The Mayor of Wigan was in Charlestown this week and as part of her itinerary she released details of the upcoming John Healy Winter School/Maypole Disaster in Healy’s Cafe Bar.
John Healy was a noted journalist who wrote for both the Western People and the Irish Times. The weekend will also commemorate the Maypole mining disaster which occurred in 1908 in Wigan, UK, where up to 100 locals lost their lives. The winter school kicks off on October 30 and finishes on November 1.
Thursday October 30: Viewing of My Own Place and On a Wing and a Prayer, documentaries on both Monsignor Horan, who was instrumental in establishing Knock International Airport, and John Healy’s Charlestown as depicted in the mid 1980s. This will be followed by the broadcasting of the RTÉ programme The Late Debate.
Friday October 31: The launch of the photographic exhibition compiled by Cathal Henry. This will be followed by the launching of the winter school by well-known journalist and west of Ireland man John Waters, who recently featured in RTÉ’s documentary Where was my Family During the Famine. John will also give a lecture which will be followed by a questions and answers session chaired by Professor Seamus Caulfield.
Saturday November 1: At 1pm there will be a tour of Foxford Woollen Mills and Hennigan’s Heritage Farm. From 1pm to 4pm there will activities for children in the library. On Saturday evening Professor Seamus Caulfield, who is well known for his findings in the Ceide Fields and publications on the first settlers/hunter gatherers in Ireland, will lecture on the BMW region - one of the fastest growing regions in Europe. This will be followed by Sinead McCool’s illustrated lecture on Ireland’s Newest Treasure. The night will round off on a traditional note with oiche ceol agus craic le Joe Beirne who will have musical guests from all over the county. The session will be recorded for Midwest Radio.