Public lecture on clachans and landed estates by Fulbright scholar (GMIT Mayo)

“The Social and Economic Life on Landed Estates in the Erris Barony" (Ceathrú Thaidhg, Thursday 2 June)


Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A public lecture by a US Fulbright Scholar who has been guest lecturing on GMIT Mayo Culture and Environment programmes for the past year will give a special public lecture in Ceathrú Thaidhg in County Mayo on Thursday, 2 June, about ‘Clachans and the Big Houses of the Landed Gentry in the Erris area’.

The free public lecture will take place in the Seanscoil community centre, Ceathrú Thaidhg (Carrowteige) at 7 pm. A clachan is described as a small rural settlement which was common in rural Ireland up until the early 20th century, until changes initiated by the Congested Districts Board and Land Commission.

Dr Rotman’s talk will focus on a little history of the area, the origins of clachan/rundale and the system of agricultural production, the social dimensions of the dwelling sites and how they related to and fit in with the Landed Estates.

Dr Rotman, who has been teaching on the Culture and Environment programme in the Mayo campus since the beginning of the academic year 2015/16, will be joined at the event by a group of about 25 students from GMIT Mayo and from the Berea College Faculty in Berea, Kentucky, USA.

“This will be a great opportunity to connect with additional potential partners in the area as well as those with whom I have already begun to work,” says Dr Rotman.

"In addition to my academic partners at UCD and GMIT, I seek to build a community-focused historical and archaeological project. We will be working with the local schools to incorporate the children in remote sensing and collecting folklore; members of the general public who can contribute oral histories and other knowledge; and landowners whose properties contain archaeological features of interest to understanding past human experience in the Erris Barony."

Treasa Ní Ghearraigh, Manager of Comhar Dún Chaocháin Teo, the local community development co-operative and one of the project partners, says:  “Very often people take old buildings and settlements for granted, not realizing their origins and history. These habitation sites are the key to uncovering the social and economic fabric of the society in which our ancestors lived.  Dr Rotman's talk will help us to reconnect with our past in a tangible way”.

For information on GMIT Mayo’s new History and Geography programme, please go to

The public lecture by Dr Deb Rotman in Ceathrú Thaidhg (Carrowteige), Seanscoil Community Centre, Co Mayo, takes place on Thursday next, 2 June at 7pm. The event is free and all are welcome.