Shelby Jo Long-Hammond, associate professor of communication studies, 406.657.1054,
RMC Media Team, 406.657.1105,

“Irish protest” study course brings new insights in its fourth year

BILLINGS, May 5, 2014 – In 12 days on one island, 14 RMC students will study discord amidst shared history as they complete an annual Irish Protest course taught by Shelby Jo Long-Hammond, associate professor of communication studies at RMC. In her fourth year teaching the two-credit course, Long-Hammond has “added a couple of wrinkles” to her popular survey of 19th and 20th century conflict in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“It’s important history, a brutal history,” she said, in which more than 3,500 people were killed since the 1960s. Cultural, ethnic, political, social, economic, and religious dimensions of Irish conflict and uprisings provide rich fabric for her students’ one semester credit of spring classwork followed by one credit for their trip May 7 to 18.

Long-Hammond has focused in past years on recent Irish troubles from the 1798 rebellion through those of the 20th century, visiting Kilmainham gaol and Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin. Students take a black cab tour of the Belfast murals in Loyalist and Republican areas of Belfast, riding with both Protestant and Catholic guides. This year, the group also explores prehistoric and early Christian antecedents of Irish culture, such as archeological sites at Douth and Newgrange, and the beehive monasteries of the Dingle peninsula.

Long-Hammond and her husband Tony Hammond, assistant professor of music at RMC, have chaperoned each of the Irish protest journeys.