Festival plans special seminar on famous pair

Festival plans special seminar on famous pair

12 July 2017

THE Castlewellan based Soma Festival has announced its first annual Sheehy Skeffington seminar.

The seminar is aimed at exploring how creativity and the arts contribute to building a just and sustainable peace both locally and globally.

The seminar, which is open to the public, takes place in Down County Museum on Friday from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Speakers include local poet and  Director of  Literature and Drama  in Arts Council, Damian Smyth, Linda McKenna, Community Education Manager from Down Museum, and Mary Lynch, Director of Mediation Northern Ireland. 

Francis Sheehy Skeffington, brought up in Downpatrick, was a writer and Irish nationalist who was murdered during the Easter Rising.

Last year the Soma Festival set up the Sheehy Skeffington School to host foreign visitors during Soma festival with bespoke languages classes and cultural activities.  As educators and linguists, Francis and his wife Hannah Sheehy Skeffington inspired the festival’s contemporary vision of a language school that is also committed to community, creativity and the arts.

At Friday’s event in Down Museum workshops will feature authors Kate Fitzpatrick and Allison Murphy.

Kate, life coach, musician and writer, has researched the story of Macha, the Celtic goddess who cursed the men of Ulster for nine generations. In her book, Macha’s Twins, she provides a contemporary twist to an ancient myth.

Allison Murphy is a former teacher, now an author, historian and historical display text writer.  Allison has published Winnie and George – An Unlikely Union,

This is a well-researched history that is also an unusual romance, set in Ireland during the First World War. It is a story of hope and optimism that resonates as much today as in the past.

At 2.30pm Mary Lynch delivers a reflection on what it is hoped the Seminar has accomplished in Synthesis – A Healing Perspective on the Arts and Creativity.

To book a space on the festival email Mary on skeffingtonss@gmail.com. The cost of £10 includes lunch.

Kate Fitzpatrick will also launch Macha’s Twins in Bilbo’s Bistro, Castlewellan on Thursday at 6.30pm, and Allison Murphy launches William and George – an Unlikely Union in King’s Inn, Castlewellan on Saturday at 3.30pm.