William Carleton Summer School Launch at Corick House, Clogher: Sam Craig, Isabel Orr & Liam Foley, Committee Members

William Carleton Summer School Launch at Corick House, Clogher:
Sam Craig, Isabel Orr & Liam Foley, Committee Members

Lively Programme for Carleton Summer School: Ulster Herald Thursday July 18th 2013

Tom McGurk returns to his Tyrone roots to appear at what promises to be one of the liveliest William Carleton summer school programmes in Clogher next month. It will include three nights of music of various types, including a session by a young female Irish traditional group Síoda.  

Tom McGurk returns to his roots

Tom McGurk returns to his roots

A native of Brockagh near the shore of Lough Neagh, Tom McGurk is one of the most distinguished journalists and broadcasters in Ireland. He will be in conversation with Aidan Fee (like him, a past pupil of St Patrick’s College Armagh) on the subject of ‘Northern Ireland, Past and Present’ on the opening day of the school at Corick House Hotel on Monday 5th August at 4:30pm. As a student at Queen’s University Belfast, he was active in the civil rights campaign in 1968 and was involved with the People’s Democracy group.

Tom’s RTE television credits include presenting programmes like ‘Tangents’, ‘Last House’, ‘Folio’ and he currently anchors major RTE sports coverage especially rugby. He played rugby for Ulster. In Britain, he fronted ‘Granada Reports’ and reported for ‘Channel 4 News’ and ‘Newsnight’ on BBC2. In the late 1980s he was Foreign Correspondent with ‘The Mail On Sunday’ (London) reporting from Latin America, Africa and the USA and he covered the end of the ‘Cold War’ in Europe.

His extensive radio credits include presenting ‘Start the Week’ on BBC Radio 4 and a wide variety of interview and current affairs programmes with RTE. His screen writing credits include the television dramas ‘Dear Sarah’ (Thames TV/RTE) and ‘The Need to Know’ (BBC TV). He is also a poet and is a columnist with The Sunday Business Post in Dublin.

Síoda will perform at the Rathmore Bar, Main street Clogher (opposite the Cathedral) at 8pm on Monday 5th August. Admission free. They are a young and vibrant Irish traditional band. They have been making waves on the traditional music scene throughout Ireland for the last year. The band is comprised of Emma Robinson on flute, whistles and vocals, Joanna Boyle on banjo, guitar and vocals, Alana Flynn on bodhran, vocals and dancing, Rosie Ferguson on fiddle, vocals and dancing and the only male in the line-up Conor Murphy on guitar and vocals. Coupled with the singing and playing, the band contains an all Ireland champion Irish Dancer, creating an all-round exhibition of Irish culture. The band have featured on numerous radio and television programmes, including BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Blas Ceoil’, UTV, U105 and TG4’s ‘Geantrai’. Síoda will be joined by well-lnown singer and broadcaster Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaoich.

Wednesday 7th August will be an opportunity to meet the two Marys….Mary O’Rourke and Mary Kenny. Both will be speaking on a day devoted mainly to dealing with the past. From the sectarianism of Carleton’s time in the Clogher Valley of the early 19th Century up to modern Ireland. The first topic that day (7th) will be the Orange Order. Politics Professor Jon Tonge from Liverpool University is an expert on the subject, author of a book on Orangeism and Britishness. Commentators Alex Kane and Dr Margaret O’Callaghan will be contributing to a discussion afterwards.

Former Fianna Fáil Minister Mary O’Rourke will talk about her Memoir concerning her life as a politician and how different political strands can be accommodated. Another guest is Dublin-born poet Siobhan Campbell, currently working with US Army veterans to set down their experiences in writing. The closing sessions will be devoted to the Carson story, the great unionist leader. Actor and playwright Paddy Scully will present extracts from his one-man show ‘Lord Edward Carson Reflects’. Author and playwright Mary Kenny will talk about ‘Carson, Irishman, Unionist and Dubliner’.

The international aspect of the summer school will be reinstated with the presence of Professor Thomas O’Grady, Director of Irish Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. He will talk about Carleton’s story ‘The Donagh’ on Monday 5th August. Honorary Director, Professor Owen Dudley Edwards, will give a talk on Carleton, Irish Literature and Caesar Otway, the Protestant clergyman who influenced Carleton to convert to the Anglican church in order to get his writings published.

The question of language will be discussed on Tuesday 6th August. Dr Ciaran Mac Murchaidh, St Patrick’s Drumcondra, will speak about the use of Irish in the Clogher Valley in the era of Carleton’s youth. Dr Ian Adamson from Belfast will present a paper on Ulster Scots. The William Carleton Society President Jack Johnston will talk about Augher from the time of plantation landlord Sir Thomas Ridgeway to George Duffy, the Miller. The Miller’s daughter, Anne Duffy, Carleton’s earliest love, is the subject of a story by Josephine Treanor, who is related to her.

In a session devoted to literature, four writers will discuss their works:  Ciaran Collins from Kinsale, Co.Cork, ‘The Gamal’, Patricia Craig from Belfast, ‘Twisted Root’, Anthony Quinn from Tyrone,’Disappeared’ and Tony Bailie from Co.Down, ‘A Verse to Murder’. 

There will be entertainment each evening, including a concert at Fivemiletown Wesleyan Hall, opposite the creamery, at 8pm on Wednesday 7th August. Murley Silver Band, a local group, will be joined by Monaghan Gospel Choir, with a star guest, Gloria, famous for her recording of ‘One Day at a Time’. The previous evening (Tuesday 6th) at 8:30pm at Somers cafe, Fardross (Clogher Valley Caravan Park), the sound of bagpipers Jim Brady and Frank Gildernew along with the young pipes and drums Ulster Scots group will mix with the sound of Irish traditional musicians, the McKenna family from Clogher. The Clogher Valley ramblers have also organised a Carleton walk to finish at Fardross in time for the entertainment (departing Corick House 7pm for summer school participants). All evening events are FREE and are part-funded by the EU’s PEACE III Programme for PEACE and Reconciliation through the ‘Shared History Shared Future’ Project administered by Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council.

