From Carrickfergus to Carcassonne - the Earl of Ulster and the crusade against the Cathars

This presentation will outline the central role played by Hugh de Lacy - the first earl of Ulster - in the crusade against the 'Cathar' heretics in Southern France in the early thirteenth century. By exploring the rich primary sources, de Lacy's expulsion from Ulster, his exile in Languedoc and his eventual violent return to Ireland are explored through the lenses of ambition, conspiracy and family.

Paul Duffy is an archaeologist specializing in medieval and urban archaeology. He has directed numerous landmark excavations in Dublin and has led projects in Australia, France and the UK. His historical research centers on the Crusades and, in particular, Irish involvement in the thirteenth century crusade against the Cathars in Languedoc. He has published volumes in English and French on this subject (Carrickfergus to Carcassonne 2018, Brepols; Ireland and the Crusades, Four Courts Press, 2022). Paul is also an award winning writer of fiction and his first novel Run with the Hare, Hunt with the Hound (Cynren Press 2022) brings together the literary and historical strands of his writing to create an engaging historical narrative set amid the turmoil of twelfth century Ireland. Paul is a senior archaeologist with Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd., a doctoral candidate at Leicester University and a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland.