The Arts

In association with Sligo Today

The new graphic novel Shackleton by artist/illustrator David Butler. David will be giving a workshop with Author Michael Smith for scouts at Rosses Point on Saturday Rosses Point to host Maritime Heritage event

Added: 19/10/16 : 06:36:05

A  Maritime Heritage event will take place in Rosses Point Sligo this weekend 21 - 23 October.

It is a series of exciting talks on Irish Antarctic explorers, seafaring, shipwrecks and survival, in the beautiful setting of Rosses Point, a seafaring village with a rich maritime heritage. The programe offers plenty for armchair explorers, history and archaeology buffs and those who just enjoy a little salt with their tall tales.

Michael Smith, the best-selling author of An Unsung Hero – Tom Crean and an authority on the history of Polar exploration is the keynote speaker. He is responsible for generating widespread popular interest in Irish explorers and getting Tom Crean’s life adopted onto the Irish schools curriculum.

His latest book, Shackleton – By Endurance We Conquer, is the first biography of Shackleton in 30 years. He has written nine books, appeared on TV and radio and lectured at many venues including: National Library of Ireland, National Museum of Ireland, Princess Grace Memorial Library Monaco, Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace, Queen’s University Belfast, the Royal Geographical Society and the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge. As this is the centenary year of the Imperial Trans antarctic Expedition under the command of Irishman Sir Ernest Shackleton, there is huge interest in the story of the Endurance and the crew's dramatic rescue.

Antarctic traveller Eugene Furlong, will be speaking about his role in having the cabin of Shackleton's The Quest repatriated from Norway to the Shackleton Museum in Athy. Shackleton’s died on board at South Georgia during his last voyage to the Antarctic. Eugene is currently raising the profile of little known Irishman Edward Bransfield who rose to become an officer in the British Royal Navy, after being impressed into service at the age of eighteen in Ireland. Bransfield is reputedly the first person to identify the landmass of Antarctica.

Joe McGowan is a Sligo historian and author. He will speak about the famine ship The Carricks of Whitehaven, which in 1847 left the port of Sligo with passengers from Lord Palmerstown's estate bound for Canada. The ship sank in a terrible storm in sight of shore. Authorities in Canada have recently identified the mass grave of the Sligo famine victims.

Jarlath Cunnanne, winner of the prestigious The Blue Water Medal of the Cruising Club of America which "rewards meritorious seamanship and adventure upon the sea displayed by amateur sailors of all nationalities, that might otherwise go unrecognized". Medallists have included such luminaries of the sailing world as Sir Francis Chichester. Jarlath will be speaking about his blue water sailing expeditions including Northabout on Franklin's trail, The Northeast Passage over the roof of Russia, and South Arís, retracing the James Caird crossing of the Southern Ocean.

Auriel Robinson is a Wild Atlantic Way Ambassador for Sligo. With a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Archaeology & Geography, a Masters Degree in Maritime Archaeology and 17 years’ experience working as an archaeologist and in heritage, she set up Seatrails in 2013 and took the award for ’Ocean Hero Business of the Year Award 2015’. Auriel’s trails are listed in numerous international travel guide books. Her ’shellfish experience’ is listed in the new and refreshing ’Sligo food Trail’ booklet 2016. Seatrails also has recently been nominated and shortlisted for the 2017 Luxury Travel Guide European Awards. Auriel will be speaking about Sligo’s rich coastal heritage, the Armada and the escape of Captain Francisco de Cuellar .

David Butler animator, director, producer, artist and illustrator has recently published a graphic novel about the voyage of the James Caird, the small open boat which crossed 800 miles of the southern ocean to raise a rescue party for 22 marooned crew members of the Endurance. The boat was crewed by, among others, three Irish men, Crean, McCarthy and Shackleton, whose feats of bravery on that voyage 100 years ago have become the stuff of maritime legend. David is giving a workshop with Michael Smith at the Sea Scout den in Rosses Point. This is a particularly fitting event as the Sea Scouts are 50 years in Rosses Point this year. Its a little known fact that Shackleton brought two sea scouts with him on his final voyage to the Antarctic. Michael's book, Tom Crean - Ice Man is on the junior schools curriculum. This workshop is closed to Scouts only.

