture along with a book launch relating to the same subject and the occasion being that of a shared promotion by two neighbouring historical societies provides for a most interesting event at the Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive in Armagh.

The special event on Wednesday 22nd June, commencing at 8pm, brings together the two contemporary societies of Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha (Armagh Diocesan Historical Society) and  Cumann Staire Dúiche Néill (O’Neill Country Historical Society) in a presentation which incorporates a lecture entitled  Last years of Hugh O’Neill (c.1550-1616)’  and the launch of a reprint of Micheline Kerney Walsh’s original and highly acclaimed volume, Destruction By Peace-Hugh O’Neill after Kinsale’.

Conferred with the demanding role of heralding both issues of the evening’s proceedings is Dr Éamonn Ó Ciardha, Senior Lecturer in the School of English, History and Politics at University of Ulster and a renowned Irish historian and writer.

Originally published in 1986, and long out of print, this new edition of ‘Destruction by Peace’ coincides with the 400th anniversary of the death of Hugh O’Neill in Rome in 1616.

That significant anniversary has prompted one of the event’s participating societies, Cumann Staire Dúiche Néill, to issue a commemorative medal to mark the occasion and some of these will be available on the evening to patronsa who wish to procure one.

Micheline Kerney Walsh, archivist and historian, was a friend of Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich. She was closely associated Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha and published eleven articles in its Journal.

Micheline’s father Leopold Harding Kerney was the first Irish ambassador to Spain. He was married to Raymonde Élie of Bordeaux. Micheline received her education in France and Ireland and of course was proficient in French and Spanish. In 1941 she married Richard Walsh, lecturer in phonetics in UCD and also a Gaelic scholar.

In 1954 Micheline joined the staff of the Overseas Archives in University College Dublin.

Many publications followed: The O’Neills in Spain; The McDonnells of Antrim on the Continent; and later in the 1960s and 1970s four volumes entitled Spanish Knights of Irish origin. Micheline also contributed many articles to the Irish Sword, journal of the Military History Society of Ireland. In 1986 she became the society’s first woman vice-president. Also in 1986 the king and queen of Spain were welcomed to St Patrick’s College, Maynooth when Cardinal Ó Fiaich was president and on that occasion Micheline presented to King Juan Carlos a copy of Destruction by Peace’ . In 1988 the great work she did in researching the links between Ireland and Spain was acknowledged when she received the decoration Dama de la Orden de Isabel la Catolica, the first Irish woman to be so honoured.

Micheline Kerney Walsh died in 1997. She left her personal collection of overseas archives to the Ó Fiaich Library and Archive. In 1999 the remaining portion of her overseas archives in University College Dublin was kindly entrusted to the library/archive. Significantly, the library and archive was opened on 8th May, 1999, the anniversary of Micheline Kerney Walsh’s death and that of Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich.

Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha and Cumann Staire Dúiche Néill are honoured to respond to perceived demand and once again present to the public a reprint of Micheline  Kerney Walsh’s great book, ‘Destruction by Peace’ – Hugh O’Neill after Kinsale.’

In launching the book, Dr Éamonn Ó Ciardha, University of Ulster, Derry, will proceed to enlighten the audience on the theme, Last years of Hugh O’Neill (c.1550-1616)’  . Everyone is welcome to attend with free admission and light refreshments served.