Arranmore Island will host the fourth Peadar O’Donnell’s Islanders weekend in April, a celebration of island culture, community, and activism in memory of the life of writer and political thinker Peadar O’Donnell.
Born in 1893 in Meenmore, Peadar O’Donnell was a prominent social activist and human rights campaigner. O’Donnell was prominent in the Irish War of Independence, the Civil War, and fought in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side. His literary works include the novels Storm (1925), Adrigoole (1929); The Knife (1930), The Gates Flew Open (1932), On the Edge of the Stream (1934); The Big Windows (1955) and Proud Island (1975).
The weekend is due to take place April 24 and will be opened by life time friend of O’Donnell, Donal Donnelly.
Proceedings will kick off at the Arranmore Cultural Centre, An Chultúrlann featuring performances by the Green Island musicians and sean nós dancers.
Peadar O’Donnell’s Islanders weekends remember the Donegal radical by exploring the issues that he focused on in his work, and celebrating the culture he loved.
This year, Fís agus Fiontar will focus on the thriving enterprising heritage of Arranmore and explore a shared vision for a creative and sustainable future for the island.
Nora Flanagan, a member of the Peadar O’Donnell’s Islanders committee, said,
“Our weekends have become about so much more than celebrating the social ideas of Peadar; they are about trying to create a vision for the type of life on Arranmore that we all deserve in this modern world.”
“We are trying to put it into practice.”
Nora said this year’s theme, Fís agus Fiontar is part of the islander identity
“Whether that spirit is fishing, running a shop, or creating crafts, it’s in our blood and I think we need to look back on this and celebrate what we all have to offer.” says Nora.
The weekend will also include a special tribute on Saturday to the late Tony Gallagher, former manager of Comharchumann Oileán Árainn Mhór, the Arranmore Co-Op, and an island visionary who played an important role in many services and developments on Arranmore.
There will be a number of speakers Saturday including John Boyle, general secretary of the INTO; Cróna Gallagher, director of further education and training at the Donegal Education and Training Board; John Andy Bonar, vice president for research, equality, and external affairs at Letterkenny Institute of Technology; Manus Early, Arranmore native and director of Coláiste Árainn Mhór; Nóirin Uí Mhaoldomhnaigh, manager of Comharchumann Oileán Árainn Mhór, the Arranmore Co-op; and Martin O’Rourke, lead organizer, SIPTU.
The Donegal Youth Orchestra as well other musicians will perform an array of music on the Sunday.
Transition Year students at Gairmscoil MhicDiarmada have been hard at work in the build up to the Peadar O’Donnell’s Islanders weekend.
Students have been asked to tell a story that captures the enterprising heritage and spirit of the people of Arranmore, by showcasing a business established on the island by an islander that has contributed to island life. All entries will be showcased on the weekend and students behind the winning entries will be invited to give an overview of their projects.
For more information, visit the Peadar O’Donnell’s Islanders website, podislanders.home.blog or follow the Peadar O’Donnell’s Islanders weekend on Facebook or Twitter for more information on the weekend events.Tags: