Monday 23 September 2019, 8pm, Offaly History Centre

Dr Ciarán McCabe

Poverty and Poor Relief in Pre-famine King's County (Offaly)
Illustrated lecture and book launch
‘Poverty and Poor Relief in Pre-Famine King’s County (Offaly)’ by Dr Ciarán McCabe, Monday 23 September at 8 p.m.

This lecture, to be given by our committee member and Fixtures Secretary will look at Offaly people’s experiences of poverty and charity in the decades before the Great Famine of the 1840s. Ireland’s endemic poverty was among its traits most commonly seised by social reformers and foreign travellers in this period, and a large proportion of the population scratched out a subsistence existence. In this lecture, the local conditions prevailing in King’s County (Offaly) and responses to poverty in this area will be explored, in particular those of charitable societies, parish vestries, medical institutions and private individuals.

Dr Ciarán McCabe is an historian of poverty, charity and religion in Ireland between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. He is an Irish Research Council postdoctoral research fellow at UCD and his current project examines the experiences of women in Dublin’ tenements. He is the author of Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland, published earlier this year by Liverpool University Press, as well as a number of scholarly articles. A former journalist and court reporter from Dublin, Ciarán now lives in the Midlands, is a committee member of the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society and regularly speaks to local history societies throughout Ireland.Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland

Ciarán’s lecture will be followed by the Offaly launch of his recently-published book Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland (Liverpool University Press). Michael Byrne (OHAS Hon. Secretary) will launch Ciarán’s book. Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland is the first comprehensive study of the ubiquitous practices of begging and alms-giving in nineteenth-century Ireland, and is unique in the range of records consulted from archives throughout Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland examines contemporary legal and moral views of begging and alms-giving, and asks to what extent perceptions and responses were influenced by religion, social class and gender. The book makes a valuable contribution to the history of poverty and welfare not only in Ireland but also in a wider international context, as well as enriching our understanding of Irish local history and social history.

Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland will be sold on the night at the special launch price of €25 (usual price €35)
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