Terence MacSwiney and Catalonia. Cork City Council // Cork, Ireland
DIPLOCAT collaborated with the University College Cork and Cork City Council in a University conference and a wreath laying ceremony to pay homage to Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney in Cork
The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised, on June 10th, in cooperation with University College Cork, a seminar paying tribute to Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney. The event was held at Cork City Council, and aimed at strengthen relations between Cork and Catalonia and to commemorate the historic ties that connect Catalonia with Cork today.
Deputy Lord Mayor Ken O’Flynn, accompanied by Josep Suàrez, Head of the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Laura Foraster, Executive Director of DIPLOCAT, laid a wreath at the statue of Terence MacSwiney preceding the conference “Terence MacSwiney and Catalonia” at the City Council.
Deputy Lord Mayor Ken O’Flynn opened the conference expressing his sincere admiration for Terence MacSwiney saying that “there are very few leaders like him, willing to take on an empire.” Cork Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney died in 1920 in a London prison, after 74 days on hunger strike in protest against his on-going incarceration and the repression of his people. After Gabriel Doherty, Lecturer in History, School of History, University College Cork had given his welcome to speakers and audience, Laura Foraster, Executive Director of DIPLOCAT, recalled the reactions of the Catalan society following the detention of Terence MacSwiney. “In Catalonia public masses were said and demonstrations held in front of the British Consulate in protest at his death.”
A contemporary history of Irish - Catalan relations
In the first round table, “A contemporary history of Irish-Catalan relations”, Stephen Boyd, Head of the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the University College of Cork, and Antoni Strubell, former teacher of Philology at the University of Deusto and Catalan political history author, reflected on the relations of solidarity between Catalans and the Irish throughout history. Antoni Strubel showed that the Irish struggle for freedom had a lasting effect on Catalonia.
The Catalan solidarity movement with Lord Mayor MacSwiney, questions & answers and closing session
The second round table “The Catalan solidarity movement with Lord Mayor MacSwiney” was introduced by Terence MacSwiney’s grandson Cathal MacSwiney Brugha, Emeritus Professor in Business Analytics and Nomology at University College Dublin. John Borgonovo, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the School of History of University College Cork, then underlined that “MacSwiney’s hunger strike was an event of major international importance”. Andrew Dowling, Senior Lecturer in Catalan and Spanish Contemporary History at Cardiff University closed on the note that "MacSwiney's martyrdom was an important factor in home rule for Catalonia”.
At the reception, Lord Mayor Mary Shields spoke about the importance which the people of Cork give to the person of MacSwiney today. “His memory lives on”, she said, wearing her chain of office, the same MacSwiney had worn during his time as Lord Mayor and at his arrest.
Last updated: 26 June 2015