Distinguished speakers to appear at Padraic Colum Gathering 2023

Honouring of one of Longford’s greatest writers on 7 October

This year's gathering to honour Padraic Colum, one of Longford's great writers, will take place on Saturday, 7 October.

The morning session, in Granard Community Library, begins at 10.30am and involves two distinguished speakers. Prof Christopher Morash of Trinity College Dublin will speak about ‘Padraic Colum: a life in the theatre’, focussing on Colum’s work as a playwright. Dr Patrick Ryan, an academic and storyteller, will follow at 11.45am with a talk on ‘Padraic Colum: a new and old storyteller’, which will look at Colum’s influence on storytelling in American libraries.

Colmcille Community Centre will be the venue for the afternoon session, commencing at 2pm. There, local historian Benny Reid will speak about the history of the area and refer to Colum’s family background. The talk will be followed by a reading of some of Colum’s poetry by Lanesborough poet Margaret Nohilly. The session will end with a performance by local schoolchildren from St Colmcille's National School.

Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Cllr Colm Murray, is keen to highlight Colum’s importance. “Padraic Colum is one of our county’s major literary figures. This gathering will give people an excellent opportunity to learn more about him,” he said.

“As usual, the programme for the gathering includes a blend of talks and performances that should appeal to a broad audience”, said Longford County Council Chief Executive, Paddy Mahon. “It is also great that one of the venues is Colmcille, his ancestral home”, he added.

The events are open to all and free-of-charge.