Dingle Maritime Weekend, an annual event jointly organised by Kevin Flannery of the town’s renowned Oceanworld, and former Harbour Master Captain Brian Farrell (he played a key role in the establishment of the biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race in 1993), will this weekend offer an intriguing range of sea-related topics in a series of talks and inter-active events – all staged in Oceanworld, and all free writes W M Nixon
With the October Bank Holiday just completed, Dingle – which is Europe’s most westerly port – is seeing a slight change of direction, after a festive long weekend in which the noted Dingle hospitality experience, combined with its musical and entertainment traditions, set a light-hearted tone.
The Dingle Maritime Weekend, while not totally in contrast in that it firmly believes in making visitors welcome, adopts a more educational tone, and gets underway at 1400 hrs on Saturday 3rd November with a talk by Daitihi de Mordha, the former Director of The Blasket Centre from Dun Chaoin in the far west of the Dingle Peninsula, on a shipwreck of 1818 which was the cause of much conflict at the time.
Saturday’s programme is completed at 1530 by piracy historian Des Ekin, whose new book on true-life pirate stories from 30 Irish ports might surprise people as they learn of the murky pasts of what are now notably respectable seaside towns and ports all round our coast.
On Sunday the star speaker at 1130 hrs is noted journalist, broadcaster and local historian Ted Creedon, who presentation will be based around the evolution of the Coastguard Service on the Dingle Peninsula, an area so remote from much of Ireland that inevitably they developed their own very effective ways of dealing with special local conditions.
The still-disputed story of a violent event of the distant past is discussed at 1230 by Dr Conor Brosnan, who has worked as a GP in Dingle for 20 years. “The Massacre at Dun an Oir 1580” was a grisly episode at nearby Smerwick Harbour during the Demond Rebellion in November 1580, and it’s an event which has been analysed in many ways, but is always ripe as the topic for a lively discussion.
It also brings the historical side of the Dingle Maritime Weekend agenda to a close, as the final presentation on Sunday afternoon, 4th November at 1530, is very much for children and about our future, though doubtless, adults will find it of much interest. “How to be an Ocean Hero” by Louise Overy is an interactive talk and multi-themed workshop in which she aims at enticing young people into the exciting world of marine science, which - for the Ireland of today and tomorrow and into the years ahead - becomes ever more important.
Dingle Maritime Weekend 3rd-4th November 2018
All events are at Dingle Oceanworld
Saturday 3rd November 14.00 hrs: DAITHI DE MORDHA: “Bad na nGort nDubh 1818 – Tragedy, Conflict and Loss in West Kerry”.
Saturday 3rd November 15630 hrs: DES EKIN: “The Pirate Trails of Ireland”
Sunday November 4th 1130 hrs: TED CREEDON: "The Evolution of the Coastguard of the Dingle Peninsula, 1821-1922”
Sunday November 4th 1230hrs: Dr CONOR BROSNAN: “The Massacre at Dun an Oir, 1580”
Sunday NOVEMBER 4th 1430 hrs: FOR CHILDREN: LOUISE OVERY: “HOW TO BE AN OCEAN HERO”