Éigse Cholm Cille, the Irish cultural weekend, will be held in Magee College on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2, writes Liam McLaughlin.
The theme is very topical: ‘The Irish language in the New World’. The lectures will show the influence that Irish people have had on North American life, particularly the influence of those engaged in academic work.
The Éigse will open on Friday evening at 7pm with information about scholarships in Ireland, the United States and Canada. Then Professor Peadar Ó Tomhnair (University of New Brunswick) will give the Éigse Lecture (in English) on how Irish survived in eastern Canada. This will be followed by a song and music session. There will be three talks on Saturday morning on journalism in the Irish language in Canada and the United States, the history of Irish as a university subject in North America, and teaching the American people Irish. There will be a book launch before lunch. After lunch there will be a talk on Irish manuscript writers in the United States during the 19th century and another lecture on the eccentric scholar Risteárd de Hindeberg. Between 3.45pm and 5pm there will be a series of short talks in which a number of academics will talk about their work experience in the New World.
The organisers have been able to attract speakers from the other side of the Atlantic as well as first rate speakers from this country. The events are open to all and admission is free. Lunch is available on the Saturday – the only thing you have to pay for!