The third annual Padraic Colum Gathering will take place on Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18 as part of Longford’s first Literary month, celebrating one of Longford’s most famous and prolific writers of poetry, story, music and drama.
The event begins on Friday afternoon at 2pm in St Mel's Cathedral where Bishop Emeritus Colm O'Reilly will give an introduction to Padraic Colum’s reflections on the Way of the Cross.
Bishop Colm was a neighbour of the Colum family in Aughnacliffe and last year he contributed a very insightful and personal introduction to a special limited edition reprint of Colum’s Way of the Cross.
This will be followed by a lecture in St Mel’s College Conference Centre by Theresa O'Kelly who will tell more stories from the Big Tree of Bunlahy.
The official opening ceremony of the weekend will take place at Backstage Theatre at 7pm. The Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council will officially open the weekend and a grandniece of Padraic Colum Clíona ní Shúilleabháin who is also executor of his estate will tell more about the life of her famous relative Padraic Colum.
The winners of the adult, children's and teenage poetry will be announced and this year there were over one hundred entries in the competition.
The theme was based on one of Padraic Colum’s best know poems An Old Woman of the Roads.
This will be followed by a concert with local artists paying tribute to the work of Padraic Colum, including the children from Killasonna NS and St Colmcille’s NS, Aughnacliffe, and will also feature the Innyside Singers from Ballymahon conducted by Sr Maura Fay, musical director, and Padraig McGowan, accompanist.
Seats must be pre-booked by contacting the Backstage Theatre booking office (043-3347888) or creativeireland@longford coco.ie.
On Saturday morning at 10.30am at Longford Library Sr Rosarii Beirne, local historian, and poet Sr Rose Moran will speak on Mary ‘Molly’Colum, Padraic’s wife. At 12pm in Granard Community Library Aidan O Hara writer, broadcaster and singer will entertain and inform everyone on Padraic Colum in Song and Story.
The final event of the weekend will be a guided tour of Colum Country starting from Granard Community Library at 2pm.
It is essential that people book the tour in advance by calling 0436686164 or email creativeireland@longford coco.ie. This tour will be led by Augnacliffe native and author of the bestselling book Under the Thatch Sean O Suilleabhain.
For more information contact Longford Library 0433341124 or check out Facebook and Twitter.