Counties Laois and Offaly

Virtual Historic Tour of Ireland Counties
Laois and Offaly
Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South Yarmouth
Wednesdays 6 - 7pm - Sept 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3

This course is a four "day" virtual tour of the counties of Laois and Offaly in the midlands of Ireland.

The county name of Laois derives from Loígis, of which the modern county is only a part. In the 11th century, its dynastic rulers adopted the surname Ua/Ó Mórdha. By the first century AD, the western third of Laois was part of the Kingdom of Ossory. The eastern part was divided roughly into seven parts, which were ruled by the Seven Septs of Loígis: O’More (O’Moore), O’Lalor, O’Doran, O’Dowling, O’Devoy (O’Deevy), O’Kelly and McEvoy.

odoran odowling okelly

The Kingdom of Uí Failghe from which the name Offaly is derived, was ruled by the Ó Conchobhair Failghe (Anglicised as: O'Conor Faly) whose territory included the east of the county. The Kingdom of Firceall ruled by the O'Molloy clan constituted much of the centre of the county. Much of the south of the present day county was ruled by Ó Cearbhaill of Éile (Anglicized as: O'Carroll Ely).

The present day counties were formed following the Tudor plantations in an attempt by the English Crown to expand its sphere of influence in Ireland which had declined following the Norman Conquest of Ireland. All the clans from these counties had their lands confiscated after the Cromwellian Invasion. Some of the O'Carroll's immigrated to the Americas.  Charles Carroll is the only Catholic signatory to the Declaration of Independence. Charles Jnr.was the main contractor on the building of the White House. The White House and Washington city are built on lands owned by the O'Carroll's.

Cultural Center of Cape Cod
Wednesdays 6 - 7pm - Sept 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3
To enroll on line log in to 

One course: $75/$70 for members.

From Famine to 1916

Irish History Class 
Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South Yarmouth
Wednesdays 7:15 - 8:15 pm - Sept 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3

The Famine changed Ireland forever. After the famine the social structure changed to reflect the devastation caused by the famine and the need to survive. Emigration drained the country of its young men and women and did not abate until the 1920's and was not reversed until the 1990's.

 fenian collar  fenian crowd  land league poster

The search for a free and Independent Ireland continued. The radicals republicans and nationalists formed the Fenian movement; constitutional nationalists formed the Home Rule movement; the Land Wars took on a new importance with the understanding of the clear link between famine and landlordism; and, then out of the ashes arose a Gaelic Revival that sought to promote the ancient history of Ireland, its laws, culture and language as an antidote to the Anglicization of Ireland.

This four week course will explore these events in depth so that it is then possible to understand the Ireland that then produced, in a ten year period, a Rebellion, A war of Independence, A Civil War, and a partitioned Ireland. These topics will form the basis of the autumn and winter lecture series.

Cultural Center of Cape Cod 
Wednesdays 7:15 - 8:15 pm - Sept 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3
To enroll on line log in to 

One course: $75/$70 for members.


The Famine in Ireland 1845 - 1852

In the past two centuries no event has shaped the Ireland of today more than the famine of 1845 - 1852. No event stirs the emotions of Irish people more. No other event demonstrates so clearly the failure of British colonial policy in Ireland.

Famine image01The famine was the direct result of policies that began with the destruction of Gaelic Ireland in the period 1540 to 1603. This was followed by the Cromwellian settlement of the 1650's, the military defeat of Catholic Ireland in the 1690's, and the subsequent imposition of Penal Laws for the suppression of the Gaelic people of Ireland. After three hundred years of conquest and destruction a huge number of Irish people were reduced to destitution, poverty, illiteracy, and were made dependent on the potato by government policy and landlord greed.

This course will focus on the events that resulted in the worst ever famine in Ireland, the subsequent death of over one million people, and the mass migration of Irish people. It will examine the famine years in detail to clarify the reasons why people died of starvation and disease while the food they produced was taken out of Ireland under armed guard. It will deal decisively with any notion that the Irish people brought this upon themselves or that it was God's will.

Cultural Center of Cape Cod
Wednesdays July 11, 18, 25, August 1: 7:15 to 8:15
To enroll on line log in to

Famous Irish Comedians: Irish History Class

Comedy is a medium that has allowed Irish people to look critically at their society, to comment on deep seated issues, and challenged us to reevaluate our positions on many important issues. 

Comedy BrendanGrace Brendan Grace - Week 1 June 6 2018

Brendan is an Irish comedian and singer known for his comedy schoolboy character "Bottler", the role of Murphy in the 1995 movie  Moondance, and his 1996 appearance in the TV sitcom Father Ted. 
Comedy TommyTiernan Tommy Tiernan - Week 2 June 13
Tommy was born in Carndonagh, County Donegal. He has appeared several times on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Comedy HalRoach Hal Roach - Week 3 June 20
Hal was a prominent Irish comedian. He spent over 60 years in show business, and was featured in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest-running engagement of a comedian at the same venue: 26 years at Jury's Irish Cabaret, Jury's Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin.
Comedy DeirdreOKane Deirdre O'Kane - Week 4  June 27
Deirdre became a stand-up comic in 1996 and got into the finals of the BBC New Comedy Awards of that year. She has played at the Edinburgh Festival every year since and has played at the Melbourne, Adelaide and Kilkenny Cat Laughs Festivals


Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South YarmouthCultural Center of Cape Cod, South YarmouthWednesdays 7:15- 8:15 pm, June 6,13,20,27 2018Call 508-3947100 for information. Class fee:  $75/$70 for members. $20 walk-ins.

Famous Irish Singers: Irish History Class

Much of recent Irish history is reflected in the content of the songs of Irish singers and in their own personal history. This course will focus on four of the most famous Irish singers.

music PercyFrench

Percy French - Week 1 June 6

Are Ye Right There Michael
Mountains Of Mourne
Phil the Fluters Ball
Abdul Abulbul Amir 
Who Said the Hook Never Hurted the Worms?
And Lots More

Music ChristyMoore Christy Moore - Week 2  June 13

They Never Came Home
St. Brendan's Voyage
The Time Has Come
Viva La Quinta Brigada 
Ordinary Man
music SineadOConnor Sinead O'Connor - Week 3 June 20

Nothing Compares 2 U
Fire on Babylon
You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart
music vanmorrison Van Morrison - Week 4  June 27

Brown Eyed Girl
Wild Night
Days Like This

Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South Yarmouth
Wednesdays 7:15- 8:15 pm, June 6,13,20,27 2018
Call 508-394-7100 for information.
Class fee:  $75/$70 for members. $20 walk-ins.

Irish Christmas Traditions: Ancient, Pagan and Christian

Irish Christmas Traditions: Ancient, Pagan and Christian
A presentation by Sean Murphy
Barnstable Senior Center
Monday December 18th, 10 - 11 am. Free. RSVP to 508 862-4750

Sean Murphy will provide a seasonal and wondrous journey that will explore some of the most widely practiced traditions surrounding an Irish Christmas. He will use some Internet images and video to make the event entertaining and informative.

Participants that join may be willing to share some of their own memories and stories family traditions around Christmas.