Dr. John Kenny pictured at the opening address of the John McGahern International Seminar in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim which took place from the 26-28 July, 2007.
The inaugural John McGahern International Seminar will be officially opened tonight (Thursday, 25 July), by Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President, National University of Ireland, Galway, in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.
The opening address, John McGahern: The Novel and the Story, will be given by Professor Declan Kiberd, University College Dublin.
Speaking at the opening, Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said; "John McGahern enjoyed a progressively deepening association with our University, over a period of almost 50 years. From a brief period of initial undergraduate studies in 1953 which is so beautifully described in his acclaimed novel, The Dark, he later held positions as a teacher on Creative Writing and Irish Studies Summer Programmes; and eventually became an honorary doctor of the University in 1994 and Adjunct Professor of Irish Studies in 2001.
"In 2003, John chose the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway to be the repository of his Archive, a complete collection of his papers and writings, providing an unparalleled view into a unique literary life. It is entirely fitting, therefore, that to commemorate John McGahern and his life's work, Leitrim County Council and NUI Galway have come together in partnership to organise and launch this inaugural International Seminar here in County Leitrim this evening."
Damian Brennan, Cathaoirleach, Leitrim County Council remarked; "Our aim is to bring people closer to the work of John McGahern and, the decision of NUI Galway to commit to this partnership in Leitrim underpins that aim of continuing the dialogue between the place in which John McGahern lived and the university with which he shared his life's work."
Speakers during the International Seminar will include Prof. Sylvie Mikowski, University of Reims, France; Dr. James Whyte, Presentation College, Headford, Co. Galway; Dr. Eamon Maher, I.T. Tallaght; and Fr. Liam Kelly, Cavan. There will also be a panel discussion including journalists Susan McKay and Belinda McKeon.
Seminar sessions will be held in Carrick-on-Shannon, Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill. The Seminar will also include a boat trip on the Shannon and Boyle rivers and a bus tour of the Aughawillan/Ballinamore area.
Further lecture topics at the Seminar include: Amongst McGahern's Women; John McGahern: The Local and the Ordinary and John McGahern and Religion. A series of excerpt readings by actress Ms Marie Mullen will also feature throughout the seminar as well as a viewing of the documentary film John McGahern: A Private World.
A detailed schedule for the Seminar can be downloaded from www.nuigalway.ie/iss/John_McGahern.html