What started as two separate conversations roughly ten days apart in the summer of 2012 with the manager of Nenagh Arts Centre Brendan Maher culminated on the afternoon of September 29th with a closing lecture on Tomas MacGiolla delivered by historian Brian Hanley in the presence of May MacGiolla, wife of Tomas and many members of the extended Gill family.
One participant of the event, who has been involved in many such events both at home and aboard, described what took place over the weekend as “discussions that were very rich in substance” and indeed it was.
From the unveiling by Jack O’Connor (General President of SIPTU) of a plaque dedicated to those who took part in the 1913 Lockout to the wonderful and spirited debate between both Fintan O’Toole and Jack O’Connor on the Friday night the ‘From Lockout to Bailout’ seminar at the Nenagh Arts Centre proved a huge success.
Saturday morning saw Tom Collins talking on the theme “Creating spaces for another Ireland to emerge” led seamlessly into the presentation by Mary P Murphy and Peadar Kirby, who jointly approached the theme “Toward a Second Republic”, which focused on the climate change scenario and the fruitlessness of the return to business as usual paradigms aboard today.
Saturday afternoon was about those who are working on the ground to “Create another Ireland”, among the speakers were Miriam Lewis form the Borrisokane Community Forum, Rev. Stephen Neill, Cloughjordan and Borrisokane parishes, Claire Madigan from Stella FM and Billy Kelly from Meitheal Mid – West in Limerick.
Saturday night saw a wonderful and illuminating interview and conversation with Nenagh author Donal Ryan.
On Sunday morning, the fifth anniversary of the ‘Bank Guarantee’, set us on the road to the Bailout aspect of the weekends events - a large group met at the Nenagh Arts Centre to be taken on a historic tour of the town of Nenagh by noted tour guide Kevin Whelan. Upon returning to the Arts Centre the final session of the weekends events brought to an end a truly wonderful occasion.
From Lockout to Bailout was an initiative jointly set up by Kathleen O’Meara and Gerry Coffey to promote and encourage public conversation and debate. The event organisers intend to return next year with a project which will look at the start of the first World War and its impact on the people of North Tipperary. The event organisers would like to thank all those who made the event possible and a special thanks to all at Nenagh Arts Centre for their help.