New Professors’ Inaugural Lecture Series Continues at NUI Galway

May 28 2018 Posted: 14:50 IST

Public intellectual, essayist, journalist, and nationalist MP Tom Kettle (1880-1916) subject of lecture

A new lecture series at the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, will continue with Established Professor of Political Science and Sociology Niamh Reilly, on Thursday, 21 June at 5pm. The lecture will take place in room G011, Moore Institute in the James Hardiman Library.
In her talk, Professor Reilly will discuss gifted public intellectual, essayist, journalist, and nationalist MP Tom Kettle (1880-1916), who was killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
Though not very well known in Ireland today, historian Senia Pašeta notes Kettle ‘was associated with almost every major political and cultural development’ during his lifetime. Kettle stood for constitutional democracy and a non-sectarian, self-governing Irish nation and cautioned against the insular tendencies of cultural nationalism. Recently, he has figured prominently in public discourse than at any time since his death. In this limited narrative, he is invoked as a conciliatory figure who demonstrates the possibility of combining the identities of ‘British soldier’, ‘Irish patriot’ and ‘European’ and is largely constructed as a precursor to Ireland's contemporary business-friendly 'centre-right'.
However, there is a larger and more complex story to be told about Tom Kettle. He was a vocal advocate for the rights of women and labour and a Catholic intellectual who supported the separation of Church and State. This lecture draws on continuing research into the social and political thought of Tom Kettle. It outlines the expansive scope of his thinking and influences, and his ideas about democracy and social justice, Irish nationalism and unionism, national development, religion and religious identity, militarism and internationalism, all of which, it is argued, remain salient today.
Dr Seán Crosson, Vice-Dean, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to continue this new lecture series which provides a great opportunity for the University to make the general public more aware of the world-leading innovative research being undertaken in the college.”
The next edition in the College’s New Professors’ Inaugural lecture series will be presented by An tOllamh Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Roinn na Gaeilge, on Thursday, 4 October.

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