Sunday, August 18 @ 1:30pm
Literature: Cúchulainn as Imperishable Reservoir of Inspiration
In this talk, Réamonn Ó Ciaráin discusses how the mythological figure of Cúchulainn is a potent symbol of bravery, loyalty, martial prowess, beauty, and wisdom. The spirit of Cúchulainn has inspired revolutionaries, artists, sports men and women, and Irish leaders for at least a millennium. Réamonn will demonstrate how Cúchulainn still holds significance for many in the twenty first century. Cúchulainn has been adopted by the Republican tradition of Ireland as a symbol of heroic self-sacrifice for his people and to the Loyalist people of the North, he is the heroic defender Ulster. This talk will be delivered in a narrative style combining a retelling of lesser known Cúchulainn stories with learned and fresh insights. Dara Vallely’s paintings will form a background to this presentation and instil a new vitality and depth to these ancient stories. The imagery is original, bold, vibrant, and even tribal.
Réamonn Ó Ciaráin has spent more than twenty years working with Gael Linn in the promotion of the Irish language. He is author of three books on Cúchulainn; Laoch na Laochra: Scéal Chúchulainn (2015), Cúchulainn, Ulster’s Greatest Hero (2017) and Cú Uladh, Scéal Chúchulainn (2018). He is co-founder of Flash Fiction Armagh and co-editor of The Bramley, an anthology of Flash-Fiction from Armagh. Réamonn was born in Crossmaglen and now lives in Milford near Navan Fort in County Armagh, the centre of power for the Red Branch Heroes of whom Cúchulainn was champion. Réamonn took his primary degree in education with Celtic Studies at St. Mary’s University College, Belfast. Following this, he successfully completed a master’s degree in Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast and later a masters in Cultural Management at the University of Ulster. Réamonn is centrally involved in the production of An tUltach, Ireland’s oldest literary magazine. He has held various officer roles at Armagh County level with the GAA and currently sits on the GAA’s national committee for the Irish language. Réamonn is chairperson of Aonach Mhacha, the Irish language social enterprise behind the building of a £2m Irish language Cultural Centre in Armagh City called Aonach Mhacha.