Following the death of our Emeritus Research Director in August 2018 at the age of 90, the Ulster Historical Foundation opened a fund to establish the Dr Brian Trainor Memorial Lecture. Many people generously supported this and on 26 September 2019 the inaugural lecture was held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland before a capacity audience, including Dr Trainor’s widow Pilar and daughters Rosana and Katrina.

The lecture was delivered by Cormac Ó Gráda, Professor (Emeritus) of University College Dublin, who has published extensively on Irish economic history and on famine, and was titled: ‘Irish emigration: new sources, new approaches, new results’.

Dr Trainor Memorial Lecture 1

Professor Ó Gráda prefaced his talk by pointing out that Dr Trainor was always interested in the history of Irish emigration, and particularly in those who left Ulster before the Great Famine, and praised him for his efforts in making archives accessible to all. The lecture itself reviewed recent and ongoing work on emigration from the island as a whole, highlighting the role of new material and new techniques, and the new perspectives they offer.