THE annual Dewi Padraig Lecture has been held in Wales for the first time.
An initiative launched by the Government of Ireland and Welsh Government in their 2021 Shared Statement, it is designed to promote the “the exchange of thought leaders and leading academics” between Ireland and Wales.
The lecture series will be held in Ireland and Wales in alternate years; with the initial 2022 lecture hosted by the Welsh Government Office in Dublin.
The 2023 event, which was organised by the Consulate General of Ireland in Cardiff and hosted in Cathays Park at the Temple of Health and Peace, marked the first time that the series has taken place in Wales.
Professor Paul O’Leary, of Aberystwyth University, delivered the second annual Dewi Padraig Lecture in Cardiff on June 29.
“I was delighted to deliver the 2023 Dewi Padraig Lecture,” he said this week.
“I hope by exploring influential – if sometimes contentious – ideas about Ireland and Wales together, we can better understand our shared past and the connections that shape our present and future.”
Titled Borders in the Mind: Landscape, Language and Politics, the event was moderated by Rae Howells, a Swansea-based journalist, poet, lavender farmer and author of acclaimed book The Language of Bees, which was recently shortlisted for the 2023 Wales Book of the Year Award.
“It was a pleasure to moderate the first Dewi Padraig Lecture to be held in Wales,” she said.
“It inspired a rich conversation on the historic and current links between Ireland and Wales.
“I look forward to seeing this important event grow in the years ahead.”
Consul General of Ireland, Denise McQuade, who has led the Consulate General of Ireland since it was re-established in Cardiff in 2019, introduced the recent lecture.
She said: “The annual Dewi Padraig Lecture is a key commitment in the Ireland-Wales Shared Statement.
“Ireland and Wales have strong and enduring cultural ties, including through the exchange of people and ideas between our education institutions.
“Thank you to Paul O’Leary, Rae Howells and everyone who attended, for a fascinating evening of discussion.”