2nd Annual Padraic Colum Gathering at Longford's Backstage Theatre

Stellar events lined up for literary festival

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Padraic Colum Gathering

he second annual Padraic Colum gathering kicks off in September.

The second annual Padraic Colum Gathering kicks off in September, with a fantastic lineup of events to interest everyone.

The celebrations will begin on Thursday, September 20, at the Backstage Theatre with an opening reception at 6.30pm.
The reception will include a short introductory talk, featuring recordings of Padraic Colum by Aidan O'Hara, writer and broadcaster.

There will also be a brief account of 'Colum the Suffragist' by Máiréad Ní Chonghaile, Longford Heritage Officer.

At 8pm, also in the Backstage Theatre, there wil be a traditional concert by local performers with special guests, St Columcille's National School, Aughnacliffe, and the Innyside Singers. Booking for this is essential and tickets are €5.

Friday morning will see more literary events, including readings from Padraic Colum on the Stations of the Cross.

These will take place in St Mel's Cathedral at 11.30am and will be led by Bishop Emeritus, Colm O'Reilly. This will be followed by a walk to the Padraic Colum memorial at St Joseph's Care Centre on the Dublin Road.

At 2.30pm in the Granard Community Library, librarian Teresa O'Kelly will give a talk entitled 'The Big Tree Of Bunlahy - an exploration'.

Also in the library will be an audience with Mary (Molly) Colum née Gunning Maguire, author and critic, as well as local historian, Sr Rosarii Beirne. This will take place at 4.30pm.

John V Donohoe's pub in Granard will be the place to be from 8.3opm that night as traditional songs and stories led by Fear An Tí Eamonn Brennan will kick off to celebrate Culture Night 2018.

On Saturday morning at 10.30am, the Longford Library will host two poetry workshops - one for children with author, Alan McMonagle, and the other for adults with poet, Noel Monahan.

Booking is required for both workshops and can be made via creativeireland@longfordcoco.ie.

Meanwhile, in Granard Community Library, Padraic Colum Folklorist, Criostoir MacCarthaigh, Director of the National Folklore Collection in UCD, will give a talk.

Finishing off the festivities will be a tour of 'Colum Country', which will start at the Granard Community Library at 12.30pm.

This will be a bus tour that will include Aughnacliffe and Bunlahy, led by local historian, Seán Ó'Suilleabháin and Aidan O'Hara.
Booking is essential for the bus tour and tickets are on sale for €5.

There will be an adult and children's poetry competition as part of the festival.

The adult competition will be adjudicated by Noel Monahan, while the Children's competition will be adjudicated by Alan McMonagle. Children must be over the age of eight years.

First prize, second prize and third prize for the adult competition will be €250, €75 and €50 respectively.
Children's prizes will be €70, €50 and €30 respectively.

The closing date for the competition is 5pm, Wednesday, August 1.
For more information on the festival, visit www.longfordlibrary.ie/creative-ireland-longford/padraic-colum-gathering/gathering-2018.