Turas Na Mban

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Swinford delighted to welcome ‘Turas Na MBan Conference’


Friday 19th February to Saturday 20th February 2016
Swinford Cultural Centre, Swinford, Co. Mayo

This promises to be an absolutely historic conference here in Swinford an we would urge everyone to attend. Please contact the Mayo North East Office on 094 9256745 to book your ticket or visit www.turasnamban.com

Mayo County Council in partnership with Mayo North East are working together to promote Social Cohesion and develop cultural animation models to promote Community Heritage.

Our Conference Turas na mBan is a vehicle to elucidate the varying aspects of women’s contribution to this process. The Conference seeks to explore and promote the diverse aspects of women in society and the potential danger of ignoring such inputs resulting in societal imbalance and chaos.

It is hoped from this Conference to establish a thought-paruchia in Swinford where the Conference themes will be further explored and innovative schemes developed to allow new models which will reflect a feminine perspective on Community and Society.


Joanne Grehan, Director of Services, Mayo County Council will officially open the Conference.
Marie Louise O’Donnell


mary louise

Marie-Louise O’Donnell studied English and Education at Nottingham University, Masters in Education at NUI Maynooth, M.A. in Modern Drama at UCD and Theatre and Voice at The Guild Hall School of Music and Drama in London.
She became head of Drama at Carysfort Teacher Training College, a Theatre Director and a professional actress.
She trained in Radio Production Presentation and Direction with the BBC in London and made and presented programmes for BBC Radio 4 for several years.

As a member of staff in DCU for 23 years, she lectured in The School of Communications.
In the early 90s she initiated The Arts and Culture on the young DCU University campus, culminating in the imaging, building and launch of The Helix in 2002. She was appointed to the Board of the National Concert Hall for 2 terms.
Marie Louise has lectured extensively in Ireland, Europe and the USA in Education, Irish Drama, Irish Culture and Language. She is a noted after dinner speaker and has acted as invited master of ceremonies for many National and International events.
She has presented programmes on Television and Radio and is a regular reviewer and media contributor.
She works weekly as a colour radio writer and reporter on the national broadcaster’s The Sean O’Rourke Show.
Marie-Louise is a published writer.
In May 2011 she was appointed to the Senate by The Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Dr. Bob Curran


dr bob curran

Dr Bob Curran was born and raised in a remote mountain area of Co Down. He is a teacher and although he still teaches much of his work is regarding Community Development in Northern Ireland, in this capacity, he acts as a consultant to a number of cultural bodies within the Province.
As a writer Curran, has been extremely prolific and has approximately 38 books to his name mainly on the subjects of history and culture. He has also served as a contributor and consultant to various radio and television programmes.

He is married with a young family he continues to live in Northern Ireland on the picturesque Derry coast not far from Giants Causeway.
Dick Hogan



dick hogan

Tipperary man, Dick Hogan, reared in the Slieve Phelim mountains in mid west Tipperary close to the Limerick border, a place where Dick says traditions die hard. Dick attended the Christian Brothers school in Tipperary town where all the students were taught the famous old nationalistic ballads from the Christian Brothers own published song book.
Dick has toured in many parts of the world, having been to the USA more than a dozen times with the Slievenamon Set Dancing group under the guidance of the famous Set Dancing maestro, Connie Ryan who came from only a few miles from Dick’s home place. He also has an All Ireland medal for set dancing again under the tutelage of Connie Ryan.
Dick and his wife Bridget who is known to sing occasionally and also an All Ireland champion set dancer travelled all over Ireland with Connie helping with the revival of old set dances which were largely forgotten.
He has toured in the USA with the Merchant Ceili group on many occasions. He has toured in Russia with the Shaskeen Ceili band. He has been to many parts of Europe and South Africa.
Kathleen Walker Shaw


kathleen walker shaw

Kathleen Walker Shaw is the European Officer of the British and Irish Trade union GMB, and runs GMB’s office in Brussels. GMB is Britain’s third largest union, with 640,000 members across eight sectors of industry and services including public services.
Kathleen is also a member of Group II (Workers Group) of European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative committee of the EU.
Before joining the GMB in January 1993, Kathleen was a local government European Officer for a major UK metropolitan public authority and trade union convenor.
Ms Justice Laffoy



justice laffoy


Ms Justice Laffoy graduated from University College Dublin with a BA degree in 1968. Subsequently, between 1968 and 1971 she studied law at University College Dublin and at the Honourable Society of King’s Inns in Dublin. She was called to the Bar in July 1971.
Ms Justice Laffoy practised as a barrister from the Michaelmas term 1971 until her appointment to the High Court. She was admitted to the Inner Bar in the Michaelmas term of 1987.
Ms Justice Laffoy was appointed a Judge of the High Court in April 1995. While on the High Court Bench, she was primarily involved in civil litigation, principally in the area of chancery law.

Ms Justice Laffoy was appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2013.
Mark Patrick Hederman



dom mark patrick hederman

Dom Mark Patrick Hederman, OSB, Abbot of Glenstal Abbey, County Limerick, Ireland, is a Benedictine monk, teacher, lecturer and writer. Formerly headmaster of the school at Glenstal, he was later named academic dean. He did his doctorate in the philosophy of education. He studied in Paris under Emmanual Levinas. He has lectured in philosophy and literature in America and Nigeria as well as Ireland, and was a founding editor of the cultural journal The Crane Bag. His first book, Kissing the Dark (Veritas, 1999) was a bestseller.
Dr Rhona Mahony



dr rhona mahony

Dr Rhona Mahony is the Master of The National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street in Dublin.
Dr Mahony is the first woman to hold such a position in Ireland. Dr Mahony from Dublin is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and a specialist in foetal and maternal medicine at the hospital.
Her research into topics such as maternal weight gain and pelvic floor injuries following childbirth has been published in a number of international medical journals.

Dr Mahony studied medicine at University College Dublin, graduating in 1994 with first class honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.
Masters of the National Maternity Hospital are permitted to serve one term only. Dr. Mahony is the 17th Master of the hospital since its foundation in 1894.
She is married with four children.



Friday 19th February 2016
l1:00 PM | Justin Sammon, CEO, Mayo North East

Official Opening
Joanne Grehan, Director of Services, Mayo County Council

1:30 PM | Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell
Mother Morragh Bernard

2:15 PM | Dr Bob Curran
Wise Women in Ireland


3:45 PM | Dick Hogan
The Story of Mother Jones

4:15 PM | Kathleen Walker Shaw
Eleanor Marx – an inspiration to Women in the Labour movement and beyond

5:30 PM | Beer tasting with Reel Deal
Art Exhibition

Saturday 20th February 2016
9:30 AM | Historical Tour of Swinford
With local historian Michael Comer


11:45 AM | Mark Patrick Hederman, Glenstal Abbey
Adam & Eve and pinch me:

12:30 PM | Ms Justice Laffoy
Women in the Legal Profession

1:30 PM | LUNCH

2:15 PM |Transition Year Students –
Woman’s place in 1916 non military guise

3:00 PM | Dr Rhona Mahony Master National Maternity Hospital
Take Me Away From The Monto-A Century of Childbirth Dublin

Art Exhibition

Author: Swinford Admin

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