Derry sons celebrate their mothers in WOW event

Norman Hamill, Jim Mahon, Dave Duggan, Eamon Deane and Jim Craig who will take part in A Portrait of a Mother.
Norman Hamill, Jim Mahon, Dave Duggan, Eamon Deane and Jim Craig who will take part in A Portrait of a Mother.

Five proud Derry sons will be celebrating the role of the first woman in their lives this December - when an off-shoot of the successful Women of the World Festival sees them host a special evening in St. Augustine’s Church.

‘Portrait of a Mother’ will see local famous faces, including writer Dave Duggan, television presenter Joe McMahon and the Journal’s own columnist Normal Hamill share stories of their mothers - to the backdrop of music from talented pianist Ruth McGinley.

When asked to take part, ‘ Lesser Spotted Ulster ‘presenter and producer, Joe Mahon remarked. “I’m surprised no one thought of this before. It is such a rich vein waiting to be tapped;The joys, the sorrows, the good times, the hard times, the changing city and world she lived in. How much time did you say each of us has on the subject? I hope it’s enough to do her justice.

“I hope I can capture the essence of the woman” says playwright Dave Duggan. My mother was a Waterford woman and that will be a nice contrast on the night, a different accent, a different perspective and I’ve chosen some special songs for pianist Ruth McGinley to play which always remind me of my mother.

Ruth McGinley’s role in ‘Portrait of a Mother’ is central to the evening in St Augustine’s Church on 10 Dec because she is the musical link creating the atmosphere as she brings to life the musical soundtrack to these five womens’lives.

Journalist Norman Hamill is also delighted to be taking part in ‘Portrait of a Mother’. “Of course, I’m lacking in objectivity on this subject but I know my mother was a great character who made a remarkable impression on her many friends and acquaintances”

“Ages and wages should never be discussed” was an oft heard remark of retired teacher Jim Craig’s mother, Maisie. “For years I was the only man in Derry older than his mother “ says Jim and his friend and former colleague , Eamonn Deane, Director of Holywell Trust thinks that women of his mother’s generation are the unsung heroines of the island of Ireland.

“‘Bless this House’ was her song” says Eamonn.

“St Augustine’s Church on the Walls is exactly the right venue for this event, particularly in the run up to Christmas” says ’Portrait of a Mother’ producer, Anne Craig. ”With its unique atmosphere and candlelit interior, audiences love it. We have held WOW events in St Augustine’s Church before and this one has all the hallmarks of another memorable night. The performance begins at 8pm

Tickets for ‘Portrait of a Mother’ are £7 each and can be booked at The Millennium Forum Box Office 028 71 264455

This WOW event is funded through the Arts Council Small Grants Programme through The National Lottery.