IPMAG’s 2014 conference had the theme of Urbanism: Archaeological Considerations of Culture c. 1500-1900, held in the Absolute Hotel, Limerick. It was very well attended considering that Limerick was hit with some of the worst floods in recent times, but testament to the interesting line up of speakers. The conference commenced with a highly informative tour of St. Mary’s Cathedral on the Friday night, led by Noreen Ellerker. 14 papers covering a range of subjects over the two days discussed varied aspects of urban post-medieval archaeology. These included settlement within an urban setting but also as seen through island community development and depletion on Inishark or links across the Atlantic as evidenced by fortifications on the western fringes of Connemara; DCAL’s project researching the Plantation of Ulster was discussed as were conservation projects involving the restoration of historic ironwork to larger sites like Dysert O’Dea Castle in Co. Clare and King’s Island in Limerick City; the story of Ms Emily Sharman was explained through the excavation of her burial site within St Mary’s Cathedral; Cultural tourism was teased out with respect to presentation of buildings to the public as was the development of Moore Abbey from its Cistercian origins to the Plantation era mansion and later 18th century residence of the Earls of Drogheda; The Cork International Exhibition of 1902 was brought to life by tracing the building programme involved while the practical side of public utilities in a 19th century North Cork market town was discussed; while specifically dealing with events in the Abbeyfeale and Castleisland areas in the 19th century, the wider important and hitherto neglected study of horse-drawn transport was presented; the contribution of US Naval archives to the transformation of Derry during World War II was followed by the final paper of the conference which presented the archaeological evidence from St. Thomas’ Church on Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin.
Thanks go to the organising committee of the Conference this year, to the Absolute Hotel for hosting the event, to those who presented and to all who weathered the storms to attend.
Following the AGM, there were new changes to IPMAG:
After many years of tireless work, Tracy Collins stepped down as Chair, Frank Coyne as Secretary and Audrey Horning as Newsletter editor. They are due huge thanks for all their hard work to IPMAG to date. The new line up is: Chair – Connie Kelleher, Secretary – Elena Turk and Newletter Editor – Franc Myles.