Horslips founder member Barry Devlin from Ardboe makes a return visit to County Tyrone next month to participate in the 21st William Carleton summer school. It takes place once again at Corick House hotel in Clogher. The 17th Century country house used to be the home of the local landlord Squire Story, mentioned in Carleton’s writings. The summer school will be officially opened at 10:30am on Monday 6th August by the Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone, Cllr Phelim Gildernew. The invited guests include the two Bishops of Clogher, Most Reverend Dr Liam MacDaid and Right Reverend John McDowell.
The keynote address on “Carleton and famine’s darkest secret” will be given by Professor Cormac Ó Gráda of UCD. Dr Melissa Fegan from Chester will give a lecture about Carleton and famine. The summer school director former RTÉ News reporter Michael Fisher will talk about DJ O’Donoghue, Carleton’s biographer. Barry Devlin fresh from a Horslips reunion gig in Castlebar will then talk about his career at 4:30pm. On Tuesday 7th there will be a talk by Frank McHugh about Carleton’s Australian relatives, and a contribution from Josephine Treanor from Clogher about one of her relatives, Anne Duffy, the miller’s daughter, who was a contemporary of Carleton and mentioned by him.
A literary symposium will be held including Leitrim poet Mary Guckian, Monaghan writer and poet Mary O’Donnell and Carlo Gébler from Enniskillen. There will also be a one-man show on Charles Dickens by actor Laurence Foster from Dublin and a reading by poet John F. Deane. On Wednesday 8th there will be contributions by Dr Sophia Hillan on Jane Austen’s Irish Nieces, on Carleton on the stage by Christopher Fitz-Simon and a concluding address by Professor Owen Dudley Edwards, honorary director of the summer school. Liam Foley from Augher has adapted Carleton’s humorous story “Phil Purcel the Pig Driver” for a reading by the Carleton Players.
Evening entertainment has been arranged for each night. Traditional music with the Maguire family from County Fermanagh features on Monday evening at the Rathmore bar, along with a return visit by poet PJ Kennedy, a farmer from Belturbet. On Tuesday evening there will be a walk in the scenic Fardross area with the Clogher Valley ramblers followed by a reception at Clogher Valley country park. Young musicians from Tydavnet in Co. Monaghan “The Mountain Lark” will entertain the guests. There will be a concert of sacred and secular music at St Patrick’s church in Clogher on Wednesday 8th at 8pm with the Fermanagh choral society, directed by Don Swain. All evening events are £5 or €5.
On Thursday 9th August the annual tour in the Clogher Valley area will be led by Jack Johnston, focusing on Carleton and his contemporaries, including Archbishop Hughes of New York. His original family homestead near the border is now in place at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, which will be visited. Cost £25 including lunch and afternoon tea. The four-day programme in detail can be found at: www.williamcarletonsummerschool.org. Contact: Michael Fisher, Summer School Director e: firstname.lastname@example.org