Michael J. Murphy Winter School programme announced

November 9, 2015

The third annual Michael J. Murphy Winter School takes place in Dromintee and Mullaghbawn later this month with the theme ‘A Sense of Place’ chosen to commemorate this outstanding folklorist, writer, storyteller, social campaigner, socialist republican and photographer from Dromintee.

The Winter School begins in Dromintee GAA club on Wednesday November 18th at 8pm with a powerpoint presentation of a survey of the Dromintee area which was undertaken by Michael in the spring of 1942 for the Folklore Commission, Dublin.  This unique account of how life was lived on the slopes of Slieve Gullion 73 years ago deals with the people, town land, landscape, dwellings, work, animals, names (and nicknames) and much more.  A bound copy of the sixty five page document will be presented to the Dromintee GAA Club on the night, courtesy of the Department of Irish Folklore, University College, Dublin.

Anyone with an interest in how the people of south Armagh lived and worked almost three-quarters of a century ago is encouraged to come attend this event.

On Friday 20th November at 7pm, a civic reception will be held in theTi Chulainn Centre, Mullaghbawn, followed by a talk entitled ‘A Sense of Place’ by Joe Mahon of ‘Lesser Spotted Journeys’, an outstanding storyteller of his generation.

The new Michael J. Murphy website will be launched after the lecture and live music by Miss Paula Flynn and her group will round off the night.  A night not to be missed!

On Saturday 21st November in Ti Chulainn at 12 noon, Aine Ni Neachtain from University College, Cork will speak on the relevance of Michael J. Murphy in 2015 and beyond.  Aine is one of the leading experts of Michael’s work in Ireland and is preparing to conclude a PhD on the subject.

At 2pm there will be a very interesting forum when five of the most formidable women on the island of ireland are speaking on their perceptions of ‘a sense of place’.  They are Donna Traynor (BBC News, Belfast), Bernadette McAliskey (Socialist Republican and STEP, Dungannon), Linda Ervine (Irish Language Activist, East Belfast), Cathleen O’Neill (Community Campaigner, Dublin) and Frances Black (Singer and CEO of The Rise Foundation, Dublin).

The forum will be chaired by Una Walsh (Community Orgaised, South Armagh).

At 5pm Colm Donnelly (an Archaeologist specialising in medieval buildings) will give a talk entitled ‘Medieval Gaelic Ulster’, which will be followed by the announcement of the winner of the Michael J. Murphy short story competition and the author will have an opportunity to read the winning story.

Donal McAnallen from Tyrone, who needs no introduction to all lovers of Gaelic games, will feature at 8pm when he will speak about ‘The Irish volunteers and the GAA 1913-1923’.  The night will conclude with music by ‘Bothan’, south Armagh’s leading traditional music group.

All events are open to the public and everyone is welcome.