World War 1 story and music event at St Columb’s Cathedral

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A performance of storytelling and music by internationally-renowned storyteller Liz Weir and fiddle player Ciaran Mulholland will take place at St Columb’s Cathedral on Thursday night at 7.30 p.m.

All for the Dead Man’s Penny is a story/musical event on the theme of World War 1 which focuses on a fictitious young soldier, a literary representative of the experiences of many young Irish men who committed themselves to fighting for a cause greater than them. Over 200,000 Irish volunteers joined up to fight in the First World War; a colossal 49,000 lost their lives in doing so. Their service came at a time when Irish nationalism was growing and the Easter Rising of 1916 saw a change in mood within the country. The survivors returned to a land which had been totally transformed socially and politically.

The story features a young teenage girl keen to find out about her family history and since the setting is in the city the Cathedral is an ideal place to perform it. The story was inspired by a lady with Alzheimers so although there is no charge for the event donations to the Alzheimers Society would be welcomed.

The Dean of Derry, Dr William Morton, said: “I am delighted to have this wonderful event hosted in St Columb’s Cathedral, particularly following on from the major exhibition in the Chapter House last November, and the lecture series, marking the centenary of the outbreak of The First World War. I greatly appreciate the kindness and generosity of Liz and Ciaran in so graciously giving of their services to stage this production. I extend a warm invitation to all who would like to come along on the night, and I commend the support of the retiring collection for The Alzheimer Society - a tremendously good cause.”

Liz Weir is a highly acclaimed storyteller and writer from Northern Ireland. She is the author of numerous children’s books, including ‘When Dad Was Away’ and has written scripts for television animations. Her accomplishments include being the first winner of the International Storybridge Award and three nominations for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Ciaran Mulholland is an accomplished fiddle player, having performed throughout the UK and Ireland with other notable artists such as Jim Maguire and Gordon Johnston at the Pan Celtic Folk Club and with Sean Maguire at a celebration concert. His playing style is highly rooted in traditional Irish and Scottish music.

An audience member from a previous performance Lorraine Maguire Hartin commented “It was a poignant, beautiful piece which could draw a tear from a glass eye. Liz Weir’sbeautiful gift of storytelling and her perfect delivery of this interesting and thought-provoking mix of historical fact and bard’s embroidery of story alongside Ciaran’s beautiful violin musical accompaniment made this one of the best presentations I’ve ever witnessed.”