August 2015        

Féile na bhFlaitheartach

Féile na bhFlaitheartach will once again be happening on Inis Mór (Árainn) on 29 and 30 August, organised by the Liam and Tom O’Flaherty Society. This is the third outing for this bilingual festival, and those who have been there will know that it has a flavour all its own.
     Inis Mór is the most natural place for such an event, and local people have warmly embraced the Féile. Each year the themes have successfully interwoven discussions about local history and local contemporaries of Liam and Tom with talks about their writings.
     Séamus Cashman of Wolfhound Press, the publisher of most of Liam O’Flaherty’s works over the decades, will give the main address, entitled “Liam O’Flaherty: The man and the writer.” This talk will open the festival on Saturday and will be followed after lunch with a reading of Tom O’Flaherty’s short story “Coming Home” by Fionnghuala Ní Choncheanainn at the O’Flaherty homestead in Gort na gCapall.
     On Saturday evening Aisteoirí Chois Fharraige will present a dramatisation of another short story, “Oifig an Phoist,” this one by Liam O’Flaherty. A highlight of the weekend will follow this one-acter, a traditional music concert by children from Inis Mór. Then festival participants will retire to Joe Mac’s for some energetic sean-nós dancing and singing.
     The Sunday session this year promises to be an exciting examination of the relationship between history and literature. How much documentary truth is contained in Liam O’Flaherty’s novel Skerrett? The journalist Seosamh Ó Cuaig, chairperson of the society, will open the session with the cold eye of realism on the actual people who inspired the characters of the schoolteacher and the priest in the novel—Dáithí Ó Ceallacháin and Father Murty Farragher. Ó Cuaig is certain to elicit much local knowledge from the islanders at this informal session.
     Dave Lordan, poet and writer, will then continue the session, asking how much liberty can be taken in literature with historical facts, perhaps in pursuit of a greater truth. Again, lively interaction with the audience is expected.
■ For further information contact Seosamh Ó Cuaig (ocuaig@hotmail.com | 087 2194247).

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