Archive for July, 2012

WILLIAM CARLETON SUMMER SCHOOL


2012
07.20

Barry Devlin of Horslips

Horslips founder member Barry Devlin from Ardboe makes a return visit to County Tyrone next month to participate in the 21st William Carleton summer school.  It takes place once again at Corick House hotel in Clogher. The 17th Century country house used to be the home of the local landlord Squire Story, mentioned in Carleton’s writings.

The summer school will be officially opened at 10:30am on Monday 6th August by the Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone, Cllr Phelim Gildernew. The invited guests include the two Bishops of Clogher, Dr Liam MacDaid and Rt Reverend John McDowell.

Bishops of Clogher MacDaid & McDowell

The keynote address on “Carleton and famine’s darkest secret” will be given by Professor  Cormac Ó Gráda of UCD. Dr Melissa Fegan from Chester will give a lecture about Carleton and famine. The summer school director former RTÉ News reporter Michael Fisher will talk about DJ O’Donoghue, Carleton’s biographer. Barry Devlin fresh from a Horslips reunion gig in Castlebar will then talk about his career at 4:30pm. On Tuesday 7th there will be a talk by Frank McHugh about Carleton’s Australian relatives, and a contribution from Josephine Treanor from Clogher about one of her relatives, Anne Duffy, the miller’s daughter, who was a contemporary of Carleton and mentioned by him.

Leitrim poet Mary Guckian

A literary symposium will be held including Leitrim poet Mary Guckian, Monaghan writer  and poet Mary O’Donnell and Carlo Gébler from Enniskillen.

Carlo Gébler

There will also be a one-man show on Charles Dickens by actor Laurence Foster from Dublin and a reading by poet John F. Deane. On Wednesday 8th there will be contributions by Dr Sophia Hillan on Jane Austen’s Irish Nieces, on Carleton on the stage by Christopher Fitz-Simon and a concluding address by Professor Owen Dudley Edwards, honorary director of the summer school. Liam Foley from Augher has adapted Carleton’s humorous story “Phil Purcel the Pig Driver” for a reading by the Carleton Players.  Evening entertainment has been arranged for each night. Traditional music with the Maguire family from County Fermanagh features on Monday evening at the Rathmore bar, along with a return visit by poet PJ Kennedy, a farmer from Belturbet.

PJ Kennedy

On Tuesday evening there will be a walk in the scenic Fardross area with the Clogher Valley ramblers followed by a reception at Clogher Valley country park. Young musicians from Tydavnet in Co. Monaghan “The Mountain Lark” will entertain the guests. There will be a concert of sacred and secular music at St Patrick’s church in Clogher on Wednesday 8th at 8pm with the Fermanagh choral society, directed by Don Swain. All evening events will be £5.

Fermanagh Choral Society

On Thursday 9th August the annual tour in the Clogher Valley area will be led by Jack Johnston, focusing on Carleton and his contemporaries, including Archbishop Hughes of New York. His original family homestead near the border is now in place at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, which will be visited. Cost £25 including lunch and afternoon tea. The four-day programme in detail can be found at: www.williamcarletonsummerschool.org. Contact: Michael Fisher, Summer School Director e: wcarletonsociety@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

350 YEARS OF RELIGIOUS LIFE


2012
07.18

Maire McCluskey, Sr Nuala SSL, Fr Peter OMI, Sr Ethna SSL, Canon Brian McCluskey & Una McMahon

A County Monaghan family has marked  a significant milestone in the Catholic church in Ireland, with over 350 years between them in religious life. There was double cause for celebration at the St Louis Convent in Dundalk as two of the McCluskeys from Inniskeen, a priest, Fr Peter, and a nun, Sr Ethna, held their diamond (60) and platinum (70) jubilees respectively. Mass was concelebrated by their youngest brother, Canon Brian, a priest for 52 years.

Sr Ethna McCluskey entered the Louis convent in Monaghan in 1942, 100 years after the order was founded in France. Her brother Peter who studied at St Macartan’s seminary in Monaghan entered the Oblate fathers (O.M.I.) in 1945 and was ordained on June 22nd 1952. Sr Ethna trained as a national teacher at Our Lady of Mercy College, Carysfort in Dublin and went on to teach at the St Louis Convent in Rathmines. For many years she was Principal of the Girls’ National School in Clones before taking up a similar position in Dundalk. Her final appointment was as superior of the St Louis Convent in Kilkeel, Co.Down. Since her retirement in 2004 she has been residing at the Convent on the Castleblayney Road in Dundalk, a few kilometres from her family home at Blackstaff in Inniskeen. The poet Patrick Kavanagh was a near neighbour. Canon Brian recalls how he used to borrow books from his mother’s private library at the local national school where she taught. Fr Peter’s first posting as a missionary priest sixty years ago was to South Africa. His journey by cargo boat to Cape Town took three weeks. He worked in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg from 1952 until his return to Ireland in 2007. He witnessed the end of the apartheid regime in 1994 and the election of Nelson Mandela as President.

Sr Ethna McCluskey

Sr Ethna is the eldest of the family of eight. Six of them gathered at the convent in Dundalk for the Mass celebrated by Fr Peter, who since 2007 has been living at the Oblate house at Inchicore in Dublin. Joining him at the altar was his younger brother Canon Brian McCluskey, a retired priest of the diocese of Clogher, who served as a curate in his home parish of Inniskeen and was a parish priest in Threemilehouse and later Roslea. He now lives in Belfast with his sister Maire, who worked for the Northern Ireland orthopaedic service. Canon McCluskey studied at the Irish College in Rome and celebrated his golden jubilee two years ago along with his classmate, Monsignor Ambrose Macaulay. He still says Sunday Mass at St Brigid’s parish. They were joined by two other sisters Una McMahon, a retired nurse living in Belfast and Sr Nuala, a St Louis nun now retired and living at the Convent in Dundalk with her older sister Ethna. She worked on the missions in Nigeria for many years and in 1985 was appointed to take charge of the Louis House nursing home in Monaghan. She has been a nun for 57 years. Following the Mass, members of the family and friends gathered for a meal at a local restaurant.

Fr Peter McCluskey OMI concelebrates with Fr Brian

Two members of the family, both with 59 years in religious life, were unable to be present. Fr Gerry McCluskey is a Kiltegan priest who has been based in Sao Paolo, Brazil, since 1961. Previously he served as a missionary in Kenya. He is also a former pupil of St Macartan’s seminary in Monaghan, like his two brothers. Sr Aileen is a Mercy nun who is in Dublin and like her brother Fr Gerry is just one year short of her diamond jubilee. The five sisters were all boarders at the St Louis convent in Monaghan. So the total contribution of the McCluskey family to religious life reads as follows: Sr Ethna SSL 70 years, Fr Peter OMI 60, Sr Nuala SSL 57, Fr Gerard SPS 59, Sr Aileen RSM 59 and Canon Brian 52 years, giving a combined total of 357 years’ service to the Catholic church.  Ad multos annos.

 

Copyright: Michael Fisher @fishbelfast 2012 This story has appeared in the Northern Standard (front page), the Irish Catholic, the Dundalk Democrat and the Monaghan Democrat edition, as well as the Dundalk Argus.

Fr Peter &  Sr Ethna

Fr Peter & Sr Ethna

Sr Ethna & 3 sisters

Northern Standard

Dundalk/Monaghan Democrat

 

Sr Nuala & Fr Peter

St Louis nun & Sr Ethna

The Argus, Dundalk

Irish Catholic

QUEEN’S HANDSHAKE


2012
07.02

Queen at St Michael’s Enniskillen: Photo from parish website

While most of the media concentrated on the historic handshake between Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin, there was in my view a much more important greeting the day before in Enniskillen. After leaving St Macartin’s Anglican Cathedral along with Dean Kenneth Hall, the Queen walked a short distance across the road and was greeted by Canon Peter O’Reilly, the Catholic parish priest. Cardinal Sean Brady and the Bishop of Clogher Liam MacDaid were waiting to greet her inside, in what was her first ever visit to a Catholic church on the island of Ireland. More pictures of the event can be found on the St Michael’s parish website. This week’s edition of the Irish Catholic carries my report of the event under the heading: “Enniskillen PP Meets Queen”. Photo used was by Julian Behal of PA.

Enniskillen Parish Priest Canon Peter O’Reilly was among those to greet Britain’s Queen Elizabeth during her two day visit to the North this week as part of her diamond jubilee celebrations. He greeted the royal visitor at the entrance to St Michael’s church and she was then introduced to members of various parish groups. It is believed to be the first time the Queen has visited a Catholic church in Ireland. Among those present were Cardinal Brady as well as local children and representatives from a number of sectors including sport, farming and business. Earlier Cardinal Brady attended a service of thanksgiving at the nearby St Macartin’s Cathedral along with senior Protestant clergy. The lesson was read by the North’s First Minister Peter Robinson. The prayers of intercession were led by Reverend Ken Lindsay, Methodist President, Cardinal Brady and Dr Roy Patton, Presbyterian Moderator. The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh Alan Harper gave the sermon and praised the Queen’s visit to the Republic last year. He said her conciliatory words and gestures had allowed many to throw off the “shackles” that had been loosening since 1998′s Good Friday Agreement, and “positively” to be themselves“.

Enniskillen PP Meets Queen