2019 marks the 850th anniversary of the arrival of the Normans to Ireland, onto Bannow beach in County Wexford and one man was held responsible for their arrival – that man was Diarmuid MacMurrough, King of Leinster whose royal seat was in Ferns and he is about to go on trial for his actions.
On October 12th and 13th at St Edan’s Catherdral in Ferns, County Wexford a judicial inquiry will look into the actions and motives of Diarmuid MacMurrough and his responsibility or otherwise for the Norman ‘invasion’. The MacMurrough Inquiry’ will shine a light on key events which led to the ‘invasion’, looking at 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 in order for them to enjoy the debacle and debate which will be led by Hugh McDowell BL who will act as MC and will also co-ordinate the inquiry’s legal teams. Before the inquiry commences, brief presentations will be made by Dr Ronan Mulhaire on Irish kingship in the 11th and 12th centuries and author and Professor Liam Breatnach of Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies will present details of Brehon Law.
Speaking of the upcoming inquiry, the event organiser Catherine MacPartlin says, “The arrival of the Normans in Ireland marks 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. 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 legal, history and drama.”
Following the trial on October 12th there is a field trip to the O’Doran Brehon Law School in Ballyorley. Tickets to the inquiry are €30, this includes, coffee breaks, lunch and the field trip.
The MacMurrough Inquiry is part of a year-long programme of public events taking place in Wexford honour the Norman anniversary. Historical talks and demonstrations, music concerts, landing re-enactments, workshops, medieval games have all been underway. The final event in the 2019 calendar is the ‘Carrick 850 International Conference’ hosted by the Irish Archaeology Field School, the Irish National Heritage Park and partners on October 18th and 19th at the Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford.