13:15 - 14:00

Surnames came into widespread use in Ireland at a time where five vernacular languages were in operation – Irish, English, Norse, Welsh and Norman French. The processes through which surnames were adopted are only gradually being investigated but they appear to have emerged in a context when five major ethnic groups were interacting on Irish soil. This lecture attempts to investigate this evidence with particular reference to the English language surnames of medieval Ireland and the evidence which they provide for the nature of the Anglo-Norman colony in Ireland and its interaction with its Gaelic speaking neighbours.

Cathy Swift, M.Phil (Dunelm), D.Phil (Oxon.), M.Phil (Dublin)

Cathy runs the Irish Studies teaching programme in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. She has an MPhil in Archaeology from the University of Durham and a second MPhil in Old-Irish Language and Culture from Trinity College Dublin. Her DPhil at Oxford examined the history of the cult of St Patrick. She has taught in many universities, served ten years as organising Secretary of the Irish Conference of Mediaevalists, and runs summer schools in Old Irish in Limerick when she is not off gallivanting across Europe with her pilgrim staff, knapsack and tent.