THE life and times of An Seabhac, the West Kerry author whose work includes the book Jimín, will take centre stage at an interdisciplinary symposium on the extraordinary Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha (1883 – 1964) to be hosted in in Coláiste Íde, Dingle, from November 15 to 16.
Attention will be focused on the crucial role An Seabhac (the pen name of Ó Siochfhradha) played in the foundation of the State and his influence in the formation of an Irish identity through his work as a teacher, public administrator, folklorist, scholar, musician and businessman.
Pivotal roles of An Seabhac, such as his leadership of the Corca Dhuibhne Volunteers and his involvement in the Gaelic Revival, will also be discussed and materials from his personal archive, usually housed in Kerry County Library, will be displayed in Coláiste Íde on Friday November 15.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the symposium is that relatives and friends of An Seabhac will be interviewed for posterity and on Saturday morning, Pádraig Ó Siochrú, An Seabhac's nephew, will share his personal memories of his uncle giving an invaluable primary source in documenting the many achievements of a great man, tempered with a personal portrait of the man in a private and family capacity.
Many esteemed speakers will participate in the symposium, including Dr John Borgonovo will discuss An Seabhac's involvement with Conradh na Gaeilge and the revolution in Kerry while Siobhán Ní Chorcora will provide an insight into the family of Lord Ventry. An Seabhac's importance as a pioneering folklorist will be discussed by Dr Ríonach Uí Ógáin and Professor Ríona Nic Congháil will assess his legacy as an author and publisher. Professor Seán Ó Coileáin will deliver a guest lecture on An Seabhac and the Blasket writers.