Kilkee Civic Trust is a non-profit organisation working to enhance the quality of life in Kilkee, and its hinterland, by preserving and promoting its cultural heritage, and so making it a more attractive place to live, work and invest.

KCT Talks 2017 – All Talks are hosted at Cultúrlann Sweeney, O’Connell St., Kilkee, starting at 8pm each Wednesday until the end of August.

Each talk is recorded and transmitted on Monday afternoons at 4:05pm on FM and internet Live Stream

Entry to all KCT Talks is Free of Charge.

All of our speakers give of their time and energy on a pro-bono basis.

The appreciation of the audience & KCT is expressed by way of presenting each speaker with a Book Token at the end of each Talk.

A Donations Box is provided at all Talks to assist us in defraying necessary expenses.

Summer Talks 2016

Summer Talks 2015

Summer Talks 2014

KCT 2017 No9 – Millers, Merchants, Mayors, Lane-Joynt Families Limerick

Speaker: Dr. Paul O’Brien
Talk Title: Millers, Merchants, Mayors, Lane-Joynt Families Limerick
Talk Synopsis:
Dr Paul O’Brien is a lecturer in the Academic Learning Centre in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. Paul’s doctoral thesis, based on a hitherto undiscovered, Glynn family and business archive, examined north Munster regional history and the history of the entrepreneurial Catholic bourgeoisie under the Union and into the emergence of the New State, c.1790-1940.
The Lane Joynt family of Limerick were of Huguenot extraction and active in Limerick business and politics from the early decades of the nineteenth century.
In 1859, the Lane Joynt family married into the Glynn family of Kilrush after being introduced at the Kilkee Races.
The lecture is based on substantial primary material including many fascinating photographs which are held in the Glynn archive & it tells the story of the rise of a Limerick merchant family in the nineteenth century.

Kilkee Civic Trust – Marcus Keane and Fr. Michael Meehan: Two Figures from Clare’s Famine Landscape – Dr. Ciarán Ó Murchadha

Speaker: Dr. Ciarán Ó Murchadha

Talk Title: Marcus Keane and Fr. Michael Meehan: Two Figures from Clare’s Famine Landscape

Talk Synopsis: Dr. Ciarán Ó Murchadha is an independent scholar and a leading historian on Ireland’s Great Famine. Author of three major works on the Great Famine; including the internationally acclaimed book titled; The Great Famine: Ireland’s Agony 1845-1852 (2011). He was also one of the principal organisers of the National Famine Commemoration held in Kilrush in 2013.

Martin Bourke presents the “Richard Tauber” Profile:

Written and Presented by Martin Bourke.
Part of The Kilkee Civic Trust Summer Talks Season recorded at Culturlann Sweeney in Kilkee.

Richard Tauber 1891 – 1948

“One of the best loved singers, Tauber was a talented composer and conductor but singing ‘was his hearts delight”
Few singers straddled the world of grand opera and light operetta like the Austrian Tenor, Richard Tauber. Long before Lesley Garett or Pavarotti, Domingo & Carreras collectively as ‘The Three Tenors’ made the “crossover” to popular songs and ballads, Richard Tauber had done it all in far more difficult times. He was frequently criticised and reprimanded in public for denigrating his art by singing such ‘dross’ as “You are my Heart’s Delight” and “Vienna City of my Dreams”. But he became so successful in the popular song that the composer Franz Lehar (he of the ‘Merry Widow’ fame) wrote his operettas with Richard Tauber specifically in mind. That partnership brought international fame to them both.

Richard Tauber was born in the Austrian city of Linz on the river Danube in May 1891. Both his parents were Viennese and though not married to each other, they worked in the theatre business, she a singer and his father an actor and theatre manager of some repute. His upbringing was somewhat unconventional in that for the first 9 years of his life Richard’s existence was unknown to his father. Reared initially by his mother, then foster parents and finally by his father from the age of 9, Richard grew up with a happy disposition, which lasted throughout his life. His musical talent began to manifest itself and through his father he received a thorough education in all aspects of musicianship. Despite initial opposition from his father, Richard got his wish and began studying voice with a prominent teacher in Germany and emerged 3 years later as a superb singer of opera particularly Mozart and lieder art songs. Indeed, it is incomplete to describe him as a tenor because he also sang baritone, conducted symphony orchestras, played the piano and was a successful composer and filmmaker. His own musical “Old Chelsea” ran in London’s West-end for over 600 performances in 1942/43.

Because of his Jewish ancestry, Richard had to flee Germany after being beaten up by a group of Nazi vigilantes and he became stateless with the annexation of Austria in 1939.

His relationship with women was complex but charming “give me a piano and a beautiful girl and I’m in heaven.” He led a colourful life and in the end while on his deathbed he was comforted by both his wife and his mistress together.

Richard Tauber was by nature a jolly, happy and exuberant man not given to temperamental behaviour, as is often the case in his profession. He was extremely generous with his talents, his wealth, his knowledge and his time.

As a vocal artist, he was technically very good but this was never allowed to interfere with the feeling, the mood, the passion being expressed in a melody. His voice was so distinctive that he is instantly recognisable in any of his 730 professional recordings.

