The politics of the Irish harp symbol: from Henry VIII to Brexit

The politics of the Irish harp symbol: from Henry VIII to Brexit

Thursday, 16 May 2019, 6.00pm


Cruit Éireann,Harp Ireland invites you to this very special inaugural lecture;'The politics of the Irish Harp symbol from Henry VIII to Brexit' presented by Dr. Mary Louise O’Donnell.

The image of the harp, symbolic of the political and cultural landscape of Ireland for centuries, evokes strong sentiments in the collective Irish imagination. Some form of harp has been played in Ireland for over a thousand years, but the iconic instrument only became the emblem on Irish coinage in the sixteenth century. Since then it has been symbolic of Irish culture, music, and politics and, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it became a significant marker of Irish identity. The Irish harp was adopted as the official emblem of the Irish Free State in 1922 and it has remained an image of continuity and stability in Irish politics and society for almost a century.

This lecture explores the shifting interpretations and representations of the Irish harp symbol, in particular, over the last two centuries. It attempts to analyse critically these images as visual representations of changing political, social and cultural values, and to assess the significance of the symbol in twenty-first century Ireland.

Light refreshments will be served. As places are limited, rsvp to [email protected] or 01- 6768998


Published on 6 May 2019

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