The 75th Anniversary Symposium


Some Irish comings and goings - Aspects of Irish Migration

On the 1st October 2011 the IGRS closed its celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of its foundation with a symposium held at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. The celebrations had begun in Ireland earlier in the year in March with a reception hosted by our President, Mr. Fergus Gillespie, at the National Library of Ireland at which the guest of honour was President of Ireland, Mrs. Mary McAleese.


Fittingly, Burlington House has an Irish connection and is named after one of its former owners Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Burlington. He was a descendant of the Earl of Cork. Later the earldoms of Cork and Burlington were combined when the other Cork line died out. See more

The lecture venue.

The event was opened by Jane Connolly, First Secretary to the Irish Community at the Embassy of Ireland, London
First secretary

Congratulating the Society on achieving such a milestone in its history, Ms. Connolly spoke of the importance of genealogy not only to the Irish but to the Irish Diaspora too. With some wit she mentioned Queen Elizabeth as perhaps being one of the least known members of the Diaspora, Her Majesty having ancestors from amongst the Irish chieftains. Full text of her remarks.

The speakers

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, who partly sponsored the day. Niall spoke on the importance genealogy to tourism in Ireland, quoting an array of facts and figures recently gleaned by Tourism Ireland about the reasons visitors give for their trips to Ireland. Niall
Dr. Declan Downey, in a very fulsome address, spoke about the Wild Geese and the Flight of the Earls at the beginning of the 17th century. He gave case studies of Irish people, from many backgrounds, obtaining positions of importance and of high office in foreign courts and in doing so mentioned many resources for their study. Declan
Dr. Thomas O'Connor spoke on the records of the Spanish Inquisition and gave an enlivening talk that dispelled some myths about the Inquisition. He was able to show that this rich source of family information contained many references to Irish people, both Protestant and Catholic and from all backgrounds. A major class of people where those wishing to formalise their conversion or re-admittance to the Roman Catholic Church in Spain and its dominions. Thomas
Dr. William Roulston spoke on the coming of the Scots Planters to 17th century Ulster. He discussed how the lands were allocated and how the ownership changed over time. He made constant reference to little known sources for the subject, which listed poor and wealthy alike. William
Dr. Breandán MacSuibhne spoke about the fate of so many Ulster Presbyterians by making reference to the published travel writings one such Ulster-Scot, John Gamble (1770-1831), who left Ulster for England in the later 18th century. Over several return visits to Ireland in the early 1800s he wrote and published a number of books on the conditions in Ireland, in which he articulated his affinity to his Irish kinsmen, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter alike. Breandán

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