A Lecture by Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, Introduction by Emer Nolan, Q&A with Michael Farell
It will take place on Friday 30th September in The Playhouse, Derry. Tea and coffee reception 7pm, lecture starts 8pm.
Seamus Deane gave the first of the annual lecture series in his honour last year.
His work is not, as he himself has stated, devoted to a rewriting of the Irish past but to a writing of the Irish present.
Founder and editor since 1995 of the Field Day Review, as he had earlier been of the Field Day pamphlets in 1983-88, he has made his poetry, fiction, scholarship and criticism, particularly in latter years in the form of the essay, a meditation on the need, in a debased political system, to follow the dictum: ‘When in Rome, do as the Greeks do.'
Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. While still a student at Queen's University, she and her colleagues in the newly-formed People's Democracy transformed political resistance in the Northern Irish statelet by spearheading a socialist, anti-sectarian, mass movement for change. Her celebrity began when she was elected to Westminster for Mid Ulster in 1969 - then the youngest woman MP ever - and when she became a leading organizer on the barricades in Derry during the Battle of the Bogside.
In an electrifying maiden speech she declared herself, as the second Irish woman elected to Westminster, to be in the same tradition of feminist republicanism as the first, Constance Markievicz. Later, she was active in the Smash H-Blocks campaign, was seriously wounded in 1981 in an assassination attempt by Loyalists and British paratroopers, yet continued her sustained left-wing critique of many key developments in Ireland since, including the Peace Process.
‘Bernadette' as she is still known, currently works supporting migrants' rights in South Tyrone and remains Ireland's finest political orator, the unforgettable voice of the Troubles.