Archive 2008

March 2008
St Patrick’s weekend festival was a busy one for NISG. Deirdre attended a reception in the Irish Embassy. We ran three storytelling sessions over the weekend, and a workshop on Irish writers in Britain. NISG and Patrick’s Day committee members attended a reception at Broadway Media Centre for Tony McCullagh of the Irish Embassy, who introduced the film ONCE. Pat Murphy met with Anna McGillicuddy of the Irish Embassy, who commented favourably on our website.

If you have any ideas about sessions you would like the group to run for Patrick’s Day, email us on

Some NISG members met up at the screening of Garage at Broadway. To complement the theme of the film, Deirdre ran a workshop, ‘Bachelors in Irish Fiction’, looking at a range of writers including Colm Tóibín and Pat McCabe.

Deirdre delivered a workshop on gender relations in Irish Literature to a writing group, Derbyshire Scribes, on 5 May. 

Thursday 26th 7-9pm: Session on ‘Prizewinning Irish Fiction’, for Barlborough and Clowne Literature Festival. Deirdre was invited to run this session by Dubliner Paddy Fagan, who attended the May 8th workshop for Derbyshire Scribes. The session focused on recent Irish prizewinners including Enright’s The Gathering and Banville’s The Sea.
Saturday 5th: Irish storytelling in Market Square, as part of NHS 60th birthday celebrations, 10am-12noon. We got a mention in the Federation of Irish Societies July ’08 newsletter, including a photo.
Later that day, we ran a workshop on contemporary Irish Poetry (Seamus Heaney, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Paul Muldoon, Eavan Boland) at Southwell Poetry Festival, Southwell Library, 3.00 – 4.30pm, 5th July.

Mon 1st: Sheelagh Gallagher gave a talk on James Joyce’s Ulysses as part of Keyworth Library’s Classics series. Deirdre read extracts, in costume.
NISG contributed a small grant of £75 to writer Rosemarie Reed, to travel to Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival to collect stories from the famous matchmaker Willie Daly.

26th-28th: Nottingham and Mansfield Irish language enthusiasts joined other Gaelic fans at Branston Hall in Lincolnshire for a weekend of ‘caint, ceol & craic as Gaeilge’. The event was organised by Dáithí Ó Geannainn, and led by Coláiste na nGael. The talented duo Gone to the Dogs provided the musical entertainment, playing a range of traditional and newer Irish tunes. They have a facebook page here.

Pat Murphy’s Introduction to Irish History sessions began Thurs 2nd Oct. The sessions have been very well presented and attended. Pat is the author of ‘Irish Settlement in Nottingham in the early Nineteenth century’, published in The Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, volume xcviii, 1994, pages 81-91 (available in Notts libraries). A link on our Home Page leads to a pdf version of the article. 
Deirdre has an article published on the disappearing Anglo-Irish in a new book, Irish Protestant Identities, edited by Busteed, Neal and Tonge, Manchester University Press, 2008. The book was launched at the Irish Embassy, London, on 18 November. Birmingham Irish Heritage group will host a talk on this topic in April 2009.
FUTURE PLANS Plans in the pipeline, all collaborations: We are building on links with BlackDrop, who performed on Patrick’s Day 2007. Three of the leaders of this poetry performance group have Caribbean-Irish roots: Dave Stickman Higgins, Michelle Hubbard and Lisa Jackson, as they outlined in the March ’07 On The Write Lines newsletter.
NISG liaised with Fintan O’Higgins of Theatre Writing Partnership on a joint project. Fintan has links with African-Caribbean poets Raven and Sweeney in Dublin (his home-place), and NISG contributed a grant of £200 towards their visit to perform in Nottingham at the Mini Momentum Festival of New Writing at Lakeside Arts Centre.

Mansfield Irish have come up with the excellent idea of starting an East Midlands Irish Forum, as an umbrella network for Irish communities in the region. If you are interested, join the group on Facebook: Midlands Irish Forum

For further Diary entries by year go to the NISG archive page HERE

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