CAIS 2010: Ireland and its Discontents

CAIS/ ACEI Annual Conference 2010

CAIS Registration form 2010

The Irish Studies Programme at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will be hosting CAIS/ACEI’s annual conference from May 19 to May 22, 2010. The theme of the conference is “Ireland and its Discontents: Success and Failure in Modern Ireland” and will include lively academic sessions and literary and cultural events.

Information about the conference can also be accessed through Saint Mary’s website

Professor Clair Wills will give a keynote lecture, there will be readings by the internationally-acclaimed poet, Micheal O’Siadhail, and the Irish-language writer, Micheál Ó Conghaile, and a concert featuring the Aran Island-singer, Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola. Moreover, the conference is partnering with the Ireland Canada University Foundation to bring the Government of Ireland’s ICUF Irish language scholars to Halifax for a roundtable discussion on teaching Irish in Canada.

You will find below information about conference registration, including a registration form, accommodation options, and Halifax.

Here are a couple of useful links:

Campus map:
Weather network:
Airport information:

CAIS Conference 2010: Main Guests

Clair Wills is Professor of Irish Literature at Queen Mary University of London. She has published widely on Irish poetry and literary culture. Her study of Ireland during the war years, That Neutral Island: A History of Ireland during the Second World War (2007), won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History. Her most recent book is Dublin 1916: The Siege of the GPO.

Micheal O’Siadhail ( was born in 1947. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College, Trinity College Dublin, and the University of Oslo. A full-time writer, he has published twelve collections of poetry. He was awarded an Irish American Cultural Institute prize for poetry in 1982, the Marten Toonder prize for literature in 1998 and The Gossamer Wall was short-listed for Wingate Jewish Quarterly Prize (2003). His poem suites The Naked Flame, Summerfest, Earlsfort Suite and Dublin Spring were commissioned and set to music for performance and broadcasting. He has given poetry readings and broadcast extensively in Ireland, Britain, Europe, North America and Japan. In 1985 he was invited to give the Vernam Hull Lecture at Harvard and the Trumbull Lecture at Yale University. He represented Ireland at the Poetry Society’s European Poetry Festival in London in 1981 and at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1997. He was writer-in-residence at the Yeats Summer School in 1991.
Micheal O’Siadhail was a member of the Arts Council of the Republic of Ireland (1988-93) and of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Relations (1989 -97), a founder member of Aosdána and a former editor of Poetry Ireland Review. He was the founding chairman of ILE (Ireland Literature Exchange). Several of his books have been translated into Japanese and German.

Micheál Ó Conghaile was born in 1962. He is from Inis Treabhair originally, but now living in Indreabhán, Co. Galway. He established the publishing company Cló Iar-Chonnachta ( in 1985 and the company has since published over 300 books and 200 traditional Irish music albums.
A prolific and talented writer, he has published poetry, short stories, a novel, a play, and a novella, and has also done some translation work. In 1997 the Irish American Cultural Institute awarded him The Butler Literary Award. The same year his second collection of short stories, An Fear a Phléasc (The Man Who Exploded), was published and received much critical acclaim. His short story ‘Athair,’ (Father), from that collection, was awarded the Hennessy Literary Award that year, and he was also awarded the Hennessy Young Irish Writer of the Year Award. In 1998 he was elected to Aosdána for his “outstanding contribution to the Arts in Ireland.” His first novel, Sna Fir, (Among Men), was published in 1999, and was shortlisted for The Irish Times Literature Awards 2001. His works have been translated into various languages, including Romanian, Croatian, Albanian, Slovenian, German, Polish and English. Micheál Ó Conghaile’s third collection of short stories, An Fear nach nDéanann Gáire (The Man who Never Laughs), was published in 2003 and his first play Cúigear Chonamara was staged at An Taibhdhearc Theatre, Galway, in October, 2003 and was awarded the Stewart Parker/BBC Ulster Award, an Oireachtas Award and a Writers Week/Listowel Award. He was writer in Residence at Queen’s University, Belfast and at the University of Ulster, Coleraine, 1999–2002. His second play, Jude, was produced at An Taibhdhearc in Galway in March 2007, as was his third play, Go dTaga do Ríocht, in July 2008.

