Towards Independence

Co-organized by: Faculty of History and Irish Culture Foundation

November 2018

Organized at the end of November 2018 „Towards Independence: Polish and Irish Ways to Sovereignty” Conference was the third consecutive event prepared jointly by prof. Krzysztof Marchlewicz and MA Adam Kucharski from the AMU Faculty of History and by the President of the Irish Culture Foundation in Poznań, Mr. Krzysztof Schramm and by the Vice-President of the foundation, Mrs. Justyna Mazurek-Schramm.

As in the case of previous conferences, the Honorary Consulate of Ireland in Poznań took the patronage over the event and Her Excellency Ambassador of Ireland in Poland, Mrs. Emer O’Connell was the honorary guest (in the previous years we were also honored by the presence of Gerard Keown).

As the celebrations of the hundredth anniversary of regaining independence by Poland coincided with the commemoration of rebirth of Irish State sovereignty the organizers of the conference decided, that it was the right time to discuss, together with the participants, the ways both Poland and Ireland strove for independence. In that edition of the conference not only academic historians were asked to hold their lectures, but also museologists, publicists, and delegates of social organizations.

During the conference we had the honor of hosting: Liz Gillis, Historian and Publicist working for RTE Radio and Champlain College in Dublin, Cuan Ó Seireadáin, the Gaelic League Curator, Catherine Scuffil, Historian in Residence with Dublin City Council as well as Paul O’Brien, writer and military historian. Mr. Jarosław Łuczak, the Wielkopolska Military Museum director, Mr. Marcin Wiśniewski, the Museum of Wielkopolska Uprising Manager as well as  historians from the AMU Faculty of History – prof. Przemysław Matusik, prof. Krzysztof Marchlewicz, prof. Piotr Okulewicz, Ph.D. Romuald Rydz and MA Adam Kucharski represented the Polish side.

During the two-day session the following issues were covered: strategies and forms of Polish and Irish underground activity, the role of culture in maintaining national identity, the input of women and outstanding leaders  in reclaiming independence as well as the importance of Polish and Irish emigrants activity.

Forms of commemorating these events were also discussed. The conference sessions were very popular with students and pupils from different Wielkopolska Schools, cooperating with the Irish Culture Foundation. Most of the conference expenses were covered by Santander Bank Poland plc.