Heritage Series


Tuesday, 21 November, 2017 at 8pm

The Company of Trees


with Thomas Pakenham of Tullynally Castle


Pakenham 1


The master of Tullynally Castle, Castlepollard will base this lecture on his book “The Company of Trees. A Year in a Lifetime’s Quest” which was published in 2015. The book takes the form of a diary of one year, 2013. It concentrates on the trees he met on his travels, and which he then brought back to sow as seeds in his estate in Westmeath. It chronicles a year in his life of planning, hunting and planting trees in order to establish a large arboretum in his family estate. It describes his travels while plant-hunting to remote places like Tibet and Sikkim and Patagonia. The main themes are as follows: hunting, collecting and documenting exotic trees, planting them in Westmeath, and planning and managing an arboretum there. These will be the themes of the lecture; the lecture will also discuss the current threat to our trees from a frightening invasion of new diseases like ash dieback, horse chestnut canker and sudden oak death.


Thomas Pakenham of Tullynally Castle, Castlepollard, as well as being a prolific author on trees, is also a distinguished historian. His best-known historical work is perhaps “The Year of Liberty: The History of the Great Irish Rebellion of 1798”. This lecture is based on his fifth volume on the topic of trees. He has spent the last 50 years planting trees by the thousand on his family estate in Tullynally. He is chairman of the Irish Tree Society. 



Previous Autumn Series talks:


William Rowan Hamilton's Schooldays in Trim

Wednesday 8 November at 8pm

William Rowan Hamilton (1805-1865) is the most famous mathematician ever to have come out of Ireland. From 1827 on he was Royal Astronomer for Ireland, based in Dunsink Observatory in Castleknock near Dublin. This talk explores Hamilton’s education in Trim, Co. Meath from the age of three to when he took the Entrance Examination to Trinity College, Dublin at the age of eighteen. The talk will illustrate popular aspects of his work, such as the prediction of eclipses and star configurations, and also his contributions to Optics, begun during his school days in Trim.

Miguel de AMiguel de Arce retired from the Department of Genetics, TCD in 2015. He has since moved to Galway, where he is now taking an MA in History at NUI, Galway. He has published in academic journals on Human and Medical Genetics and on the History of Science in the Nineteenth Century. He has also published poetry in the USA, UK and Ireland.  Broom bridge plaque




Ireland and Climate Change: 
The Rhetoric and the Reality

Wednesday 18th October 8 pm

Climate science, climate policy and climate justice have become increasingly intertwined, and have gained considerable traction in the public consciousness as awareness of the shortening timescales for effective action has become clear. While many countries have responded to the threat by taking effective actions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Ireland is currently increasing its emissions and is now one of the world’s highest greenhouse gas emitters on a per capita basis. This talk will examine the impact of climate change for Ireland, and will discuss why it is on course to fail its international obligations.

John Sweeney, Professor emeritus, is a climate scientist who has worked on climate change issues for almost 40 years at Maynooth University. He has published over 100 publications on this and related topics. He has served as President of the Irish Meteorological Society, of the Geographical Society of Ireland and of An Taisce, as well as being Irish national representative on a number of European bodies. He was a contributing author and review editor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment Report; he is a regular attendee at the UN climate conferences, as well as  being a regular contributor to print and  broadcast media.

Capture 1

If you would like to receive a copy of Professor Sweeney's presentation, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will forwad it to you (10MB).

What is the Heritage Series?

In its Heritage Lectures the Lismullin Institute seeks to explore various aspects of our local heritage so that visitors to the Lismullin Conference Centre and our neighbours will have a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history and attractions of their surroundings. The Lismullin Institute is pleased to invite you to some or all of these public, stand-alone lectures in Lismullin Conference Centre. The Lectures will begin at 8pm and light refreshments will be served afterwards.

booking small