AESC - 66th Annual Meeting

Kilkea Castle -- County Kildare, Ireland

July 28 - August 2, 2024



Updated 7/12/2024

Please plan to join AESC President Mark Rosenblatt and Jean Tsai for the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Eye Study Club!  We are travelling "across the pond" to Ireland where we will gather at Kilkea Castle.  Dates are Sunday, July 28 through Friday, August 2, 2024.

This is not the first time the Club has met internationally, but the castle certain promises to be a special experience for Club members and their families.  Kilkea Castle is just about an hour's drive southwest of Dublin. Of course, there are many non-stop and direct flights from all over the US to Dublin. 

As we continue planning for the meeting, additional information will be posted on this webpage, so check back again!

About Kilkea Castle 

One of Ireland's oldest inhabited castles, Kilkea Castle, is a hidden jewel just one hour from Dublin.  With a history dating back to 1180, Kilkea Castle was once the medieval stronghold of the FitzGerald's, Earls of Kildare.  The 140 bedroom resort, set on 180 acres of landscaped gardens, ancient woodland and a meandering river, boasts several accommodation options to appeal to all tastes. This family-owned and managed estate offers a tranquil spa, a challenging 18-hole championship golf course and a world-class culinary experience.

View the HISTORY BROCHURE.   Kilkea Castle is an important landmark of Irish history located in the small village of Kilkea, in County Kildare. The castle was in the barony of Kilkea and Moone. Kilkea village is known for its beautiful landscape and at the centre is the castle. Kilkea Castle was erected in 1180 by Hugh de Lacy, the Earl of Ulster and the Chief Governor of Ireland, for Walter de Riddlesford, a Norman knight, who arrived during the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169. The land was once in the Barony of Kilkea and Moone which was owned by Richard de Clare, known commonly as Strongbow, who played a key role in the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. The land was ‘granted by Strongbow to Walter de Riddlesford, Baron of Bray. The exchange of the land is mentioned in an old French poem:

‘Twent fiefs in Ormurethy,
The noble earl (i.e Strongbow) in the same way,
Gave to the warrior,
Walter de Riddlesford.

Quick Links

General Information

Housing Information

View detailed housing information -- CLICK HERE

Since we are buying-out the entire Kilkea Castle, the AESC will be making all assignments for accommodations.  Members are asked to submit a housing request form which provides the essential information required to match the member's needs with the accommodation.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BOOK A RESERVATION DIRECTLY WITH KILKEA CASTLE.

  • The deadline for submitting your housing request form is March 15, 2024.  Assignments for accommodations will be distributed in early April.
  • A deposit of $250 is required with each housing request.  This will be applied to the total cost of your stay.  Since there is a limited number of rooms in the Castle structure itself, we will assign those rooms by lottery.  An additional $200 deposit (total of $450) will put you into the drawing for those rooms.

Meeting Registration

Registration for the meeting is now open!

You may register online or use the paper (PDF) form.  Online registration gives you the option of paying immediately with a credit card or paying later by check.

Registration is now open! 

Paper Form (PDF format) if you prefer to use a paper form or to pay with a check.

Conference Registration Fees -- includes all group meals and receptions.  (will be posted soon)

  • AESC Member -- $630
  • Adult guests (spouses, significant others, guests, family members over 18 years of age) -- $550
  • Teenagers (age 13 - 17) -- $375
  • Younger kids (age 5 - 12) - $120
  • Toddlers/infants (<5 years) -- Free

Program Information

Program chair:
  Gary Lelli, MD

Complete scientific program -- VIEW HERE  (PDF document)

Submit and Review Abstracts

All Club members are encouraged to participate in the annual meeting by giving a talk, or by submitting an idea for a mini-symposium or panel discussion.

SUBMIT an abstract for a talk or a symposium by completing this electronic form. (The program is now finalized)

Named Lectures

35th Albert D. Ruedemann, Jr. Lecture


Robert Gold, MD

Eye Physicians of Central Florida
Maitland, FL

20th AESC Foundation - Jerry & Donna Knauer Lecture


John Doris, MB BCh BAO MRCP FRCOphth


University Hospital Waterford
Eye and Face Clinic Williamstown Centre




Spouse Book Club

"The Pull of the Stars" by Emma Donoghue

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia's regimented world step two outsiders—Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumoured Rebel on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other's lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

In The Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.

Recreational Opportunities

Group Activities -- We have planned a number of group excursions, as well as "ad hoc" small group outings.

CLICK HERE for details about all of the recreational activities, as well as access to the sign-up form.

  • Monday, July 29
  • Tuesday - Thursday --Falconry demonstrations
  • Tuesday, July 30 -- Tennis tournament
  • Wednesday, July 31 -- Afternoon/Evening excursion to Dublin
  • Thursday, August 1
    • AESC Golf Outing
    • "Not Golf" Outing... Irish Family Olympics
  • PLUS...Lots of independent activities in the area


Other Useful Information and References

Airport Transportation

We are working with a transportation company to arrange for airport transfers from the Dublin airport to Kilkea Castle.  More details will be forthcoming very shortly.

If you wish to rent a car, there are a number of car rental companies based at the Dublin airport.  Keep in mind that driving is on the left side of the road!  Many rental cars are manual transmission, so if you want an automatic, be sure to make that request.

Other Stuff

If you look at this picture and squint in just the right way, you should be able to see Kilkea Castle!

Next Year's Meeting 

The 67th Annual Meeting of the AESC will take place at the Coeur d'Alene Resort in Idaho.  The venue is very reasonable drive away from the Spokane, WA airport.  MARK THE DATES . . . Sunday, August 3 through Friday, August 98, 2025.

Last Updated on Tuesday, July 16, 2024 07:36 AM