Saturday, September 28 | 3.00 p.m. | €10

Castle Bernard Estate, on the edge of Bandon town, presents an Arcadian landscape complete with an obligatory, though not intentional, ruin – originally the large castellated mansion called Castle Bernard. Nearby the still-standing former Dower House is a nineteenth-century whimsical gothic edifice known as The Farm. All of the elements are ethereal and visually captivating.

On the other hand Castle Bernard also presents an interesting, layered historical legacy encompassing the O'Mahony clan, the Bernard family, the 'Troubles' and the current reality of maintaining an estate in the twenty-first century.
ENGAGE is exploring both realities in the on-going Castle Bernard Project.  
Part one of the project is a discussion-based event on the theme of Art as a Bridge through Conflict. Symbolically it will take place beside the ruins of Castle Bernard, itself the victim of conflict. The discussion will explore the arts as a means of defining culture, the use of the arts in conflict, the ability of art to reinforce stereotypes and divisions and the function of the arts in conflict resolution, with particular reference to Northern Ireland.
Please note – in the case of unsuitable weather conditions this event will be transferred to Bandon Town Hall.
The principal speakers are Danny Morrison and Dr Christopher McGimpsey.
The event will be chaired by Ann Murray of the History of Art Department, University College Cork. 
Part two of The Castle Bernard Project explores the ethereal. ENGAGE presents site specific installations and performances at The Farm.

ANN MURRAY, Chairperson | Castle Bernard

Ann Murray is an art historian specializing in the impact of war on visual culture, and is currently completing a PhD at UCC, where she is an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland scholar. Her PhD thesis focuses on soldierhood and society in the work of the Dresden School from 1914-1934. She has recently published essays on representations of German masculinity after World War I and is the editor of Interrogating Normalcy, a collection of essays in German Studies for the book series Germanistik in Ireland – Schriftenreihe, due out in November. Current research includes a book project with Gabriel Doherty (School of History, UCC) which examines the visual legacy of the revolutionary decade in Ireland, 1913-1923; and an examination of the anti-ideal of the hero in Siegfried Sassoon’s prose, which she will present at Queen Mary, UCL for the conference Perspectives on the Great War, 1-4 August 2014. She was the creator and chief organizer of the major international conference War in the Visual Arts, held at UCC and the Crawford Art Gallery, 12-14 September (website: http://warinthevisualarts.wordpress.com/). She holds a BA in Fine Art and a H Dip in Art and Design Education from the Crawford College of Art and Design, and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from UCC, where she currently lectures on European art and architecture from Classical Greece to the Gothic Revival.




Dr Christopher McGimpsey was born in Newtownards, County Down. A member of the Executive Committee of the Ulster Unionist Party, he is a member of Castlereagh Borough Council.  He formerly represented the Shankill area of West Belfast from 1993 until 2005.
 Dr McGimpsey holds a BA (Hons) from Syracuse University, New York and a PhD in Irish history from Edinburgh University.  He is an acknowledged expert on Isaac Butt.
A well-respected commentator, he has written articles on Irish politics for The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Belfast Telegraph, Sunday Independent and The Irish Voice in New York.
In 1984 he was the only Unionist to address the New Ireland Forum and, along with his brother Michael, challenged the constitutionality of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in the Dublin High and Supreme Courts. He argued that they ran contrary to Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution. Those Articles claimed that Northern Ireland was part of Ireland's national territory.  These were subsequently changed to an aspiration in 1999.
Christopher McGimpsey is a member of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.


DANNY MORRISON | Castle Bernard

Danny Morrison is a writer who lives in West Belfast. He is a former national director of publicity for Sinn Féin and has been imprisoned several times. A writer and arts reviewer, he has also been a regular political commentator in newspapers, on television and radio but from 2006 has scaled down his political commentating to concentrate on his writing.  

Danny Morrison has been chairperson of Féile an Phobail, the festival founded in West Belfast in 1988, for ten years and he has been involved in building cross-community relations through the arts in Belfast. 

Danny’s first novel, West Belfast, was published by Mercier Press in November 1989. On the Back of the Swallow, his second, was written in prison; The Wrong Man, his third, was begun in prison, completed after his release and was published in February 1997. His works of non-fiction include Rebel Columns, a collection of his political writings, published in 2004. He adapted The Wrong Man for the stage; it played in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin and was nominated by Fest magazine as one of the top three dramas of the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

His fourth novel, Rudi – In the Shadow of Knulp, which was inspired by Knulp, the 1915 novel by Hermann Hesse, was published in 2013.


JONATHAN HODGE | Castle Bernard

Jonathan Hodge was born in Larne, Co. Antrim. He is a member of the Executive
Committee of the Progressive Unionist Party. He has previously been a member of the Labour Party in South Wales.

He holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Cardiff University and has postgraduate certificates from the Open University, University of Wales and University of Ulster. He is currently studying for an MA in English Literature.

