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Events to celebrate Dundalk’s self-described ‘unrepentant propagandist’

February 27, 2017

This weekend, a series of events will be held in Dundalk to celebrate the life and values of one of the town’s lesser-known natives, and how her personal involvement in the events of Irish history at the turn of the 20th century remains frequently referenced through her literary work.

Dorothy Macardle was the eldest of five children born to Sir Thomas and Lady Minnie Macardle, the owners of Macardle and Moore Brewery in Dundalk.  She became a respected journalist, teacher, playwright and historian whose book, The Irish Republic, details her involvement in Cumann na mBán during the War of Independence and her close association with Éamon de Valera in the ensuing Irish Civil War.  A self-described “unrepentant propagandist”, she was imprisoned for a time in both Mountjoy and Kilmainham Gaols and later recounted her experiences in a series of books and plays.

Enthusiasts of her work have come together to organize a weekend to celebrate her life, work and values through a series of discussions, debates and drama performances, showcasing Dorothy’s unfaltering commitment to the cause for Irish freedom and her extensive interest in theatre and literature.

The events will be held in the Oriel Centre Dundalk Gaol, located on the Carrickmacross Road, and begin on Friday 3rd March with a performance of ‘The Proclamation’ by violinist Patricia Treacy and composed by Patrick Cassidy for the National 1916 Commemoration at the Garden of Remembrance.  There will also be readings from Dorothy’s literature, followed by traditional music.

On Saturday 4th, lectures will be delivered on the Mcardle family background; and Dorothy’s experiences as a writer and revolutionary.  Both will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

While on Saturday afternoon, prominent speakers Clare Short and Bernadette McAliskey will present further lectures on Dorothy’s humanitarian activities and her legacy in the fight for Irish freedom and women’s rights.  The audience will also have the opportunity to put questions to the speakers.

A premiere of the theatre piece ‘After Midnight’, based on Dorothy’s imprisonment in 1923 will follow.

The weekend will conclude on Sunday 5th with a lecture entitled ‘Dorothy Macardle: Revolutionary Jailbird’; the Macardle Award Recital of classical music and finally, the screening of the Hollywood film ‘The Uninvited’ – an adaptation of Dorothy’s novel ‘Uneasy Freehold’.

For further information and bookings contact Constance Short on 042 9322 172 or 087 984 7797.

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