A sense of place: Folklore; History; Culture; Music
This year’s Winter School in honour of Michael J.Murphy will focus on the literature, music and songs of Oriel.
Michael J.Murphy was born in Liverpool, but came home to Dromintee when he was not yet nine years old. He went to Dromintee Primary School; left school at fourteen years old and went to work in the fields around Slieve Gullion; began to collect the stories of the people; started to write articles for the newspapers and periodicals; began a career in broadcasting and when his first book ‘At Slieve Gullion’s Foot’ was published in 1941 he began to work for The Irish Folklore Commission throughout ‘Old Ulster’, from Rathlin to the Boyne and from Sligo to the Ards in Co. Down. By the time of his retirement in 1983 he had compiled the largest collection of oral tradition ever collected by a single individual in the English-speaking world. He published ten books and amassed a huge photographic collection.
The Winter School, begins on Friday 15th November at 7.30pm in Ti Chulainn, Mullaghbane with a concert from some of the outstanding talent of the area which includes Blaithín Mhic Cána, Gareth Doran and Pádraig Carragher with South Armagh Traditional Music Partnership and background on the music, song and poetry by Gearóid Trimble. Blaithín and Garret Doran are from Longfield, Forkill and are heavily influenced by the area’s rich song tradition. Both have degrees in Irish Language and Literature. Garret is well-known as the lead singer in local group, Bothán, and Blaithín has won the prestigious Corn Cuimhneacháin Ui Chriagáin Cup at Seán-nós na Fearsaide in Belfast. Padraig Carragher, a true artist (also renowned wood turner), also a member of local group Bothán sits comfortably behind the vocals adding colour and dexterity with his intimate guitar picking giving Bothan their unique sound.
Gearóid Trimble, a native of Crossmaglen, is a senior manager with Foras na Gaeilge. He was awarded a doctorate for his thesis on the Gaelic song tradition of south-east Ulster.
Traditional Arts Partnership(TAP) is a community based collaboration promoting and celebrating Traditional Arts (with a smiley face) in the South Armagh area. TAP has sixteen tutors teaching 10 different instruments and also Seanós singing classes in English and Irish.TAP has 120 + children and adults enrolled in the classes which are based in Mullaghbawn. TAP encourages every young musician to regard themselves as a teacher, a mentor and exemplar for their peers and their community. TAP annually has up to 100 young musicians taking part in local Feisanna and Fleadh Cheoil. Admission £5.
On Saturday 16th November there will be a number of talks on the literature in Oriel, starting at 2.30pm with Charlie Dillon on ‘Peadar O Doirnin (1700- 1769):The Poet and his Poetry’, Kevin Murphy on ‘Peter Donnelly of Lislea: Prose Writer, Poet, Playwright, Translator, Political Campaigner, Classical Scholar and Businessman’.Laurence McKeown will read from and discuss his latest collection ‘Threads’ Marie McCartan will read from and discuss her latest novel, ‘On The Border’. Tea and refreshments will be available and the day will finish with a forum on The Literature of Oriel, Chaired by Una Walsh. Admission £5.
So look out for the detailed programme which will be available in local retail outlets, in the press and on social media.