Two-Day Conference On History Of Tralee Set For This Weekend

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At the launch of Tralee 800 Conference were, from left: Kathleen Brown (Kerry Archaeological Society), Noreen O'Connor (Tralee Municipal District), Tony Bergin (Kerry Archaeological Society), Vincent O'Mahony (Speaker), Terry O'Brien (Mayor of Tralee), John Griffin (Kerry County Council), Helen O'Carroll (Kerry County Museum) and Maureen Hanifin (Kerry Archaeological Society) . Photo of Gavin O'Connor.

At the launch of Tralee 800 Conference earlier this month were, from left: Kathleen Browne (Kerry Archaeological Society), Noreen O’Connor (Tralee Municipal District), Tony Bergin (Kerry Archaeological Society), Vincent O’Mahony (Speaker), Terry O’Brien (Mayor of Tralee), John Griffin (Kerry County Council), Helen O’Carroll (Kerry County Museum) and Maureen Hanafin (Kerry Archaeological Society) . Photo of Gavin O’Connor.

FORMER Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dick Spring will officially open the Tralee 800 Conference this Friday evening, November 4, in Siamsa Tíre Theatre.

The two-day conference in Siamsa and the Rose Hotel will explore the 800 year history of Tralee and earlier. It forms part of this year’s Tralee 800 Programme.

Conference speakers include those who have helped to unlock Tralee’s pre-history like county archaeologist, Dr. Michael Connolly, and those who have studied its turbulent medieval history like Dr. Paul MacCotter from UCC. Local historians, Helen O’Carroll and Vincent O’Mahony will speak about Tralee landowners and merchant princes and Tom Denny will present an illustrated lecture on his family The Dennys of Tralee,  which includes recently discovered photographs of Tralee dating from the 1860s.

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Members of the two families that dominated the history of Tralee – the Fitzgeralds and the Dennys – will also be in attendance. Town Planner, Victoria McCarthy will trace the physical development of Tralee and Tralee District Manager, Michael Scannell, looking to the future in the closing address in the Rose Hotel on Saturday afternoon.

The Conference is jointly organised by the Kerry Archaeological & Historical Society (KAHS) and Tralee Municipal District Council and supported by Kerry County Council.

The Mayor of Tralee, Cllr. Terry O’Brien, is looking forward to the weekend which should be of interest to locals and visitors alike, he said:  “Tralee is one of Ireland’s oldest towns with a very eventful history that needs to be uncovered and shared. It’s part of what we are and where we have come from. The pivotal role that Tralee played in Kerry, Munster and Irish history needs to be highlighted.  Equally appealing will be the development of Tralee and future plans for the town,” he said.

Tralee was founded by John FitzThomas Fitzgerald in 1216 and was capital of the Munster Geraldine territory that extended at one stage from Tralee to East Cork until the Desmond Wars of 1580. The Fitzgeralds were succeeded by the Dennys, English settlers, who dominated the history of the town for the next 350 years and retained its status as capital of County Kerry.

Ms. Maureen Hanafin, President, Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society, said that the society was pleased to be associated with the Tralee 800 Conference. “Our role is the collection, recording, study of the history and antiquities of County Kerry and the history of Tralee is very much part of this,” she said.  “While a considerable amount of research has been written down and presented on the different periods, it’s the collective, pulling it all together, that should make for a very fascinating conference.”

There is free admission to the opening session of the conference on Friday night in Siamsa Tíre but tickets are limited and need to be reserved in advance at the Siamsa Tíre Box Office.

There is a €10 admission fee to the lectures on Saturday in the Rose Hotel which may be booked at the Tralee Chamber Alliance Office, Denny Street or online at the  website.

One Comment

  1. Mary O.Shea says:

    sounds very interesting. Wish I could be there.!!

    Best wishes to all. Love Tralee.