Celebrated author Jennifer Johnston to address Lady Gregory autumn gathering

Pictured at the announcement of the Coole Park Autumn Gathering were committee members Sean Tobin, Lois Tobin, Sheila Donnelan, Ronnie O'Gorman and Marian Cox. Photo: Reg Gordon

Pictured at the announcement of the Coole Park Autumn Gathering were committee members Sean Tobin, Lois Tobin, Sheila Donnelan, Ronnie O'Gorman and Marian Cox. Photo: Reg Gordon

The highly successful Lady Gregory Autumn Gatherings will continue in Coole Park, Gort, from Friday September 24 to Sunday September 26. Recognising the remarkable influence of Lady Augusta Gregory on the development of Irish theatre and literature, this 16th gathering highlights her unique inspiration for the early foundations of the Abbey Theatre.

This exciting and varied weekend programme reflects the enormous contributions of Lady Gregory to Irish arts and culture. Translator of Irish legends and folklore, writer of comedies and fantasies, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre, and lifelong patron of William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory was active in many artistic areas. Although her stunning home at Coole Park is no longer standing, several other buildings remain and the area has been developed as a nature reserve and boasts a well designed interpretative centre. Within its historic walled garden sits the famous autograph tree where world-renowned authors such as Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Sean O’Casey, John Millington Synge, and George Moore carved their initials, marking Coole Park as the centre of the Irish Literary Revival in the early 20th century.

Highlights of the Gathering include lectures, discussions, readings, social events, and a guided walk through Coole Park woods. Special visits to Doorus House and nearby Tulira Castle, home of Edward Martyn, celebrate the time when Gregory, Martyn, and Yeats met and first talked of a national theatre. The Gathering will be opened on Friday evening by Lady Gregory’s great-great granddaughter, Julia Kennedy. Celebrated author Jennifer Johnston will deliver the opening address. Key speakers will include Marc Conner, professor of English at Washington and Lee University, Virginia, USA; Dr Joseph Hassett, author and international lawyer in Washington DC; Philip O’Leary, professor of English at Boston College, Massachusetts; and Jeff O’Connell, author and local historian. The chair is Dr Cecily O’Neill, an internationally recognised authority on drama and arts education, and currently associate artist with the Unicorn Children’s Theatre.

Participants can continue to enjoy the open forum discussion, plus musical entertainment by Kyle-na-No quartet before the candlelit dinner on Saturday, followed by an entertaining performance by Nora Connolly.

For further information and booking contact Marion Cox, No 1 Kiltiernan East, Kilcolgan, phone (086 ) 8053917, email [email protected]

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