16 March - From a “couple of hundred tramps on campus” to a UNESCO Learning City

An Overview of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning at UCC, 1911-2023’

School of History, UCC

Dr Alan McCarthy (History, UCC)

Thursday 16 March 2023, 16:00 (4 PM)

The paper will be delivered though MS Teams. Please, contact Dr Jérôme aan de Wiel, School of History, UCC, for a Teams link: j.aandewiel@ucc.ie Or see Teams link below.

Paper 2021 marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Adult Continuing Education (ACE) department at UCC. While much has been done in the field of educational history since ACE's foundation, the area of adult education remains one of the lacunae identified by Brendan Walsh in Essays in the History of Irish Education. This paper will provide an overview of ACE's history, both tentative and tumultuous. It will draw on the hitherto unpublished papers of Willie McAuliffe, former ACE organiser, along with dozens of oral history interviews conducted by McAuliffe with former students. This study will also engage with the development of theory and research output from within ACE itself, from Alfred O’Rahilly’s earliest jottings on adult education (which may very well represent the first publications within the specific discipline of adult education in Ireland) up to the present day and will consider the development of theory in the field of adult education/lifelong learning, charting ACE's rise in the form of conferences in 1916, reputedly dismissed as 'a couple of hundred tramps on campus' to ACE's present-day standing and Cork's award of UNESCO Learning City status.

Dr Alan McCarthy was conferred with a PhD by UCC in 2019. He published his first book, Newspapers and Journalism in Cork, 1910-23: Press Politics and Revolution in 2020 with Four Courts Press and was awarded a Special Commendation by the NUI Publication Prize in Irish History. In 2021, he was commissioned to research and write a history of the Adult Continuing Education (ACE) department at UCC which explores adult education and lifelong learning in Cork in the 20th and 21st century. This soon-to-be-launched work will be published by Cork University Press. He has also contributed to radio and television documentaries such as RTÉ's recent three-part series on the Irish Civil War and has been commissioned to write a centenary history of the annual athletics event, the Cork City Primary School Sports. His research has also appeared in Éire-Ireland, Saothar and Irish Studies Review.

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

Coláiste na nEalaíon, an Léinn Cheiltigh agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta

College Office, Room G31 ,Ground Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, UCC