It promises to be an interesting four days in the Clogher Valley in August. The William Carleton Society’s summer school programme was launched at a reception kindly hosted by the Mayor of Dungannon & South Tyrone Cllr Kenneth Reid (who opened last year’s school) at the Council offices in Dungannon. Once again we are please to have booked Corick House Hotel in Clogher as the venue for 2012. The school will be officially opened on Monday 6th August and the keynote address by Professor CORMAC Ó GRÁDA is on the subject of “Carleton & others on famine’s darkest secret”. Dr MELISSA FEGAN (Chester) will speak about Carleton & the famine era. In the afternoon I am due to give a lecture on Carleton’s biographer DJ O’Donoghue, based on my researches at the UCD archive. The afternoon is rounded off on a lighter note with a reflection by County Tyrone native BARRY DEVLIN on life after Horslips. Tuesday’s events will start with a talk by the Society’s Vice-Chair FRANK McHUGH on Carleton’s Australian relatives. JOSEPHINE TREANOR from Knockatallon, Co.Monaghan, who joined us on the walk last year, will talk about her distant relation, Anne Duffy, the miller’s daughter (mentioned by Carleton). The Leitrim poet JOHN F. DEANE will give a reading from his works before lunch. The afternoon session begins with a performance by LAURENCE FOSTER (Dublin) of his one man show on Charles Dickens, who was born 200 years ago. For this year’s literary symposium we have invited CARLO GÉBLER from Fermanagh and MARY GUCKIAN a poet originally from Leitrim who attended the Carleton commemoration in Dublin in January. They will be joined by Monaghan native MARY O’DONNELL, a writer and poet, whose work has appeared in a number of collections. On Wednesday 8th August Dr SOPHIA HILLAN will speak on Jane Austen’s Irish nieces. Professor OWEN DUDLEY EDWARDS, the summer school honorary director, will give us his own unique insights into the work of William Carleton. Committee member LIAM FOLEY has once again adapted one of Carleton’s works for a reading: this year it will be “Phil Purcel the Pig Driver” followed by a discussion. The final act of the summer school will see CHRISTOPHER FITZ-SIMON, a former artistic director at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, reflect on “Carleton on the stage: forgotten popular plays adapted from Traits & Stories”. Thursday 8th will be the day for a tour of the local area led by JACK JOHNSTON, Society President. The theme will be Carleton & his contemporaries, including Archbishop Hughes of New York. There will be a visit to his birthplace beside the border with Co.Monaghan and to Omagh.
The evening events include: Monday: Rathmore Bar Clogher Maguire family (traditional music); PJ Kennedy, poet (Belturbet) 9pm. Tuesday: Walk & talk Carleton with the Clogher Valley walking club to Fardross forest & Music by The Mountain Lark (Tydavnet) & reception at caravan park 8:30pm Wednesday: Concert with Fermanagh Choral Society (conductor Don Swain) at St Patrick’s church Clogher 8pm. More details at: www.williamcarletonsummerschool.org