The Irish Way of Death

Event Details

24 September 2018
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Contact Name: Gavin Clarke, Hon. Secretary
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The Bloomsbury Hotel
16-22 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3NN
The Irish Literary Society opens its 2018-19 season with a meditation on death, dying and our attitudes to mortality. In his book, The Way We Die Now, Dr. O’Mahony gives us a rare glimpse into the world of death and dying from the vantage point of a medical doctor. In My Father’s Wake Toolis writes of his coming-to-terms with the death of his father and brother and reflects on the denial of space for grief in the modern world.
What have we lost in moving from the funeral rites of Achill to the medicalised proceedure that most of us now experience of death? These rich accounts of care for the dying and dead offer a critque of the idea of a ‘good death’, a reflection on the literary history of death and the role of the hospital as antechamber to the tomb. Book signing to follow discussion.

Dr Seamus O’Mahony is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Cork University Hospital and graduate of UCC. He entered UCC as Honan Scholar, and was Auditor of the Philosophical Society in 1980-81. He graduated with honours in 1983, winning the Blayney Prize in Medicine, and the RGG Barry Prize in Paediatrics. He subsequently trained in Cork, Edinburgh and Leeds. He has been a consultant physician since 1996, and is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and Edinburgh. His has published extensively in the fields of endoscopy, coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease, and was awarded the MD in 1991. His current main academic interest is medical humanities, and has written extensively in this field. He is associate editor for medical humanities of the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review of Books.

Kevin Toolis is a journalist, writer and filmmaker. Born in Edinburgh to Irish parent. For a decade he worked as a magazine writer for The Guardian and has also written for the New York Times Magazine and The Observer. Additionally, he has written screenplays for Universal Pictures. Toolis is an acknowledged terrorism expert and has studied and reported on conflicts in Africa, Ireland and the Middle East. He is the founder of independent television production company Many Rivers Films. Toolis began making documentary films in the mid-nineties. Toolis won a BAFTA for Best Single Drama for Complicit.



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