Amazing Lace Symposium 2019

The Limerick Museum in collaboration with Friends of Lace are inviting you to the Amazing Lace Symposium 2019  that will take place in the Absolute Hotel in Limerick on Saturday, 12 October 2019, from 10am to 5pm. 

Friends of Lace are  a local group of lace makers formed in 2017 in Limerick with the mission to bring Limerick lace to public attention by contributing to the preservation, documentation and research on existing artefacts in museum and private collections, creating teaching resources and supporting novel interpretations and uses of Limerick lace.

The theme of this year’s symposium will be  Limerick Lace – The Memory of the Cloth. Limerick lace production touched many lives during its existence, becoming part of the socio-economical and historical fabric of Limerick and Ireland. Memories are embodied by the cloth withholding traces of the lives of the makers and the receivers. 

The symposium will include presentations from invited speakers, discussions on the topic of lace making and promoting lace making as a living craft. Here is the detailed programme:


9:30   Registration and coffee; Exhibition set up

10:00 Welcome address: Matthew Potter & Giordana Giache

10:15 Introductions: lace groups and organisations, lace makers and types of lace represented, other connections to lace.

11:15 Break; Exhibition open and networking

11:30  Invited talk: Women in the Workplace in 19th Century Limerick’  by Sharon Slater

Sharon Slater is a local historian with primary focus on Nineteenth Century Limerick City. She was awarded the National Heritage Hero Award 2017 by the National Heritage Council for her work in showcasing the history of Limerick. She is the author of several book on various aspects of Limerick’s life.

12:00 Invited talk:‘Lifting the Veil on Lace-making in South Armagh’ by Rosie Finnegan-Bell.

Rosie Finnegan-Bell is one of the founding members of the South Armagh Lace Collective and is the current Chairperson of the group.  She lives in the townland of Glassdrummonaghy near the village of Culloville and  she comes from a long line of lace-makers in her family. She has been making lace for over 15 years and first learned to make lace with local expert Mary McMahon in classes run by the South Armagh Rural Women’s Network in Crossmaglen.   

Rosie now teaches the traditional skills of Carrickmacross lace-making at monthly workshops, she designs her own patterns and makes bespoke lace pieces under her own label ‘Lace, Love and Forget-me-nots’. She has been researching and collecting lace stories from the locality for over a decade and is committed to telling the largely untold story of lace-making in South Armagh.   Rosie has been instrumental in promoting the profile of the South Armagh Lace Collective locally, regionally and nationally.

12:30  Invited talk: ‘Lifting the Veils: The Good Shepherd Magdalene Laundry in Limerick’  by Evelyn Glynn 

Evelyn Glynn is a psychotherapist & visual artist based in Co. Galway. She studied printmaking (LSAD, 2008) and completed an MA in fine art at LSAD (November 2011). She holds an MA in Community Development from NUI, Galway (1992) and has worked in the domestic violence sector since the late 90s. Her art practice explores hidden histories in relation to women’s lives and experiences. She has undertaken extensive research on the subject of Limerick’s Good Shepherd Magdalene laundry including her thesis ‘Left Holding the Baby: Remembering and Forgetting the Magdalene Laundry’, and a website prepared as part of her MA – Breaking the Rule of Silence.  

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Lace making demonstrations, exhibition and networking time

15:00 Coffee/tea break

15:15 Invited talk: ‘Limerick lace and the memory of the cloth’ by Giordana Giache  

Giordana Giache  is a lace-maker and lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design in Limerick. She has been designing costumes for theatre and dance performances, as well as for film productions. She is one of the founding members of Lumen Street Theatre ensemble.

15:45 Invited talk: ‘Memories of clothes: shoppers and shop workers in Limerick 1940-80‘  by Maura Cronin

Maura Cronin has retired in August 2018 from a Senior Lecturerership in the History Department, Mary Immaculate College where she taught and supervised research in Irish social, political, oral and local history. In 2000 she established the college’s Oral History Archive, which currently holds over three thousand recordings on many aspects of Irish social history in Limerick and beyond. She is currently involved, along with Dr Helene-Bradley Davies (Geography Department, MIC) and Dr Ursula Callaghan in preparing a publication on memories of shopping in Limerick city, the project being funded by Limerick City and County Council.

16:15 Discussion on future collaborations to preserve and promote Irish Lace

17:00 Closing; taking apart exhibition 

Lace makers are invited to bring finished pieces or work-in-progress for an ad-hoc exhibition and lace making demonstrations.

Tea, coffee and a light lunch will be served. Attendance is free and everybody is welcome, but prior registration is compulsory. Please register following the link below:






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