The Lambert Symposium 
 18 - 20th June 1999
Report - 20.09.'99 
The Aim of the Lambert Project Society was: 
1. To learn for ourselves and then to teach our children and the local people aspects of the history of the Athenry area. We needed to give them a better understanding of 'the Landlord times' and to dispell many of the 'myths' surrounding those times. This was done through the story of the Lambert families who had been with us since circa 1640 and who had a great influence on the area until their exile in the early years of this century.  
2. To make the Lambert descendants feel welcome to visit Athenry to learn about their roots and to ensure that there would be enlightened people in Athenry to make them feel at home and to help them in their quest. 
3. To offer the facilities of our school for the purpose of helping to co-ordinate any visit, project or event involving the Lamberts and the Athenry community.  
This was achieved through the very successful Lambert Symposium held in June. Quite a number of Lamberts and their friends enjoyed a great weekend and were happily surprised with the many local people who turned out to make them feel welcome, dine with them and escort them on a historic tour of of the old Lambert homes. 
In order to celebrate this memorable occasion a book 'The Lamberts of Athenry' was produced. This book is just a beginning and it only scratches the surface. It gives a glympse of the genealogy of the main Lambert families and sets the scene for their arrival and also looks at some aspects of the history of the Athenry area.  The genealogy of the Lamberts must come from the family and we promise to do our bit to help. We will need the Lamberts to work with us on the history of Athenry as it is as much theirs as ours.  
Picture gallery: 
Photos from Cathy Katz: Click on captions to enlarg to enlarge!
Most of the photos were taken during the 'Tour of Lambert Houses' on Sunday 20th June. 
With Finbarr O'Regan and Martin T. Kelly conducting the tour the visitors were brought to Aggard House and then on to Ardrahan and Cregg Clare which was one of the first Lambert houses in Co. Galway before Cromwell's time. Later we went to Castle Lambert where another branch of the family lived and from there on to Moorpark where some of the ancestors are buried. We all finished up in Monivea after a most enlightening and enjoyable tour. 
The Dinner, in Castle Ellen House, on Saturday night was a great success and enjoyed by all. Michael Keaney, the present owner, presided and an interesting after dinner speech, on Edward Carson, was given by Professor Etienne Rynne. 
 Professor Rynne gave the visitors a guided tour of Medieval Athenry on Friday Evening. 
 At Saturday's Book Launch Donal Taheny gave a wonderful illustrated talk on 'The Big Houses of Athenry'.  

Castle Ellen website 
Lambert Website 

Address by Mr. Noel Treacy, T.D. Minister for Science and Technology 
At the official opening of The Lambert Symposium In Athenry Heritage Centre, 18th June 1999. 
  It is both a pleasure and an honour for me to be here today, to formally open The Lambert Symposium.  I am particularly delighted to note the leading role that Carnaun National School has played in the process, leading to the holding of this Symposium.  This School has clearly taken very seriously the objective of ensuring that the Pupils "have the opportunity to achieve Computer Literacy and to equip themselves for participation in the Information Society".  This is a core objective of the Schools IT 2000 Initiative launched by us in 1997. 
  Another key objective of Schools IT 2000,1 is to bring about a Partnership involving Schools, Parents, Local Communities, together with Public and Private Sector Organisations, to meet the Projects ambitious aims.  What is taking place here in the Athenry Heritage Centre this weekend, is a clear example of such a Partnership.  I wish to pay a very special tribute to all involved.  What has been done here is an excellent model for other Communities to emulate. 
  Ireland is a Small Country on the edge of Europe, but over the ages our People have influenced developments, in many Areas of the Wider World.  We are now becoming more and more aware of this as we also become much more conscious of the fantastic Heritage that we have and which has "made us what we are".  A Symposium such as this helps to heighten our Awareness of this enormous Heritage and it also makes us aware of the diversity of this great Heritage. 
  In reading about the Lambert Family, we can see how they came to this area and how their coming influenced its History.  It is very interesting also to note the connection with Northern Ireland, through Sir Edward Carson. 
The following is a quote from the Carnaun National School Web-Site " A small townland in Connacht, is unlikely to be perceived as the 'cradle' of Ulster Unionism.  Castle Ellen, Athenry, County Galway, however, carries this distinction.  Ancestral home of Isabella Lambert, mother of Sir Edward Carson, is the link that binds, the thread from which 'knitted mesh to mesh', this immortal fact survives. 
Sir Edward loved the place, spent much time there as a boy, came there on holidays when a student in Trinity and played Hurling with the Local Team.  Known and loved, he mixed well with the Locals - 'Ned Carson was a decent chap - a man of the People'.  The rest is history!  " 
  I am certain that consideration of this will help us to realise that all of the traditions on this Island have more reasons to live in Peace than in Conflict. 
While the focus of this Symposium is very much on Local Heritage with, as I note from the Programme, Archaeological and Historical Walking Tours, Talks on the "Big Houses of Galway", the launch of a Commemoration Book on "The Lamberts of Athenry", a Cultural Evening and so on, it is very important to note the way in which the Internet - the Information Superhighway has contributed to the occasion. 
  Access to the Internet made it possible to find a Website dedicated to the Lamberts.  It provided the means of making contact with other related Sites and also with the People responsible for those Web-Sites.  It has initiated a communication process between many People, with an interest in the Lamberts and their connections. 
It has shown us how small the great World really is now and how we can much more effectively find any Information that we may require. The Children are very much, at ease with this Technology and it is important that they are, facilitated in their access to it.  As Schools IT 2000 is further developed by our Department of Education and Science,, this access will be enhanced and we will ensure that our Children have the skills required for Life, in the 2Ith. Century. 
  The Symposium Programme is very interesting and will provide opportunities for all to learn more about our Heritage.  I'm sure that the Book on "The Lamberts of Athenry" will be of major interest not just locally, but also to all of those who have connections with this Area. I congratulate Mr. Finbarr O'Regan, Principal Teacher, on his work in this regard.  In drawing attention to the Internet and the various Web-Sites, it will also make it easier to further develop and maintain contact between People, not just in Ireland but in many parts of the World. 
  I congratulate all of those involved in the organisation of this Symposium.  I am sure that all of the sessions will be well attended and that much information and knowledge will be shared.  I especially congratulate the Children of Carnaun National School and their Teachers on the work that they have done on "The Lambert Project".  I look forward to hearing more about them in the future. 
  Molaim rath Dé ar an obair agus go n-eirí go geal, le gach duine a bhfuil baint acu, leis an ocáid iontach seo.  Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir. 

The Lambert Project
1. Our Book 'The Lamberts of Athenry' - This book is sold out - not available any more!
2. Lambert Project in the Community
3. The Lambert/Carson Symposium: Details of Event
4. Lambert Project in School
5. Programme for Symposium
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