Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Michael J. Murphy Winter School a resounding success

The annual Michael J. Murphy Winter School was held on November 18th and 19th in Ti Chulainn Cultural Centre, Mullaghbawn, south Armagh, in honour of south Armagh’s foremost writer, folklorist, socialist republican, broadcaster and independent thinker.  The theme of the Winter School ‘The Independent Mind’ was chosen because Michael was, from his earliest days as a farm labourer around Slieve Gullion, an innovative commentator on Irish and international affairs for most of the twentieth century.

The Winter School fittingly opened on Friday night with a talk from Fr. Peter McVerry, who spoke about how he has challenged the conservative, capitalist views of the ruling classes which suppress the poor because of his experiences working with the poor of Dublin’s inner city since 1975.

On Saturday morning, musician Niall Murphy talked about his independent journey to being one of the most exciting young musicians in Ireland. In his very first public illustrated lecture, Niall said taking the momentous step of embarking on a career playing music rather than studying music at Queen’s University has led to an exciting life of touring the world and sharing the stage with some of the music industry’s finest musicians and singers.

The launch of the DVD ‘Carricknagavna National/Primary School 1858-1972’ on Saturday featured an hour-long recording of the Carricknagavna School Reunion which took place on August 25th 2016 in Ti Chulainn.  This was followed by ‘The Power of the Independent Mind’ – a forum where a panel of independent thinkers from the political and media world shared their views and experiences on independent thinking.

The weekend’s events at the Micheal J Murphy Winter School proved to be a huge success with those who attended better equipped and more determined to challenge the status quo and the views of mass media, governments, churches, social media and their friends and neighbours.

Copies of the Carricknagavna School Reunion DVD are available in limited numbers at Ti Chulainn.