IRISH CULTURAL ENTREPRENEURS HONOURED
PHOTOGRAPH from L to R:
Ms. Frances Lynch (Jewellery Designer and Philanthropist, Cork), Mr. Simon Coveney T.D. (Táiniste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Cork), Dr. Mary Honan (Academic and Cultural Researcher, Garryowen, Limerick), Prof., Dr. Michael Casey (Artist, researcher and Fellow of the Irish State, Dublin) and H.E., Mr. Ze'ev Boker (Ambassador of Israel accredited to Ireland, Dublin).
As part of the British and Irish Trading Alliance (BITA)’s programme on Education, Research, Innovation and Cultural policy (E.R.I.C.), the Israeli Embassy, Dublin, recently honoured both Dr. Mary Honan (Limerick) and Prof., Dr. Michael Casey (Shrewsbury, Ballsbridge, Dublin) for their contributions to the promotion of Irish and international historical research. As a board member of BITA., Prof., Dr. Casey heads the Trading Alliance's programme on "E.R.I.C." (newly coined and non-for-profit within the statutes of the Trading Alliance) which is, as part of its modus operandi, both culturally, commercially and scientifically receptive towards those of the different religious, ethnic and political persuasion.
The ambassadorial reception marked with great aplomb the publication of Dr. Honan's book entitled: The Literary Representation of WWII Childhood: Interrogating the Concept of Hospitality, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishers, U.K.
Dr. Honan’s book focuses on ‘twenty one primary texts about childhood under Nazism, this book examines how childhood in literature has changed over the years, from the Romantic writers to child slave labour in the Victorian era, the child-soldier and the impact of deportation on both the child victim and their families post-wartime. The genres covered range from diaries, letters, comics, allegories, time-travel novels, fairy tales and novels and memoirs about Hitler youth. Because of its broad focus, the work will be of interest to a diverse readership from survivors of World War II and their families to teachers, historians, academics and librarians, including those in the Irish Republic, the UK, Continental Europe, the USA, Central and South America, the Middle East, Asia and further afield. It will also benefit those practitioners working in the areas of deportation, trauma, child-soldering and human rights and tolerance studies’.
Prof., Dr Casey describes Dr. Honan as 'a very fine writer, and an equally wonderful artist, the portraits on the cover of the book all having been drawn by her based on fragments of photographs that survived the camps, even when, in most cases their child subjects had sadly perished'. He further notes that 'the art work, both for the cover and within the body of work itself was inspired by John Boyne’s book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and the dot...speck ...blob analogy, how a person’s humanity becomes more apparent with each step taken towards understanding'. This, he says, 'can occur whether those steps are physical, through poetry, by simply turning each page of a book or with the first stroke of a pencil on paper. Through her drawings, Dr. Honan exposes a little of the humanity of some of the children discussed in the book, each of the drawings an exposition of pain, suffering and loss that might otherwise have been concealed behind their smiles'.
Prof., Dr. Casey concludes that 'Dr. Honan’s book has been crafted with an obvious determination to imbue Nazism’s young victims back to life. Beyond that, her work is a gentle reminder to the world today, as one is definitely needed, about the dangers of anti-Semitism, of scapegoating, of bigotry towards all minority groups and the effects of such violence on the victims, the deportees, the injured, the dying, dead, and those left behind. She has also crafted a work of empathetic beauty, and of hope, a glorious literary and artistic testimonial to the dead and those left to grieve.'
Ambassador Boker, Dr. Honan and Prof., Dr. Casey were delighted to receive guests as diverse as Minister Simon Coveney T.D. (Táinste and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade), Ms. Orli Weitzman (Deputy Ambassador, Embassy of Israel), Ms. Aisling Meehan, (P.A. Israeli Ambassador), Prof., Dr. Eoin O'Brien (Cardiologist and Polymath), Prof., Dr. Hilary Pyle (Astete and Art historian), Philippa Caulfield (Art Collector), Tadhg O'Connor (Business entrepreneur), Tomas (Tomi) Reichental (Holocaust survivor, Engineer, Author and Documentary Maker), Joyce Weinrib, (Dublin), Super Intendant Gerald Delmar (Donnybrook, Dublin) and members of the International Diplomatic Corps: H.E., Deike Potzel (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany), H.E., Marie-Claude Meylan (Ambassador of Switzerland), H.E., Egidijus Meilunas (Ambassador of Lithuania), H. E., Levent Murat Burhan (Ambassador of Turkey) and H.E., Ivan Mašina, (Ambassador of Croatia).
The Board of the British and Irish Trading Alliance was represented by the highly resourceful Enda Newton (Amoss Solicitors, Dublin), Olga Gaffney (Amoss Solicitors, Dublin), Manmeet Abrol (M.D. of Truway.ie, Dublin), Paul Caplis (Business Advisor and Mentor, Caplis Consulting) and Laura Watkins (Operation Manager B.I.T.A., London); at the same time, the Ireland - U.S. Council, of whom Dr. Casey is a member, was represented by Aidan J. Prendergast (C.E.O., Cardinal Consulting Limited, Dublin) and Gerry Deane (Liscara Business Centre, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin). As evidenced, Dr. Casey has demonstrated a remarkable capacity and tolerance when dealing with Irish and International public bodies, both within the Irish State and the E.U; which, he modestly says, comes down to an ability to demonstrate accountability, openness and transparency at all times.
Also present at the embassy event, from the world of media were, the always delightful Theresa Lowe (Theresa Lowe Communications), Gerry Gregg (International Emmy Award winning Producer/Director/Writer at Praxis Pictures); and also, representing Global Broadcasting Ireland, (Limerick) were Patrick Barry (C.E.O, Cork), Tony Browne (Limerick) and Stephen Collins (Limerick).