Past and present merge at eclec­tic fes­ti­val of his­tory

The Corkman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - Mike McGrath’s mm­c­grath@cork­man.ie

CHARLEVILLE Her­itage So­ci­ety’s an­nual Fes­ti­val of His­tory came to a suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion with a talk on his­toric Charleville at the Pro­vin­cial Her­itage Cen­tre on last Sun­day af­ter­noon.

The open­ing of the fes­ti­val, which was en­ti­tled Eigse Seán Clarach Mac Domh­nall, by lead­ing poet Gabriel Fitz­mau­rice, set the tone for the en­tire week­end, at which the twinning ar­range­ment be­tween the Croes­goch Her­itage So­ci­ety in Wales and Charleville Her­itage So­ci­ety was signed.

Gabriel Fitz­mau­rice gave a short dissertation on the life of Sean Clarach and he fol­lowed this with a read­ing of his po­ems. Ir­ish lan­guage poet Sea­mus Barra O’Suil­leab­háin also re­cited his own po­ems, one of them in the rap style.

They were fol­lowed by the mem­bers of the lo­cal po­etry cir­cle, Sr. Ber­nadette Maria, Fiona Fitzger­ald, Donal O’Flynn and Dave Gorm­ley, who trav­elled from Dublin to be present at the event.

On Fri­day morn­ing a very ap­pre­cia­tive and en­thu­si­as­tic at­ten­dance were at­tracted to the writ­ing work­shop pre­sented by Cork County Coun­cil’s Arts Ser­vice writer in res­i­dence, Denyse Woods.

The line-up for the Fri­day night con­cert was one of the strong­est seen in Charleville for a long time and fea­tured the chil­dren learn­ing mu­sic at the lo­cal Mu­sica Fu­sion school of mu­sic, the mu­si­cians of Craobh An Rath Charleville, Glór Tíre fi­nal­ist Der­mot Lyons, and the inim­itable Billy O’Brien.

From But­te­vant came the Cahirmee Singers un­der the di­rec­tion of He­len Fitzger­ald, while Cork County harp cham­pion Rachel O’Con­nor de­lighted the au­di­ence with her ren­di­tion on the an­cient in­stru­ment. Story teller Jim Barry demon­strated the art of the spo­ken word with his hu­mor­ous sto­ries, and tal­ented Ir­ish dancer Kelly Har­nett (ac­com­pa­nied by Der­mot Lyons) and Charleville Folk Group com­pleted a great night of en­ter­tain­ment.

A del­e­ga­tion from the Croes­goch Her­itage So­ci­ety, con­sist­ing of Martin Roberts, chair­man, Caro­line Roberts, Les Browne and Lyn Phillips trav­elled from Fish­guard to be present for the week­end and were wel­comed by Ian Doyle, chair­man of Charleville Her­itage So­ci­ety. The twinning ci­ta­tion be­tween the two so­ci­eties was signed by Martin Roberts and Les Browne on be­half of Croes­goch and by Ian Doyle and P. J. McCarthy, who rep­re­sented the Charleville Her­itage So­ci­ety dur­ing the con­cert.

Ad­dress­ing the at­ten­dance, Martin Roberts said he was de­lighted to be in Charleville to sign the cer­tifi­cate for the twinning ar­range­ment be­tween the two her­itage so­ci­eties. He briefly ex­plained how the twinning came about fol­low­ing con­tacts from Charleville and a visit late last year of Michael Done­gan, Michael McGrath and P. J. McCarthy to Croes­goch, to dis­cuss the fea­si­bil­ity of putting such an ar­range­ment in place.

“Our two groups im­me­di­ately bonded and the de­ci­sion was made to twin and here we are,” said Mr. Roberts.

The ci­ta­tion reads: ‘ The mem­bers of Charleville Her­itage So­ci­ety pledge to build ties of friend­ship and in­ter­na­tional good­will by tran­scend­ing cul­tural, lin­guis­tic and ge­o­graph­i­cal bar­ri­ers with the mem­bers of Croes­goch Her­itage So­ci­ety, Pem­brokeshire, Wales. We ex­tend to our Celtic cousins in the Croes­goch Her­itage So­ci­ety and the wider com­mu­nity of Wales benef­i­cent greet­ings through mu­tual col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween our So­ci­eties, and to work to­wards the goals of shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and fos­ter­ing a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of our two cul­tures.’

The Satur­day morn­ing po­etry work­shop with poet Noel King from Tralee again drew the peo­ple in­ter­ested in po­etry writ­ing, where they picked up valu­able tips on as­sem­bling their verses from the Co. Kerry poet.

A fea­ture of the week­end was a spe­cial per­for­mance of the hit one-man show ‘A Night in Novem­ber’ by Marie Jones, per­formed by Wil­liam Lyons of the Shoe­string The­atre Com­pany, Charleville.

It will be re­called that the Shoe­string was the first ama­teur group to per­form a one­man show on the drama fes­ti­val cir­cuit in 2009. Wil­liam Lyons, who was di­rected by Kevin O’Shea, went on to win the best ac­tor award in ev­ery drama fes­ti­val he con­tested on the Ir­ish cir­cuit, cul­mi­nat­ing in his win­ning the best ac­tor award in the All-Ire­land Fes­ti­val of that year in Athlone.

The All-Ire­land win­ning Shan­drum Ceili Band was also on the week­end pro­gramme and the event was brought to a close with an ad­dress on the his­tory of Charleville town by lo­cal his­to­rian Owen Binchy as­sisted by Ian Doyle, at the Pro­vin­cial Her­itage Cen­tre, where the Golden Vale Re­mem­bered pho­to­graphic ex­hi­bi­tion, mark­ing 70 years of Golden Vale Food Prod­ucts Limited, was also on view for the sec­ond and fi­nal oc­ca­sion.

The event at­tracted up to 300 peo­ple who re­lived many happy mem­o­ries as they viewed the 300 hun­dred pho­to­graphs of the peo­ple, plant and prod­ucts that were on dis­play.

Charleville Her­itage chair­man Ina Doyle said he was de­lighted with the suc­cess of the event and is look­ing for­ward to lead­ing a del­e­ga­tion of Charleville peo­ple to visit the Croes­goch and Fish­guard ar­eas of Wales in 2018.

Mem­bers of the Croes­goch Her­itage So­ci­ety Wales with mem­bers of Charleville Cham­ber pic­tured at the E Cen­tre Charleville last week­end. In­cluded are Ian Doyle, Martin Roberts, Caro­line Roberts, Eve­lyn O’Ke­effe, Lyn Phillips, Les Browne and P. J. McCarthy.

Poet Gabriel Fitz­mau­rice who de­clared Charleville Her­itage So­ci­ety’s Fes­ti­val of His­tory open last week­end is pic­tured with P. J. McCarthy, Michael McGrath and Michael Done­gan.

Martin Roberts of Coroes­goch Her­itage So­ci­ety Wales and P. J. McCarthy of Charleville Her­itage So­ci­ety pic­tured af­ter sigi­ing the twinning ar­range­ment be­tween the two So­ci­eties with Michael Done­gan and Ian Doyle (right) at the Charleville Park Ho­tel.

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