1916 and Noël Browne events in city this weekend

Noël Browne.

Noël Browne.

THE 1916 Rising in Galway and the centenary of birth of Noël Browne will be discussed and commemorated at two events in Galway city over the coming days.

The birth of Irish socialist politician and health reformer Noël Browne (1915 - 1997 ) will be held in the Galway Mechanics Institute, Middle Street, and NUI Galway tomorrow and Saturday.

Browne, who lived much of his life in Connemara, is remembered as the minister for health who rid Ireland of TB and who fought the Catholic hierarchy, the medical profession, and the political establishment in his efforts to introduce the Mother and Child scheme, a free public health initiative.

At 7.30pm tomorrow in the Mechanics Institute, there will be an evening of discussion and remembrance, with Robert Ballagh, who painted the by now iconic portrait of Browne; Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins TD; Browne’s grandson Glyn Carragher; and Donncha Ó hÉallaithe, a former political associate of Browne’s ), and SIPYU’s Tish Gibbons. Poet Sarah Clancy will also contribute.

From 9am to 6pm on Saturday, in the Moore Institute, NUIG, there will be a full day of talks on Irish welfare and social policy and Church-State relations, issues reflected in the career of Noël Browne. The full programme is at noelbrownewinterschool.wordpress.com

In April 1916, 500 men and women in Galway mobilized for the Rising - the most significant mobilisation outside Dublin. The episode will be discussed in a special free event, entitled A strange kind of glory: the Easter Rising in Galway and its context, at the Galway Mechanics Institute on Tuesday November 17 at 8pm.

The panelists will be Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland; Dr Úna Newell, author of a new book The West Must Wait: County Galway and the Irish Free State 1922-32; Dr Jackie Uí Chionna, author of a forthcoming biography of Galway businessman Martin ‘Máirtín Mór’ McDonogh; Dr Conor McNamara, 1916 Scholar-in-Residence at NUIG; and Dr John Cunningham, lecturer in history at NUIG.

The event is part of NUIG’s, ‘Éire á Múscailt/A Nation Rising’ programme. Admission is free and audience questions will be welcomed.

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