Ireland’s Aristocracies (based at QUB Campus)

Gerry Cleary, PhD

New Year 2024

10 weekly sessions Fridays 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, starting 19 January

Many people in Northern Ireland with names, for example, like O Neill; Maguire; Montgomery or McDonnell could claim that they may have aristocratic ancestry - real or imaginary. This is because of Ireland's rich aristocratic history. There have been three main groups of Irish aristocrats: The original ‘Gaelic Noble families’. The Hiberno Norman elite created and sustained after the 1169 Norman invasion. The Anglo Irish Protestant Ascendancy developed from the 17th century onwards. But, how many of the claims of the descendants of these three groups are actually genuine, or are some bogus? The course will trace the histories of the three groups and examine their relevance in modern Ireland - North and South. It will include such highlights as the Gaelicisation of many of the old Norman families: ‘Hiberniores hibernis ipsis’ (more Irish than the Irish themselves); the ‘Underground Irish Gentry’ of the 18th and early 19th centuries and the importance of the ‘Big House’ to the Protestant Ascendancy aristocrats.

Fee £86.00 (concession rate £56.00)

10 CATS Points (Level 1)

This class will take place on QUB campus

Concession: The concession rate is available for those who are in receipt of State Benefits (including pension), or are full-time students, part or full-time Queen’s students or are members of University staff holding a valid staff card:


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