A graduate of the Northern Ireland Community Builders Programme at Columbia University in New York, he currently works as a Director of an arts organisation in Northern Ireland, where he also promotes electronic dance music.  

Some current projects include a documentary film exploring representation in loyalist communities in Belfast and a project exploring the wider impact of the Great Famine locally in Northern Ireland.


SEAN HILLEN | Castle Bernard

Sean Hillen was born in 1961 in Newry, N.Ireland. He studied at Belfast College of Art, LCP and the Slade School. An artist whose work has both popular and intellectual appeal, Hillen first gained notice in the U.K. with his early photo-montage works. FintanO'Toole wrote that they "remain the best expression of what it felt like to be in Northern Ireland during the Troubles".

His original photographs were recently acquired by and seen in exhibition at the National Library of Ireland Photographic Archive by 70,000 visitors, and now published in a book as 'Melancholy Witness'.

His 1990’s series ‘IRELANTIS’ have been described as “the most vivid and emblematic expression of the dreams and anxieties of ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland”- and become part of the cultural landscape,featuring on over 30 book covers; on the cover of the recent definitive ‘Irish Art since 1910’; and the subject of academic studies.

He co-designed, with landscape architect Desmond Fitzgerald, the Omagh Bomb Memorial unveiled in August 2008.



Sunday, September 29 | 8.00 p.m.| €10

This lecture, which we propose as an annual event at ENGAGE, is named in honour of the late Judge Con Murphy of Bandon. Con was always very supportive of our festival. He had a great interest in the arts in all their forms, had a diverse range of interests, including a lifelong interest in politics and was a great conversationalist and debater. 

The proposed theme for this lecture is Bridges and Cultural Identity, with particular reference to the arts. The theme of Bridges informs ENGAGE this year. 

For this inaugural lecture we are honoured to have Dr Martin Mansergh as principal speaker. We have also invited a distinguished panel comprising Frank Buttimer and Helen Collins. Dr Carol Coulter will chair the discussion.  

We hope there will be active audience participation at this event.


CAROL COULTER | Chairperson

Carol Coulter graduated from Trinity College with BA (Mod) and Ph D degrees in English. She also holds a Diploma in Legal Studies and an M Phil in law. 

She became a journalist and joined The Irish Times in 1986, working as a reporter, acting London editor, acting Northern Ireland editor, deputy news editor, legal affairs editor and assistant editor. From 1992 to 2004 she edited the Undercurrents pamphlet series for Cork University Press. From 2006 to 2007 she took leave of absence from The Irish Times to run a pilot project on family law (private law) for the Courts Service. In October 2012 she left The Irish Times to take up a position as director of the Child Care Law Reporting Project, which is examining the public child care law system. 

She has lectured extensively in the cultural, social and legal areas, both in Ireland and internationally, including in the UK, the US, France and Japan. She has published a wide range of essays and books in these areas, in peer-reviewed journals in Ireland, the US and Japan. Her publications include The Hidden Tradition: Feminism Women and Nationalism (Cork University Press, 1993) and Family Law in Ireland: A study of cases in the Circuit Court (Clarus Press 2009).


MARTIN MANSERGH | Principal Speaker

Martin Mansergh is a politician and historian. He has served as a TD for Tipperary South and previously as an elected Senator. In the last government he was Minister of State for Finance, OPW and the Arts, 2008 – 2011. He served on the Council of State during President McAleese's second term of office. For 21 years he was advisor to Charles Haughey, Albert Reynolds and Bertie Ahern, and played a back-channel role in the peace process. In this regard he was co-recipient of the 1994 Tipperary Peace Prize with Fr Alec Reid and Rev. Roy Magee, and was part of the official steering group on the Irish Government side which negotiated the Good Friday Agreement. 

Martin Mansergh is the author of The Legacy of History for making peace in Ireland published by Mercier Press in 2003 and was the subject of a biography by Kevin Rafter. He was a member of the Department of Foreign Affairs between 1974 and 1981. 

His father was the distinguished historian Nicholas Mansergh.



Helen Collins comes from a well-known West Cork legal and political background. 

A solicitor by profession, she is a partner in the Skibbereen practice of Wolfe and Co., Solicitors. Helen is also the West Cork Bar Association Representative of the Council of the Law Society of Ireland. 

However, it is her accomplishments in the arts that have defined her publicly for many. Helen is a former chairperson of the highly successful West Cork Arts Centre and is still active on its board of directors. She is also a well-regarded promoter of the arts, visual art in particular, in the West Cork region. 

Currently Helen is chairperson of the A Taste of West Cork Food Festival.



Frank Buttimer is a solicitor and founding partner of Frank Buttimer & Co., Solicitors, Cork. He is a graduate of UCC and has been a qualified solicitor since 1979.

His practice specialises in the general area of litigation with a specific interest in criminal law. He has represented a number of clients in high profile cases of national interest.