Dr Eoin Devereux, Head of Department of Sociology at the University of Limerick
It's almost ten years since Morrissey played a sell-out show at the University of Limerick concert hall, however, it was the turn of his many fans who attended a packed seminar examining the cultural significance of the music of Morrissey and The Smiths on Wednesday 23rd April last. Fans from all walks of life came together to hear Dr. Eoin Devereux, Head of the Sociology Department at the University of Limerick, outline how The Smiths were strongly influenced by their Immigrant Irish and Catholic backgrounds.
Dr. Devereux, who convened the seminar, detailed how Morrissey's many fans relate to their icon in an intense fashion, stating that "Morrissey's fans invariably speak of the many ways in which the music of The Smiths and Morrissey has redemptive qualities. Fans speak about their close emotional relationships with the music and often express this in religious terms. Morrissey's appeal rests in his canny ability to be able to combine the authentic and the ambiguous all at once. He manages to appeal to a very diverse range of fans many of whom see themselves as outsiders just like their hero."
Jointly organised by the Department of Sociology and the Irish World Academy for Music and Dance, the seminar attracted interest from all over Ireland, the UK and as far away as Estonia.