First annual Padraic Colum Cruinniú this weekend

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A special celebration aimed at heralding the life and work of Padraic Colum is taking place this weekend

A native of County Longford, Padraic Colum is one of Ireland’s most accomplished writers and the author of such works as ‘The King of Ireland’s Son’ and ‘She Moves Through the Fair’.

To celebrate his life and work, Creative Ireland Longford and Longford County Council are proud to present the first annual gathering to celebrate the life and work of PadraicColum this coming weekend.

The weekend, which we are calling the Padraic Colum Cruinniú, will take place in Longford town from Friday September 8 to Saturday, September 9.

The reason the weekend is being called a Cruinniu or Gathering is because members of the Colum family from different parts of the world will gather in Longford for the weekend.

The weekend gathering will begin at 6pm on Friday evening with an official reception for family and friends of Padraic Colum, hosted by An Cathaoirleach Cllr Martin Mulleady and members of Longford County Council at Aras an Chontae, Longford.

This event will be followed by a concert celebrating the life and work of Padraic Colum featuring local artists, musicians and poets, at 8pm in Backstage Theatre.

Special guests on the night will be Padraic Column’s grand niece, Clíona Ní Shúilleabháin and members of the Colum family.

The MC on the night is writer, broadcaster and storyteller, Frank Galligan.

An exhibition by Longford bog oak artist Brendan Collum will also be on display throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, September 9, the focus will turn to Longford Library where there is a large Padraic Colum Collection of books and other material, and events will begin from 10.30am.

Librarian, Theresa O’Kelly will give a talk to adults on ‘The King of Ireland’s Son’ and the tradition of storytelling in Ireland.

At 10.30am also, there will be a children’s story hour based on a Padraic Colum story with storyteller Maggi McKenna in Longford Library.

These events will be followed by a lecture by writer and broadcaster, Aiden O’Hara, on the ‘Life and Work of Padraic Colum’ at 11.45am in Longford Library.

At 2pm, there will be a guided tour of St. Mel’s Cathedral (meeting point) led by Bishop Colm O’Reilly, Bishop Emeritus of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, followed by a visit to the site of the workhouse, birthplace of Padraic Colum.

Mary Carleton Reynolds Longford County Coordinator for Creative Ireland and a member of the organizing committee for the weekend said “Padraic Colum is one of Longford’s most successful and well known writers and it is fitting that the first gathering to celebrate his life and work is taking place in his birthplace.

“We are delighted that members of his family will join us to honour his achievements and to help us to build this first Padraic Colum Cruinniu into an important annual literary event.

Booking is essential for all events. Email: creativeireland@longfordcoco.ie or telephone: 043-3341124.