Dr. John Treacy is an Honorary Research Officer at Maritime Institute of Ireland & National Maritime Museum of Ireland. Dr Treacy will be speaking about 70 years of The Irish Naval Service and the repatriation of WB Yeats for burial to Drumcliff, Sligo aboard the Macha.

Tickets to the talk by Michael Smith and Eugene Furlong on Friday 21, 7.30 – 9.30 pm at Sligo Yacht Club are €10.00 through Eventbrite. Tickets for other talks over the weekend are €5 and will be available at venue doors. Numbers are limited so it is advisable to come early. The workshop with David Butler and Michael Smith is closed to Scouts only. Further information and ticket link can be found on facebook:

Maritime Heritage Weekend Programme
Rosses Point 21 - 23 October 2016

Friday 21st 7.30- 9.30pm Adm: €10
Sligo Yacht Club, Rosses Point

Michael Smith
"Ireland's Antarctic Explorers"

Eugene Furlong
"Shackleton's Last Ship & The Cabin of The Quest"

Saturday 22nd 12 - 2pm 
Rosses Point Sea Scout Den

David Butler
"How to Create Your Your Own Graphic Art Novel"

Michael Smith 
Shackleton, The Sea Scouts & Tom Crean Ice Man"

*(This is workshop is closed to Scouts only)

Saturday 22nd 3 - 5pm Adm €5
Austies Bar & Restaurant, Rosses Point

Dr. John Treacy
"70 Years of The Irish Naval Service & The Repatriation of WB Yeats to Drumcliff Aboard Macha"

Joe McGowan
"The Wreck of The Carricks of Whitehaven"

Saturday 22nd 7.30 - 9.30pm Adm €5
Harrys Bar, Rosses Point.

Michael Smith 
"Ernest Shackleton - Ireland's Greatest Explorer"

Eugene Furlong 
"Shackleton's Last Ship & The Cabin of The Quest"

Sunday 23rd 12 - 2pm Adm €5 
Sligo Yacht Club, Rosses Point

Auriel Robinson
"Sligo's Coastal Heritage, The Armada & The Escape of Captain Francesco De Cuellar"

Jarlath Cunnane
"South Arís - Retracing The Voyage of The James Caird, Northabout - On Franklin's Trail & The Northeast Passage - Over The Roof of Russia"

Cathaoirleach Councillor Hubert Keaney and exhibition curator Sinead McCoole at the launch of the exhibition in City Hall 1916 Exhibition opens in Sligo City Hall

Added: 25/10/16 : 05:41:01

The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Hubert Keaney performed the official opening of  a commemorative exhibition Mna: Women of 1916  by Author, Curator and Historian Sinead  McCoole.

In his address, the Cathaoirleach  said it was an exhibition  ‘which enlighten, inspire and challenge. It will also provide the context to reflect on the role the women of Ireland played in the 1916 Rising, and to consider the  broader issue of celebrating the role of women in Irish society. The role played by the women in the 1916 Rising may have been under-stated by historians and academics, and we are greatly indebted to Sinead  McCoole for her exemplary work in researching, publishing and exhibiting material on the Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War.

Original research

The original research carried out by Sinead shines a new light on the very important contribution made by the women  in the Irish society of 100 years ago. Women were imprisoned, had their houses destroyed, collected fund for the relatives of the deceased, travelled to visit prisoners in English jails, organised remembrance masses. This is only a snap-short of the many activities undertaken by the women both during the Rising and in its aftermath. But at a deeper level it should not be forgotten that these women  were also fighting to uphold the ideals set out in the 1916 Proclamation, and they  posed the very relevant question – what the new Republic would mean for the ordinary people from the poorer parts of Irish society.

Centenary Programme

The exhibition  is part of the 2016 Centenary Programme based on information from the Military Archives, the National Cultural Institutions  and private collections. The exhibition has a wide scope, featuring many  of the 300 women who took part in the Rising. History will show that the women of 1916 played much more than a ‘support role’ in the conflict; At least 90 women took an active role in the  Dublin City events, 60 of them as members of Cumann na mBan .  Sinead noted that while the women of the Rising came from diverse  backgrounds, they united around such causes as the promotion of workers’ rights, and the revival of Irish language and music.

Soldiers and heroines

There are countless stories and images, including that of Winifred Carney,who entered the GPO during the Rising with a revolver and a type-writer. It was Dr Kathleen Lynn, as the only officer present, who met with the  British Forces to arrange the surrender of Dublin City Hall. There are many other soldiers and heroines whose stories remain un-told,  but this exhibition will enable us to get a true perspective on this hugely important aspect of our history. These discussions will also facilitate the wider celebration of women in Ireland, a topic that has prompted debate and divided opinion for  generations.  Perhaps the contribution of Irish women in 1916 would be a useful starting point for this discussion, as the bravery, courage and resilience of the women of that era continues to inform and inspire to this day.’

Best-selling Irish American author, Mary Lou Quinlan International one-woman hospice benefit show for Sligo

Added: 19/10/16 : 06:42:50

Best-selling Irish American author, Mary Lou Quinlan, is bringing her hit one-woman play “The God Box: A Daughter’s Story” to the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo, on Thursday October 27th, with local hospices services to benefit.

Based on her powerful New York Times bestselling memoir of the same name, the emotional play shares Mary Lou’s personal story of a family in love, in loss and in triumph.  

The Sligo show is part of a nationwide tour of this inspiring play with all proceeds to benefit local hospice groups through The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), a national charity striving for best care at end of life for all which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Dr Nigel McCarley, Manager of North West Hospice, appealed to the people to Sligo to support this inspiring production.

“We are delighted that this play is coming to Sligo to support local hospice.  The theme of the play – one of grief and letting go – is very close to the heart of the work of hospice and we thank Mary Lou Quinlan who has brought this play all over American for selecting Sligo to be part of  her special Irish tour.”

“North West Hospice has been providing specialist care with compassion for those living with life-limiting illness in the community for 25 years now. Our integrated service is provided through our In-Patient Unit, our Community Palliative Care Team and our Hospital Support Team to people in Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and West Cavan. This service is are very dependent on local support to survive and we are very lucky to have had that support over the years.”

This comic and heart wrenching play tells how after her mother’s death Mary Lou discovered “God Boxes”, small containers stuffed with hundreds of tiny notes, sharing her mother’s innermost thoughts. They revealed her concerns about her kids’ demanding careers, to private wishes for people she’d never even met, to concerns about her own health and everything in between.

The poignant notes, scribbled in supermarket queues, restaurants, and at the kitchen table, were her mother’s way of releasing life’s worries and hopes. The discovery of the boxes triggered Mary Lou’s own unraveling, a journey to confront the greatest human challenge – learning to let go.  

Co-written with Martha Wollner, an award-winning actor/playwright and director of NYC’s LAByrinth Theatre, the play has been presented in theatres across the US, including Off-Broadway. In 2014 it enjoyed a 24-night run to rave reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Quinlan has donated all proceeds to hospice, cancer care and education. To date she has raised nearly $400,000.

Mary Lou Quinlan is a hugely successful entrepreneur, and widely known in the US for her marketing company, Just Ask a Woman. She has advised over 100 blue chip companies on marketing to women and was formerly CEO of a large NYC ad agency.  She was recently named as one of Irish America Magazine’s Power 50 Women -

She has written four books and numerous national magazine articles in the US where she has addressed hundreds of conferences on women’s issues.  

Mary Lou Quinlan said: “I am honoured and delighted that people in Sligo will have the chance of seeing my one-woman show. The relationship between a mother and daughter is a unique one and yet, I’ve discovered those bonds and memories are powerful the world over, wherever you live. I am particularly delighted that this play will benefit local hospice groups who do amazing work helping seriously ill people near end of life.”  

Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation, said: “I hope the people of Sligo can join with the Irish Hospice Foundation in supporting this wonderful show.  There are so many needs in hospice services and attending this show can help develop services in their area.”

Bookings for The God Box: A Daughter’s Story at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo, on Thursday October 27th,  at 8 p.m. are now open.

Don’t be disappointed. Book your tickets NOW!
(071) 9161518

Added: 11/06/15 : 03:51:14