Roscommon LEADER Partnership:

Upcoming Events

Douglas Hyde Conference 2017

Thursday 13th July - Saturday 15th July 2017

Location: Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon 13th – 15th July


Douglas Hyde Conference 2017

What Price Culture? Its community, economic and social values

The role of culture and arts to our national identity has long been recognised and championed at national level. Nevertheless, if reports are to be believed, we perform poorly as a country in the European league of investment in the culture and arts.

The Douglas Hyde Conference this year, taking place in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon 13th – 15th July, takes up discussion of this challenging issue.

The conference questions the real value we place on the cultural agenda and whether the very visible and tangible efforts made at a local level to promote our cultural heritage policies and programmes, with their economic and social links are recognised.

The conference, organised by Roscommon County Council, supported by the Northern & Western Regional Assembly and the Western Development Commission joins forces this year with the Lakes & Legends Festival to bring a more coordinated approach to the programming and highlight the rich heritage and historical region of Ballaghaderreen.

Programme links have been developed with the Roscommon Leader Partnership, the Library Services and centenary and commemorative lectures in relation to the North Roscommon Election of 1917 and local figure of William Partridge to provide broader engagement with the conference.

The programme reflects the ongoing purpose of the conference to provide a forum for public debate, bringing speakers to the heart of our own communities while retaining dedicated lectures to the founding inspiration and cultural legacy of Douglas Hyde.

This year’s conference is being convened and chaired by former County Librarian, Roscommon County Council, Richie Farrell:

Full details of the programme, schedule, speakers, conference fees and contact information available on


Copies available at Civic Offices, Libraries and outlets throughout the county.

Notes to Editors.

The official opening of the Douglas Hyde Conference will take place on Thursday 13th July at the Douglas Hyde Centre, Portahard, Frenchpark, Co Roscommon with the key note address by Mr Sean Kyne TD. Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources the formal opening will also be performed by the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council and the Chief Executive, Eugene Cummins to reflect the ongoing support and commitment of the local authority for this important annual event.

The conference moves to Northern & Regional Assembly Conference Room, Ballaghaderreen on Friday 14th July where speakers in the morning sessions include the Directors of both the The Arts Council, Orlaith Mc Bride (There is no republic without art) and The National Library, Dr. Sandra Collins (Innovative Approaches and New Connections).

The conference theme has strong links this year with the Creative Ireland Programme and one of the architects of that national programme, Michael O’Reilly will be speaking. An international dimension is being added this year with the participation of Scott Timberg, culture writer from Los Angeles and author of Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class.

The conference includes the important initiative Creative Communities Igniting Change and the local context will be presented by the Roscommon Leader Partnership CEO Martina Earley. The conference is also delighted to welcome Ballaghaderreen native and Druid Theatre Artistic Director, Garry Hynes (The Last Time Someone Says Your Name).

Grounding the conference in our own unique cultural and historic setting The Hyde Lectures session as part of proceedings, will see both Sinead Byrne (Hyde as Cultural Activist/Hyde in America) and Cormac Moore (The GAA v Douglas Hyde) give lectures on specific aspects of the career of Douglas Hyde.

To reflect the importance of the conference to the community of the Ballaghaderrreen region, further events will take place on Saturday 15th at Ballaghderreen Library, Dillon House with a talk and exhibition on the North Roscommon Election of 1917 by Honor O’Brolchain , grand- niece of Joseph Plunkett (The Roscommon Line in the Snow).

The Douglas Hyde Centre, Portahard, Frenchpark will also host a commemorative lecture on William Partridge by Des Geraghty (Purest Soul and Noblest Patriot Ireland Ever Had).