Merriman Summer School

12 August 2015 - 16 August 2015


The theme of the 2015 Merriman Summer School is ‘Love and Marriage.’

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Divorce Referendum in Ireland and a referendum on same sex marriage will be held in May. When situated in the wider European context, intimate relationships in Ireland have under- gone a process of profound transformation and rapid change in very recent decades. Recent data indicates a significant increase in one-parent households and a high non-marital birth rate, for instance, alongside the emergence of cohabitation, divorce, same-sex families and reconstituted families.

At the same time, the majority of children in Ireland still live in a two-parent family based on marriage, and the divorce rate in Ireland is comparatively lower than other European countries. Love and marriage in the 21st century is, in reality, characterized by continuity and change in the Irish context.

The Summer School will explore ‘love and marriage’ through the lens of literature, social science, music, history, poetry, politics and law.

Full programme is available online at

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