SFC 2018 Lectures & Events Programme Venue for all lectures : 8pm Sligo Institute of Technology Education Centre, IT Sligo CampusJan 26th Aidan O'HaraThe Remarkable ColumsFeb 9th AGMFeb 23rd Lynda McCormack The Arrangement of Space in the Irish Passage Tomb Tradition: Monuments in the West and EastMar 23rd Anne ChambersFrom Westport to the West Indies - The Life of Howe Peter Browne 2nd Marquess of Sligo, 1788-1845 Apr 27th Fiona GallagherWilliam Bourke Cockran May 25th James O’NeillTyrone's Rebellion, the War in the West: Curlew Pass & BeyondJun 13th Martin TimoneyOuting : Creevylea Abbey Jul 11th Tamlyn McHughOuting : Sligo GaolAug 18-26th Heritage Week (Events TBA)Sep 28th Maeve Sikora Antiquities From Co. Sligo in the National MuseumOct 6-7th 2018 ConferenceUrban Development in 19th Century Sligo Oct 26th Michael FarrySligo 1918:The Young People Have Triumphed Over Their Elders Nov 30th Cian HarteSligo World War Soldiers Who Played for Sligo RoversDec 14th Pat O’BrienFrom Selected to Elected Administration: From Grand Jury to Sligo County Council
Padraic Colum (1881-1972) was born in Longford and had a long and productive life as a poet, essayist, editor, children’s writer, folklorist, biographer and playwright. In 1912, he married Mary Catherine Gunning Maguire, born in Collooney, Co. Sligo, and spent much of her early life in Ballisodare. While she was a student of modern languages in UCD, 1902-06, she started a club called the Twilight Literary Society of which she was president, and in 1911 was critic-in-chief of The Irish Literary Review which she helped establish along with Padraic.They were both activists not only in the Irish Literary Revival, but also in the national movement for independence. Their friends and colleagues were leading figures in both movements, and included W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, J. M. Synge, ‘AE’ George Russell, Roger Casement, Pádraig Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, and Joseph M. Plunkett. Another friend was James Joyce who enjoyed their support and friendship throughout his life.Padraic was a member of the Irish Volunteers, and Mary, along with Louise Gavan Duffy and Jenny Wyse Power, was on the founding committee of Cumann na mBan. In the autumn of 1914, Mary and Padraic went on a holiday to the United States, and on their arrival, were surprised to find themselves fêted by scholars and writers in the literary scene. World War 1 made return home a dangerous prospect, and as they became more and more engaged in the literary scene, American eventually became their home.Padraic wrote scores of books and articles and played a leading role in promoting Irish culture and literature in the United States. Yeats had advised Mary that her great strength lay in her expertise in literary review and criticism, and in November 1931, the American publication, The English Journal, acclaimed Mary Colum as “the most brilliant of our women critics and one of the most scholarly and far-reaching critics in the [United States]”.
Seventy years ago, Macmillan published her autobiography, Life and the Dream, described by one noted academic authority as “one of the most forthright and powerful proto-feminist autobiographies of the twentieth century”. American playwright Eugene O’Neill said she was “one of the true critics of literature writing in English”; and the noted American poet, writer, and editor, William Rose Benét said that she was “the best woman critic in America. There’s no one in her class.”
Aidan O'HaraCounty Donegal-born award-winning writer and broadcaster, Aidan O'Hara, has worked as a presenter and producer with RTÉ and CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). He is a graduate of St Mary’s College (now Marino Institute of Education, Dublin, Ireland), and pursued post-graduate studies at University of Ottawa and Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. He has taught Media Studies and Communications at the Communications Centre, Booterstown, Dublin City University, and the Tallaght Institute of Technology. Through his company, Ashton Media Services, he has taught communication skills to school leavers, and people in the professions, business, politics and church leaders, as well. Today, Aidan is engaged in writing full-time, and gives presentations to history and community groups throughout Ireland and abroad. He stays in touch with broadcasting through his occasional contributions to RTÉ Radio 1, TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta. He presented three acclaimed Radharc Film documentaries on the Irish of Newfoundland on RTÉ 1 in the 1980s – one of them the award-winning, The Forgotten Irish – and he has been a contributor and consultant in several TV series. His “The Irish in Newfoundland” was published in The Emigrant Experience – with Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Michael D. Higgins, et al – Journal of the Galway Labour History Group, 1991.
His biography of the famous singer, Delia Murphy (1902-71), I’ll live 'til I die - the story of Delia Murphy, was published in 1997 and was the featured book on RTÉ’s Book on One in May 2005. Aidan’s story of the Irish in Newfoundland, Na Gaeil i dTalamh an Éisc, was published in 1998. It won the Oireachtas '97 literary award for a work in prose, and was nominated for The Irish Times Literature Prize in 1999. Aidan’s essay, ‘Emigration from County Longford’ was published in Longford – History and Society (Geography Publications, December 2010). His Atlantic Gaels –Links Between Donegal and the Hebrides, was published by The Islands Book Trust, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, June 2013. He has written several articles on the Irish in the era of the American Civil War 1861-65, and his essay on Judge Charles Patrick Daly (1816-99) was published in April 2017 in Fighting Irish in the American Civil War and the Invasion of Mexico (McFarland’s in the United States, editors, Dr. David Noel Doyle and Dr. Arthur Mitchell.) He has just completed a first draft of a major book on the Irish in the era of the American Civil WarHis salute to his friend, Con Howard was published in Memories of Con Howard, February 2012 by Hot Press Books, with contributions also from – among others – Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, Sean Donlon, John Banville and Ulick O’Connor. He writes regularly for several journals and magazines as a book reviewer and writer on historical subjects. Also in 2012, he contributed two items of reminiscences to Ireland: The Dawning of the Day (Active IT Society, Dublin). He contributed to An Irishman’s Diary in the Irish Times a number of times, the latest on 7 November 2017 on Mary M. Colum.Aidan is a historian with a special interest in the Irish emigration experience. He is an active member of the Co. Longford Historical Society and the Co. Donegal Historical Society and writes for the journals of both societies. He has written for Irish Music Magazine for over 20 years, and contributes articles on history subjects to journals and newspapers around the country. Aidan is Chairman of the Emmet and Devlin Committee, and co-founder of the Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland. He is Chair of Cumann Ceoil Chonmhaicne, established August 2016 to give the public access to the historical manuscripts, field recordings and commercial recordings of Longford and Leitrim musicians. He is a founding member of the Colum Gathering - Cruinniú Colum, whose first get-together was held in Longford, 8-9 September 2017, and which will be an annual event, celebrating the life and work of Padraic Colum.