The inaugural Máire McNeill Summer School will be held in Corofin, Co. Clare on the last weekend of July, a time associated with the traditional festival of Lughnasa, with which McNeill was deeply connected.
Máire McNeill was a writer and folklorist who worked from 1935 at the new Irish Folklore Commission in UCD. After spells in Sweden and America she wrote her magisterial study The Festival of Lughnasa. That book explored the origins and history of this important Irish festival that marked the transition to Autumn. McNeill and her husband John L. Sweeney retired to Corofin in 1969, building a remarkable home overlooking the storied Lough Inchiquin. There McNeill lived out her life, deeply engaged with the local community, landscape and heritage.
The Summer School will take the form of a series of talks and a site visit, with informal ancilliary events that evoke the folkloric traditions which McNeill illuminated and rehabilitated in her life's work. Organised by Tony Kirby in association with XPO Killinaboy, the day promises to be a fascinating and illuminating reconnection with a remarkable woman and her brilliant work, that will be of interest to anyone connected with the area or curious about folkloric traditions.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.