It was a lively event that saw the launch of the 2016 Edgeworthstown Literary Festival at the town’s Green last week.
Against the backdrop of the 1916 Centenary celebrations, local school principal Eamonn Brennan brought together some of that ideology and compared it to that of the Edgeworth family.
He began by reading an excerpt from an article written about the Rising by a 16-year-old student at Lanesboro Community College.
“The leaders of the 1916 Rising were on their knees like everyone else; they looked upwards in the face of a greater foe, and together they hoped; together they dreamed and together they rose,” read Mr Brennan.
“Therefore let us take inspiration from 100 years ago and continue in this century what the leaders of the Rising began all those years ago to make our world a better place.”
Mr Brennan then went on to say that hope and inspiration were at the very heart of small communities and the development and growth of the Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival was a prime example of that.
“Richard Lovell Edgeworth’s ideals in education compare to the ideals of Padraig Pearse who spoke of pupil-teacher interaction and learning,” continued Mr Brennan.
“Maria Edgeworth then, once wrote that force was sometimes needed to prevent a greater evil.
“For me the Rising was about people doing it for themselves - 100 years ago we had the WW1, the Titanic and the 1916 Rising - 100 years before that again, the canal came to Longford, the Edgeworths were on the go, and Daniel O’Connell was getting organised.”
He added, “By 1916 there was still no Home Rule in Ireland and the Rising happened and so began the birth of our nation; in 1916 the vast majority of people did not have the right to vote in Ireland”.
The ever-popular Edgeworthstown Literary Festival kicks off on Saturday, May 14 at 10:30am in the historic St John’s Rectory with children’s storytelling by Eamonn Brennan. Harpist Shannon Brown will also perform.
The Deirdre Purcell Perpetual Cup and valuable cash prizes will be presented to the winners of this year’s schools poetry competition and at 2pm Matt Farrell will lead a guided walk taking in all the local historical sites.
A lecture will will be given by Professor Claire Connolly, UCC and at 8pm in St John’s Church a talk by leading historian Dr Ciarán O’Reilly will take place.
One of the highlights of the evening will include a reading and conversation session with Longford writer Belinda McKeon.
For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 35343 6671801