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MacDonagh centenary events in Cloughjordan

Friday, 29th April, 2016 11:53am
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MacDonagh centenary events in Cloughjordan
MacDonagh centenary events in Cloughjordan

The annual 'Cloughjordan Honours Thomas MacDonagh' Summer School weekend will be bigger than ever this year. Four days of music, poetry, theatre, lectures, celebration and talks will be enjoyed between Friday April 29th and Monday May 2nd.

The official opening of the weekend takes place on Friday, followed by a performance of 'Mamó', written and performed by Isolde O Brolocháin.

On Saturday, the Thomas MacDonagh Summer School will be held with lectures and talks on MacDonagh the Teacher; Michael Malin; Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell; a family reflection on those who fought and fell in 1916; and Dublin in Easter Week. Speakers will include Lucille Redmond, Professor Ruairí Brugha, Brian Hughes, Seán O'Gorman, and May McGill and Ian Kelly. To ensure a place at the Summer School, book on 0873946862 or go to macdonaghweekend@gmail.com

The days ends with the Thomas MacDonagh Memorial Concert, featuring the 'In Tune for Life' orchestra, made up of young traditional musicians from North Tipperary. Other special guests will include singers, dancers, modern and traditional musicians, and a choir.

Sunday May 1st is May Day, and this ancient festival will be observed at Knocknacree Wood with religious and non religious celebration. We must also remember that one of MacDonagh's most famous poems is called 'May Day', and he says of Knocknacree Wood: "The winds are there now and the green of May/On every feathery tree-bough, tender on every hedge". Later that afternoon a bilingual talk will be given by Professor Peadar Kirby on the vision that motivated Thomas MacDonagh.

A highlight of the MacDonagh Weekend has always been the Sunday Talk, a free public lecture on a topic that has always attracted a large audience. This year, Michelle Drysdale, Thomas MacDonagh's great granddaughter, will give a talk entitled 'Married to MacDonagh'.

Although Thomas MacDonagh was born, raised and educated on the Main Street of Cloughjordan, there was never a statue or sculpture in the village to his memory. That changes on Monday May 2nd when the Thomas MacDonagh statue will be unveiled with a parade of bands and all the celebration that such an important event merits.

The weekend draws to a close on Monday evening with a dramatic recounting of the story of Elizabeth O'Farrell's heroic role, told in her own works, of what happened after the decision to evacuate the GPO.

A smaller, more poignant, event will take place after the weekend is officially over. Cloughjordan Heritage Group invites people to join them at the new Thomas MacDonagh statue early the next morning, May 3rd, at 3.30am, to remember the Cloughjordan man who, one hundred years ago, on this date, at this time, was executed.

 

The full schedule of events is in this week's Nenagh Guardian.

 

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