BY MARTIN WALSH
FOLLOWING on from the very successful Courtmacsherry Seafood Feast earlier this year, the Seven Heads Peninsula Tourism group will host an Autumn School in Courtmacsherry over the holiday weekend with ‘Resilience in the face of Challenge’ as its general theme, whilst also celebrating the life of writer, playwright and translator, Máire Ní Síthigh.
One of the principal speakers is former Minister for Education Mary O’Rourke, a popular figure and author, she is amongst the guests for the Sunday (October 28th) discussion on ‘Votes for Women – 100 Years On – a giant leap or a baby step?’ at the Courtmacsherry Community Centre. Throughout the weekend the range of speakers spans tourism, politics, journalism, broadcasting, agriculture and climate studies.
The tourist season in Courtmacsherry is no longer contained within the popular two-months of July and August. The many events within the scenic village has greatly extended the season. Indeed, a strategically placed billboard lists the various festivals and activities within the Courtmacsherry region that, apart from an entertainment aspect, also helps profile the entire region. The Seven Heads Tourism Group is hoping that the Máire Ní Síthigh Autumn School will illustrate and expand the arts and cultural aspect of the area.
The weekend itinerary will begin on Friday night, October 26th, in the Pier House with the renowned ‘Máire Ní Síthigh – an unsung heroine’ as the topic of discussion. The other venues are Courtmacsherry Hotel and the Anchor Bar.
The moderators include Kevin Cullinane, Director of Communications at Cork Airport, Suzanne Campbell, journalist, author and broadcaster, and Mary O’Leary, Barryroe & Courtmacsherry History Group.
Aside from Mary O’Rourke, others speakers are Justine McCarthy, Eamon Ryan, TD, Seamus Heaney, Harold Kingston, Siobhan Burke, Victoria White, Séamus Walsh, Máire Ní Dhuibhir, Gearoid Barry, Paul Deane and Neil Grant.
Chairman Barry Holland said: ‘While this event is primarily about celebrating the life of a local lady, who made a significant mark on Irish literature, language and culture, it is also a way of showing what a community group in a small fishing village on the south coast can do and how we can make our mark on the arts and cultural scene in Ireland.’
A brochure with full details of the Máire Ní Síthigh Autumn School is available locally.