This thesis examines the role of craftsmanship from the Mesolithic period to Postmodernism, with special emphasis on education and training, mainly from an Irish perspective. Historians always depend on the work of their predecessors, and this is especially the case in a wide-ranging study such as this. It is also a very personal journey into the world of apprenticeship. Ireland is gifted with monuments dating from the Stone Age and arts of metalwork dating from the La Téne era. Although an astonishingly large amount of material evidence from the Middle Ages has been excavated throughout Ireland, few written sources survive today. The early Irish law texts are a rich source of information on a wide variety of topics relating to Early, and even to Late Medieval Ireland. The bulk of these texts were, on the basis of linguistic evidence, written down in the 7th and 8th centuries. Later glosses and commentaries can provide considerable help in understanding the original laws. Each particular tract must be assessed in the context of the subject with which it deals. In the Old and Middle Irish law-texts, the Sáer was expected to be competent in many different areas of construction. Although Sáer will be translated here as ‘craftsman’ and referred to as ‘he,’ to avoid the encumbrance of constantly using ‘craftsman/craftswoman’ and ‘he/she.’ There is, however, a reference to Bansear, a craftswoman or ‘woman wright,’ indicating that not all craftspersons were male. The international composition of the population of medieval Dublin is very well reflected in its Guild Merchant Roll. While the document itself cannot give more than a glimpse of the town and its trade, it nonetheless provides the historian and the archaeologist with c. 8,500 names, the majority of which can be dated by the years they entered into the iii merchant guild. The international mix is very well represented, and includes merchants from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Scandinavia, Scotland, Spain and Wales. An explosion and fire at the Public Record Office of Ireland, Four Courts, Dublin, during the civil war in 1922, destroyed nearly a thousand years of what must have been one of the finest medieval archives of Irelands historical and genealogical facts. Ironically, the documents were placed there for safe keeping. Most of what had not been transcribed or out on loan was lost. The prolific results of the large archaeological excavations undertaken in various cities and towns of Ireland since, have resulted in great advances being made in the understanding of the physical character of the towns of the late Viking age as well as of the contemporary crafts and occupations and commercial contact. From the 1960s, a general comparison of the physical attributes that survive in the archaeological record-location, layout, defences and building types shows that the later Viking-age towns shared many traits and the existence of the Hiberno-Norse town and the Dublin excavations, impressive though they are, need no longer be studied in isolation. The publication of Scully’s and Hurley’s report on the prolific Waterford sites allows of even greater comparison with the Dublin result. Materials were sourced at the National Museum of Ireland and at Waterford Museum of Treasures. The Author’s archive describes the unfolding of events of the role of the Social Partners in apprenticeship, Inter College Course Committees, FÁS, the Department of Education and Science. It may, therefore, be stated that the concept and structure of apprentice training and education which emerged in Ireland at the beginning of the 21st century wasn’t fixed but inexorably emerged from the flames of consecutive eras of craftsmanship.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2016|