The Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour & Class held a very successful conference over Friday and Saturday 13-14 November 2015 to mark the centenary of the birth of Dr Noel Browne. The proceedings were recorded and are available to listen to below.
Friday night saw a public event held in the Mechanics’ Institute, Middle Street, Galway, to mark the life and legacy of Noel Browne.
The first part of the event was a discussion chaired by Tish Gibbons and featuring Glyn Carragher (grandson of Noel Browne), Donncha Ó hEallaithe (founding member of the Socialist Labour Party), and Joe Higgins TD (Socialist Party).
This was followed by Sarah Clancy (Winner of 2015 Irish People’s Poetry Prize), who read two of her poems.
The event was concluded by the reflections of Robert Ballagh, artist of the iconic portrait of Noel Browne which featured on the cover of his autobiography Against The Tide (1986), speaking on ‘the Noel Browne I knew’.
The Saturday consisted of five panels of papers presented at the Moore Institute, NUI Galway, outlined below.
Panel 1 – The Catholic Church and the Social Sphere
Chair: David Convery
Shane Faherty – ‘The Catholic Church and the Creation of Denominational Education.’
Gerard Madden (NUIG) – ‘Catholic anti-communism, the Cold War, and peace and nuclear disarmament campaigns in Ireland 1945-1968.’
Deirdre Foley (UCD) – ‘Contraception and Conscience: Family Planning in Ireland and at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street (1963-1978).’
Panel 2 – Theory and Practice
Chair: Sarah-Anne Buckley
Nat O’Connor (UU) – ‘Increasing People’s Net Economic Benefit versus Tax Cuts.’
Angela Flynn (UCC) – ‘Discourses of Inequality: Ireland’s Health System.’
Aggelos Panayiotopoulos (UL) and Michael O’Flynn (UCD) – ‘Scholar-Activism: Creating Spaces for Education and Action.’
Panel 3 – Forgotten Voices
Chair: John Cunningham
Liam Cullinane (UCC) – ‘Health, Safety and Masculinity in Twentieth Century Ireland: Insights from an Oral History Project.’
Sara Goek (UCC) – ‘Describing Poverty in Mid-Twentieth Century Rural Ireland: Personal Narratives and Collective Memory.’
Dr Goek’s paper featured audio from some of her interviews for which she does not have the ethical permission to share online. Accordingly, her paper is not included in this recording.
Panel 4 – The Health and Welfare of Mothers and Children
Chair: Tomás Finn
Sarah-Anne Buckley (NUIG) – ‘Reflecting on child welfare in Ireland during Noel Browne’s lifetime, 1915-1997.’
Carmel Hannan (UL) – ‘Changing times but still the same story: The health and well-being of Lone Mothers in Ireland.’
Panel 5 – Ireland and the International Left
Chair: Shane Faherty
David Convery (NUIG) – ‘John Wheatley: Irish-born Minister of Health in Britain’s First Labour Government.’
Morris Brodie (QUB) – ‘Scattered internationalists: Irish anarchism in the interwar world.’
Liam O’Discin (UCD) – ‘Catholics, Communists and Steelworkers, 1936-1948.’