It is difficult to see the recent St Brendan conference as anything other than a missed opportunity. For a start, there should have been no admission charges in these days of austerity and emigration. Secondly, I see no engagement with the biggest community-based network, which is sport, in particular Football. On both counts the historical society should have demanded a much better deal than it appears to have done: it should have enforced free admission for the poor, and asked for a realistic contribution from the Football monopoly in the form of publicity for the range of historical eras, not just the iconic St Brendan. In the process it would have expanded market share appreciably.
Instead, what we have is an event organised by people who seldom have time to attend a historical lecture. As a consequence, the excluded community will see this as a kind of trophy event run by a cartel comprising local authorities, historical society and local media, none of whom has any real commitment to taking Kerry away from the Rose festival, the Football monopoly and holidays for tourists.