posted 26 Nov 2014, 08:44
Roscommon County Library was the venue for the launch of the 2014 SiarScéal Festival, now in its eight year. The event was presided over by festival patron and Roscommon County Librarian, Richie Farrell who welcomed everyone along. After his opening remarks, he introduced the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr John Cummins who complimented everyone on the organisation of the festival and wished it continued success.
Fiona Sirr provided a traditional music interlude before the launch of the book, The Battle for Coman's Wood by Mario Corrigan and David Butler. This work of historical fiction was partly inspired by the students of nearby Abbey NS and Castleplunkett NS. Mario and David explained the process by which the book was put together. The students who helped out with the project were commended for their efforts and received signed copies in acknowledgement of their contribution.
The Battle for Coman's Wood is on sale now, in bookshops and online. Festival patron, Richie Farrell describes it as, "a mythological, historical, fast-paced adventure story ... a must read for pre-teens and adults alike." Signed copies can be purchased from the SiarScéal website while an e-book edition is currently in preparation. Visit our online bookshop for more information.
The Hanna Greally Literary Awards has formed part of the SiarScéal Festival for every year since the festival began, back in 2007. This year, the overall prize that was up for grabs involved a publishing package sponsored by The Manuscript Publisher, provider of publishing services for authors and independent publishers. It would see the lucky winner's book published professionally, in print and e-book editions.
Oscar Duggan, founder of The Manuscript Publisher, announced the awards in the various categories, which were presented by Cllr John Cummins. He explained the rationale that was employed in selecting the winning entries from what was a very strong field. Full details of prize winners in all categories, including the Ger Hanily Memorial Cup, have been posted to our website.
The overall winner was Rose Morris of Elphin, whose short story, The Wall, impressed the judges the most. The story, she explained, came about as a result of a visit by her writers group to Strokestown House in Co. Roscommon. A casual remark, challenging her to write a story about a nearby feature, prompted the resulting story, which has both a haunting and timeless quality to it, as evidenced by the reaction of everyone when it was read out.
The afternoon session concluded with workshops by Mario Corrigan and David Butler, who explained the process of writing and illustrating books for children. In the evening, a classical concert was held at St. Coman's Church of Ireland, organised by Abbey Music director, Sean Hanily and featured Lilibulero, a duet with Sean and Annie McNally.
The SiarScéal Festival continues this weekend at Trinity Arts Centre in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, with an exciting multi-media exhibition entitled, Water Music. It involves a study of the River Suck, through painting and haiku and brings together the talents of painter, Anne Rigney and poet, Gwen Bond.
The exhibition will formally open at 7pm on Friday, 28 November with a wine reception at Trinity Arts Centre. Download your invitation here. The exhibition will continue over the weekend. We encourage everyone to visit. It is well worth seeing. For a preview of what will be on show, download the exhibition brochure.