Robert O’Byrne in conversation with Vona Groarke with music by Catherine Ryan & Laura O’Sullivan
Many Anglo- Irish Houses were burnt down in the 1920s. Traditional history explores the motivation of the perpetrators but what of the families left homeless and broke afterwards. Using new evidence from the Irish & British National Archives – Robert O’Byrne has brilliantly reconstructed the lives of the owners of 10 ‘Big Houses’ throughout Ireland. He’ll be in conversation with Vona Groarke and there’ll be music by harpist Laura O’Sullivan and singer Cathie Ryan.
Robert O’Byrne is author of more than a dozen books. These include The Last Knight: A Tribute to Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin (2013) and Hugh Lane 1875–1915 (2000, 2018). He writes an award-winning blog, ‘The Irish Aesthete’.
Cathie Ryan is a first generation Irish American singer-songwriter, her parents are Mary Rice from Asdee. Co. Kerry, and her father Timothy Ryan from Newport, Co. Tipperary. Cathie has been one of the leading singers in Celtic music since the beginning of her career during which she has released five solo albums, countless musical collaborations and multiple awards. She is blessed with a voice of luminous clarity and was named ‘Female vocalist of the decade’ by The Irish American News in Chicago.
Laura O’Sullivan is originally from County Clare but has been settled in Nenagh for many years. She began playing traditional Irish music from a young age and performing in places like Bunratty, Dromoland and Knappogue Castles. She is greatly influenced by the noble compositions of Turlough O’Carolan and interested in the evolution of harp accompaniment for Irish songs.