Lasairfhíona (pronounced Lah-sah-reena), the young singer/songwriter from the West of Ireland has made quite an impression on the folk and world music scene in recent years (www. Deeply rooted in the sean-nós singing style of her native Inis Oírr on the Aran Islands, she is equally at home in a more innovative approach to Irish music. Lasairfhíona’s new slant on traditional singing makes her endeavors very appealing, culminating, as one critic noted ‘in a magical mosaic of sound, as refreshing and as unpredictable as a showery day inside in Aran.’ She is a native Irish speaker and learnt many original songs from her family, thus continuing the rich singing tradition of the Aran Islands. Described by fRoots magazine as “one of the most sumptuous traditional albums to have emerged for sometime,” Lasairfhíona’s debut album An Raicín Álainn (pronounced An Rackeen Ah-lyn), launched in 2002 at the Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany, generated a very favourable response in Ireland and abroad. Appropriately called Flame of Wine, a literal translation of her name, her second solo album was released in 2005 and was also well received; tracks from Flame of Wine were used on the award winning BBC programme Coast. Lasairfhíona appeared on television programmes, such as The Late Late Show, Up For The Match and she was also the subject of a special television documentary called Léargas. Her singing can be heard on IBM’s Porto Media web documentary called Stories of Innovation.

CAIS/ ACEI Conference 2010: Registration

CAIS Registration form 2010 for this year’s CAIS/ ACEI conference in Halifax.

The Conference organizers will acknowledge all registrations in a timely manner. For planning reasons, we encourage you to register by May 10, 2010.

Please download, fill out the form and email completed form to:

The organizers have tried to keep the registration fees as modest as possible. The Regular and the Student rates include not just the opening reception, coffee breaks and concert but also three lunches in the Saint Mary’s University Dockside Dining Hall (“All-you-care-to-eat”). As usual the conference will conclude with the CAIS/ACEI banquet. Please note that there is a separate charge for the banquet.
Regrettably, Saint Mary’s University does not offer online registration for conferences (don’t blame the CAIS Conference organizers: they tried!). Thus, we are offering a number of options for registration:
(1) Mail the enclosed registration form with the appropriate payment — cheque or money order (Canadian funds only) or with the credit card section completed — to Pádraig Ó Siadhail, Irish Studies, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 3C3.
(2) Fax the registration form with the credit card section completed to Pádraig Ó Siadhail , Irish Studies, at (902) 420-5110.

We look forward to welcoming you to Halifax in May.

CAIS/ ACEI Conference 2010: Accommodation

CAIS/ACEI for the 2010 Annual Conference is offering three suggestions for accommodation. Please see below for the following information.

Saint Mary’s University
The least expensive option is the student residence on Saint Mary’s University campus. Please note that the campus residence includes breakfast. For additional details, please see the attached form (SMUResidence2010). Mail the completed form to Conference Service at Saint Mary’s University or call their toll free number at 1-888-347-5555 for bookings.

(With Taxes & Breakfast)
Single $42.00
Twin $65.00

The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites
Corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street in downtown Halifax. 15 minute walk to university. Overlooks the Public Gardens Park.

The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites is pleased to offer delegates attending The CAIS/ACEI Annual Conference the following special rate: $155.00/day + applicable taxes for a Classic Guest Room during May 18-23, 2010. All guest room rates include complimentary high speed internet access and are based on availability. To book your reservation, simply e-mail the Reservations Department at or call 1-800-565-2020 and quote #19531 to receive your special rate.
For more information please view this website:

The Halliburton
Located on Morris Street between Barrington Street and Hollis Street in downtown Halifax.
15-20 minute walk to university.

CAIS has blocked off 10 rooms at the Halliburton. These rooms are being offered at a nightly price of $129.00/day + applicable taxes. Each room has a queen size bed. Complimentary breakfast, wireless connection, and parking will be provided to guest. The Halliburton is a historical building. Guest will require climbing one to two sets of stairs, there are no elevators. To reserve a room, simply call 1-888-512-3344 or email them at Please request a room from the reserved block held under “CAIS”. Delegates must reserve a blocked guest room no later than April 18th, 2010. All remaining rooms will be released at that time. For more information please view this website:

Other Accommodation
If the accommodation above does not meet your needs, feel free to check out this link for listings of other accommodation near the university.

CAIS/ ACEI Conference 2010: General Information

CAIS/ACEI for the 2010 Annual Conference has gathered additional information to help make your stay an enjoyable experience.

Saint Mary’s University
Saint Mary’s University is located on Robie Street at the junction with Inglis Street in the south end of the Halifax Peninsula, close to the city centre.

A map can be found at:

Halifax Stanfield International Airport
For those arriving at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, transportation is available either by taxi or regularly scheduled shuttle bus. Taxi and limousine services are available curbside in the arrivals area for all arriving flights. A one-way trip to Halifax city centre is $53.00 (Canadian) by taxi or $56.00 (Canadian) by limousine. If using Airporter shuttle services, we suggest you disembark at the Lord Nelson Hotel for closest proximity to the university, and then take a taxi (approximately seven dollars CDN). Regular fare for the Airporter is $21.00 (CDN) one way. For more information regarding Airporter, call 902-873-2091. For more information on other services available at the airport, go to:

Check out these two websites for listings and reviews on the restaurants and nightlife in Halifax.

Comments are closed.