20th September

Eglish Historical Society draws its programme for 2012 to a conclusion with lecture by Professor Kevin B. Nowlan. Connection of Daniel O’Connell with Badoney Presbyterian Church commemorated.

Committee members of Eglish Historical Society at History Night 20th September, 2012: L to R: Rose Mary Logue, Tony Byrne, Betty Byrne, Pat Daly, Rev. John Batchelor, Professor Kevin B. Nowlan, Wolsley Knox, Henry Daly, Brendan McAnallen. Photos by Rosemary Hughes

Eglish Historical Society drew its programme for 2012 to a conclusion on 20th September with a History Night in the village at which Professor Kevin B. Nowlan spoke on ‘Daniel O’Connell and Human Rights’. Read about who Daniel OConnell is at and also at why it is so important to study the mentions of human rights and freedoms. While Professor Nowlan has written and lectured extensively on O’Connell, he was unaware of certain aspects of his life until coming to Eglish. Wolsey Knox, introducing him, said that in the course of his researches he had learned that O’Connell had been recorded as having drunk a toast (with a full glass of Boyne water) to ‘the immortal memory of William 111’. Wolsley also discovered that he had been a major contributor, around 1845, to the re-building of Badoney Presbyterian Church near Gortin. To commemorate this event Rev. John Batchelor, retired rector of Eglish and Killylea parishes, presented Professor Nowlan with a communion token from Badoney which would have been in use in the church there around the time of the rebuilding. Such tokens were frequently hand-made by church members: this one was made from lead and stamped ‘B’. Replying to the presentation ‘Kevin B’ said he was delighted to receive the token and photograph of the 1845 church. It was a further indication to him of O’Connell’s concern for all sections of society.

Professor Kevin B. Nowlan and Rose Mary Logue. Photos by Rosemary Hughes

During his lecture, Professor Nowlan spoke of Daniel O’Connell’s family background. He had an abhorrence of political violence, which arose after seeing the outcome of the French Revolution and came to believe that liberty should be achieved by other means. During his political career he worked for the restoration of the Irish Parliament, for votes for all, religious freedom and the right to free assembly. He was an early campaigner against slavery and refused to take subscriptions from any slave owner. He collaborated with others of liberal views in Britain, France and Italy and was one of the first Irishmen to acquire a reputation in Europe as a political leader.

Rose Mary Logue, Secretary of Eglish Historical Society, thanked Professor Nowlan for coming to Eglish to give what had been a fascinating lecture. Brendan McAnallen, Chairman of the Society, reviewed what had been a very successful year with the publication of The Book of Eglish and the establishment of the Eglish Historical Trail. He looked forward to meeting again in 2013 and extended a warm welcome to anyone who wished to become involved in the Society’s activities.

Further information can be found in The Book of Eglish