Lives and Legacies: Lesser-Known Figures in Irish-German Relations

18 Feb 2020

Lives and Legacies: Lesser-Known Figures in Irish-German Relations: Talks by Dr Gisela Holfter and Clodagh Finn

The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two, and with this in mind, a Symposium will be held in UCC to bring to light a number of figures who were decisive in shaping the history between Ireland and Germany, before, during, and after the War. This research event will look at lesser well-known biographies, not only within the public domain, but in academia, and hopes to tell their stories and unpack their legacies. The confirmed speakers include historians, Germanists, published authors and independent researchers presenting in diverse fields such as German history and war history, Irish history, and keeping the Irish-German connection always to the fore. The keynote guest speakers are: Dr Gisela Holfter, Director, Centre for Irish-German Studies and Senior Lecturer in German, University of Limerick, with the paper:

 “(Lesser-known) Lives and legacies: Irish-German Relations over the Last 100 years”


Clodagh Finn, Author and Journalist (author of ‘Through Her Eyes: a history of Ireland in 21 women’ (2019) and ‘A Time to Risk All’, a biography of Mary Elmes (2017)).  Her paper will bring the Cork, and the German connection to the fore as she narrates about the life and legacy of Mary Elmes:

“Europe in the 1940s: The Circles Drawn by Cork-born Mary Elmes and the German Connection”


For registration, go to:



11.00 Opening

Dr Patrick Crowley, Head of School of Languages Literatures and Cultures (University College Cork)

Welcome Dr Rachel MagShamhráin, Head of Department of German and Dr Claire O’Reilly, Department of German (UCC)


11.15 Introduction: Dr Emma Riordan, Department of German (UCC)

Dr Florian Rehli, German Embassy Dublin

German in Ireland – Hidden Opportunities and Open Possibilities


11.45 Keynote I - Introduction: Dr Claire O’Reilly (UCC)

Dr Gisela Holfter, School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics, (University of Limerick)

(Lesser-known) Lives and Legacies: Irish-German Relations over the last 100 Years


12.30 L u n c h


13.20 Keynote II - Introduction: Dr Claire O’Reilly (UCC)

Clodagh Finn, Author and Journalist
Europe in the 1940s: The Circles Drawn by Cork-born Mary Elmes and the German Connection


Department of German


First Floor, O' Rahilly Building, UCC