A two-day conference, entitled Turas na mBan will be held in the Broadhaven Bay Hotel, Belmullet on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th October 2018.

The conference, an initiative of Mayo North East LEADER Partnership, will explore the contribution of women to society from the civil service  to industry, medicine and folklore. This is the 6th time the Conference has been run and Justin Sammon, CEO of Mayo North East, sees it as “a seminal statement on the oft-ignored feminist contribution to shaping and developing society”.

With a line-up of speakers including Dr. Rhona Mahony,  Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Anna Ní Ghallachair,  Head of the School of Celtic Studies and Director of the Centre for Irish Language Research, Teaching and Testing at Maynooth University, Bairbre Nic Aongusa, Assistant Secretary in the Department of Rural and Community Development and author Mike McCormack, the conference is a unique opportunity to re-engage with this much neglected aspect of our history.

Historian and author, Dr Amanda Foreman questions why are women so absent from history.  “Since ancient times it has been the practice of the victors to obliterate the culture of the losers”,  she says. She posits the notion that the first cultural conquest wasn’t of a nation or tribe, but women. Literature throughout the ages, with few exceptions, has largely ignored women. In fact, where possible, women were excluded from writing and literary pursuits in order to subjugate and oppress them.  Women have been portrayed as the ‘helpless victim’ rather than an equal participant in society. Dr Foreman adds: “We shouldn’t accept the male view of women’s history as the perennial hapless victim.”

The truth is, the history of women isn’t a straight line from misery to liberation. Folklorist Rosan Jordan states: “Women’s folklore tells us things that social structures or psychological repression prevent women from otherwise saying – things at variance with the official ideal of culture. Narratives sometimes express ideas and feelings that would never emerge from a questionnaire or an interview or they may express them more powerfully.”

Turas na mBan 2018 Mayo North East

Registration for Turas na mBan

To register for the two-day conference, contact Rina Garrett by emailing rinagarrett@mayonortheast.com or calling 087 1840214 / 097 20828 – or click the  link below.


Turas na mBan 2018 Celebrating the Journey of Women



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