In 1948, and a few short weeks after performing the lead tenor role in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, Richard Tauber died of lung cancer at the age of 57. He had in fact sung the performance on one lung, giving of himself to the very end.

This is the 4th Profile Martin Bourke has presented in Kilkee for KCT; the previous ones were on Stephen Foster, Mario Lanza and John McCormack. The audio-visual presentation will include a generous selection of music and photographic slides recounting the story of a very interesting life. These Profiles, undertaken on a pro-bono basis, in aid of Kilkee Civic Trust, are devised, researched, scripted and presented by Martin Bourke. Martin has had a lifelong interest in the career and vocal art of classical and light classical singers collecting recordings and biographies of these artists.

Kilkee Civic Trust – The Edmond sinking in 1850 in Kilkee Bay

Speakers: J. J. Hickie & Tommy McGrath

Talk Title: The Edmond; Hopes Lost & Human Impact of Kilkee’s Famine Time Shipwreck

Talk Synopsis: Representing Kilkee History Group; J. J. Hickie & Tommy McGrath; two well-known Local Historians; who have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kilkee’s life and times over recent centuries; will tell some of the personal stories of dashed hopes and dreams for those on board the “Edmond” which foundered on the rocks below Sykes House on Tuesday night 19th November 1850.

Dr. Mary Bourke – Geography: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Speaker: Dr. Mary Bourke
Talk Title: Geography: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Talk Synopsis: This Talk will take you on an adventurous trail of discovery and magical geographical possibilities. Bring your Hiking Boots!

Dr. Bourke’s Talk is geared towards all ages; but especially younger people. She will bring over 100 pairs of “special glasses” for the audience to view her 3D photographs of Mars. She works at the Department of Geography at Trinity College, Dublin.

An Earth and Planetary Geomorphologist with expertise in extreme environments on Earth and Mars. She has published over 60 manuscripts on landscapes in Antarctica, Australia, Namibia, Mars and Ireland. Her research has been highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, The Irish Times and Independent, on NBC Nightly News and on the BBC and RTE.

Venue: Cultúrlann Sweeney, O’Connell St., Kilkee
When: Wednesday 9th August at 8pm
Admission is FREE of charge.
A donations box is available, at each KCT Talk, to assist us in defraying essential and necessary expenses.

Kilkee Civic Trust – Three International Musicians from Limerick – Joe Donnellan

Our summer season of weekly events continues this Wednesday, 2nd August, with our fifth KCT Talk at 8pm, at Cultúrlann Sweeney, O’Connell St., Kilkee.

Speaker: Joe Donnellan

Talk Synopsis:

Three Limerick performers who were successful internationally but, with the passage of time, their achievements have fallen from public awareness.

Catherine Hayes an internationally renowned Soprano; who was born in Patrick St. Limerick.
George Alexander Osborne Pianist and Composer; who was friends with Chopin. He enjoyed a very impressive career, not only in London, but also throughout mainland Europe.
Joseph O’Mara who was a Tenor of international renown; of the O’Mara Bacon Factory family and fame; and whose family had a notable political involvement.

Venue: Cultúrlann Sweeney, O’Connell St., Kilkee

When: Wednesday 2nd August at 8pm

Admission is FREE of charge.

A donations box is available, at each KCT Talk, to assist us in defraying essential and necessary expenses.


Every good wish,
Joseph McCloskey

Honorary Secretary,
Kilkee Civic Trust


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Kilkee Civic Trust – Who was Margaretta Eager? – Nanny to the last Tsar of Russia

Speaker: Sharon Slater
Talk Title: Who was Margaretta Eager? – Nanny to the last Tsar of Russia
Talk Synopsis: Sharon Slater is a lady with an outstanding passion for Limerick and its history; combined with unbounded enthusiasm and a tireless capacity for interacting with others; always generously sharing her knowledge. Sharon Slater is an Historical and Genealogical Researcher with a Masters in History from University of Limerick; as well as owner and operator of Limerick’s Life website. Sharon will reveal the links between Kilkee and the Court of the last Russian Tsar; namely Nicholas II Emperor of Russia who reigned from 1st November 1894 to 15th March 1917.
Venue: Cultúrlann Sweeney, O’Connell St., Kilkee

Kilkee Civic Trust – Shannon International Airport – origins, growth and aircraft crashes 1940s to 1970s

Speaker: Tom Hanly
Talk Title:Shannon International Airport – origins, growth and aircraft crashes 1940s to 1970s
Talk Synopsis: In a career spanning over four decades; Tom Hanly, retired Chief Officer Airport Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Shannon International Airport, will regale the audience with factual accounts of major incidents supported by audio visual, photographic and historical reports.

Summer Serenade 2017

Winner of“The Golden Voice of America 2017” All Ireland Winner Carnegie Hall Debutant
An amazing Classical Singer who performs across a spectrum of Operatic Arias, popular songs, musical Theatreand Hymns Accompanied by superb local guest performers Keeva Corry
4 Time World Champion Irish Dance Cathal Keane All Ireland Winner – Irish Harp Slow Airs
– Sligo Fleadh 2015 Éimhear Greene Wonderful Traditional Musician. An evening of song, music and dance by amazing young talent NOT TO BE MISSED Showcasing a wonderful array of up and coming young talent.