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Friday 13 December 2019

Diarmuid MacMurrough to go on 'trial' in Ferns

The Norman reenactment group depicting the arrival of the Normans on Bannow beach 850 years ago. On October 12 and 13, a re-enactment of the trial of Diarmuid MacMurrough will take place in Ferns
The Norman reenactment group depicting the arrival of the Normans on Bannow beach 850 years ago. On October 12 and 13, a re-enactment of the trial of Diarmuid MacMurrough will take place in Ferns

Brendan Keane

On October 12 and 13, St Edan's Cathedral in Ferns will provide the venue for a very special event as part of this years 850th anniversary commemorations of the Norman invasion of Ireland.

Diarmuid MacMurrough, the High King of Leinster, was largely responsible for the arrival of the Normans and the October event in Ferns will see him 'go on trial' for his actions.

The judicial inquiry will look into the actions and motives of MacMurrough and his responsibility or otherwise for the Norman 'invasion'.

A spokesperson for the organisers said the inquiry will shine a light on key events that led to the invasion an the extent to which Diarmuid MacMurrough was responsible.

Informed by Brehon Law, leading barristers, historians and academics will explore the fascinating tale of power and intrigue in medieval Ireland.

The MacMurrough Inquiry which will be open to the public who are sure to enjoy the debacle and debate which will be led by Hugh McDowell BL.

He will also act as MC and will co-ordinate the inquiry's legal teams.

It is likely to be a very educational, informative and entertaining event and before the inquiry commences, brief presentations will be made by Dr Ronan Mulhaire on Irish kingship in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Author and Professor, Liam Breatnach, of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, will be in attendance and he will present details of Brehon Law.

The event organiser, Catherine MacPartlin, said the arrival of the Norman was a key event in Irish history.

'The story is a complex one and the MacMurrough Inquiry will bring to life characters from the medieval period who will shed some light on events leading up the arrival of the Normans,' she said.

'This is a community-led event, where local people are collaborating with legal professionals, academics and historians on this exciting project which will explore the fascinating tale of power and intrigue in the medieval period, using a mix of law, history and drama.'

Following the trial on October 12, there will be a field trip to the O'Doran Brehon Law School in Ballyorley.

The MacMurrough Inquiry is part of a year-long programme of public events taking place in Wexford to mark the Norman anniversary. Historical talks and demonstrations, music concerts, landing re-enactments, workshops, medieval games are all part of the programme of events.

The final event on the 2019 calendar will be the 'Carrick 850 International Conference' hosted by the Irish Archaeology Field School, the Irish National Heritage Park, and partners on October 18 and 19.

That will take place at the Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford.

Tickets to the MacMurrough inquiry are priced €30, inclusive of coffee breaks, lunch, and the field trip.

For more details email fernsheritageconference@gmail.com.

Wexford People

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