On Thursday 8th there will be a literary tour to Fermanagh including the Crom estate and Enniskillen. Cost £30 to include snack, light lunch and evening meal. Departing Corick House 10am sharp. Bookable via tour guide Frank McHugh e: f.mchugh4@btinternet.com.

The full programme can be found on our website, www.williamcarletonsociety.org or by contacting wcarletonsociety@gmail.com


Pat Boyle presents a copy of The Authentic Voice to Mayor of Dungannon Cllr Phelim Gildernew

William Carleton Society Vice-Chair Pat Boyle presents “The Authentic Voice” to Mayor of Dungannon Cllr Phelim Gildernew

Details have been announced of the 22nd annual William Carleton summer school. The programme for 2013 was  launched at the Hill of the O’Neill Centre/Ranfurly House in Dungannon in the presence of the Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council, Cllr Phelim Gildernew. He was presented with a copy of “The Authentic Voice”, edited by Gordon Brand and illustrated by Sam Craig, which contains articles about Carleton based on lectures to the summer school in previous years.

William Carleton

William Carleton

The summer school opens at 11:30am on Monday 5th August at Corick House Hotel in Clogher. The starting time has been put back to enable more people to attend who might have to travel, especially our friends and supporters in the Dublin area. Our Honorary Director Professor Owen Dudley Edwards will speak about Carleton, Caesar Otway and Irish literature. Otway was a Protestant clergyman in Dublin whose influence on the writer came at an important time in his career. Professor Thomas O’Grady from Boston will speak about “The Geography of the Imagination: Carleton’s story “The Donagh”. The final talk of the day will feature the broadcaster and poet Tom McGurk, who comes from Brackagh in County Tyrone, in conversation with one of his contemporaries at school, Aidan Fee, about Northern Ireland, past and present.

On Tuesday 6th August there will be a discussion about language in the 19thC Clogher Valley. Dr Ciaran Mac Murchaidh, St Patrick’s Drumcondra will talk about Irish and Ulster Scots will be the topic for  Dr Ian Adamson. There will be a session on literature with Ciaran Collins “The Gamal”, Tony Bailie, and Patricia Craig “Twisted Root”. Josephine Treanor will talk about her relative, Anne Duffy, the Miller’s Daughter from Augher, one of Carleton’s first loves.

Wednesday 7th August is devoted to dealing with the past and will feature Professor Jon Tonge (Liverpool), Mary O’Rourke on how different political strands can be accommodated, poet Siobhan Campbell and Mary Kenny talking about Edward Carson, unionist, Dubliner and Irishman. Actor Patrick Scully will present his one-man show on Carson, which he performed recently at the Lyric Theatre studio in Belfast.

Patrick Scully as Edward Carson

Patrick Scully as Edward Carson

The final day, Thursday 8th August, Gordon Brand and summer school deputy director Frank McHugh will act as guides for the annual coach tour. This year it will go to the neighbouring county of Fermanagh. It will focus on the work of Shan Bullock, who wrote “The Loughsiders”, based in the area around the Crom estate. The tour will depart from Corick House in Clogher at 10:30am and advance booking is necessary at wcarletonsociety@gmail.com.

Charles Gavan Duffy

Charles Gavan Duffy

This year there will be a number of events in Monaghan and Emyvale (which has a Carleton connection) preceding the summer school. On Friday 2nd August there will be a one-day conference at the Four Seasons Hotel, CARLETON, KAVANAGH and GAVAN DUFFY. Admission is free and the event is funded by the EU Peace III programme of Monaghan County Development Board.

Professor Thomas O’Grady from Boston will read some of his poems and talk about his research on the Monaghan poet, Patrick Kavanagh. Art Agnew from Inniskeen will read selected extracts from Kavanagh’s works, including The Green Fool. The afternoon is devoted to a study of Monaghan man Charles Gavan Duffy, a devotee of Carleton and one of the influential people who helped the writer to obtain a civil list pension in 1848. The speakers will be Brendan O Cathaoir from Bray and Aidan Walsh, a heritage consultant who was the first curator of Monaghan County Museum. Monaghan poet Mary O’Donnell, one of the William Carleton Society’s patrons, will read from some of her works. The programme will conclude with a talk on “The Shemus Cartoons” from the Freeman’s Journal by Felix M.Larkin from Dublin.

I am also pleased that the William Carleton Society will be hosting the launch of a book, “Memories Amidst the Drumlins: Cavan and Monaghan“, containing some of the poems and stories written about the area by the late Terence O’Gorman from Tydavnet and edited by his daughter, Patricia Cavanagh. Terence was a regular visitor to the summer school and many other similar events throughout Ireland.

On Saturday 3rd August, Grace Moloney of the Clogher Historical Society and Theresa Loftus (Monaghan Museum) will lead a walk through Monaghan town, starting at the Museum at Hill Street at 11am. This event is free. The following day, Sunday 4th August, there will be a ceremony to mark the Carleton plaque at the Blue Bridge near Emyvale. At 8pm in Emyvale Leisure Centre, the Carleton Players will perform a reading of the “Fair of Emyvale”, adapted by Liam Foley.   summerschoolad

Blue Bridge near Emyvale

Blue Bridge near Emyvale