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Cultúrlann to stage musical tribute to Sliabh Luachra poet Bernard O’Donoghue

Oxford-based Professor Bernard O’Donoghue’s works to be featured in production involving leading musicians and stars of ‘An Cailín Ciúin’

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Geoff Gould, Gino Lupari, Michael Patric, Eoin O’ Sullivan, Seamus O’ Rourke and Joan Sheehy in rehearsals for the The O’ Donoghue – A tribute to the poetry of Bernard O’ Donoghue which will be staged at An Cultúrlann, Newmarket on June 28th and 29th at 8pm. Photo by Sheila Fitzgerald.

Geoff Gould, Gino Lupari, Michael Patric, Eoin O’ Sullivan, Seamus O’ Rourke and Joan Sheehy in rehearsals for the The O’ Donoghue – A tribute to the poetry of Bernard O’ Donoghue which will be staged at An Cultúrlann, Newmarket on June 28th and 29th at 8pm. Photo by Sheila Fitzgerald.

Geoff Gould, Gino Lupari, Michael Patric, Eoin O’ Sullivan, Seamus O’ Rourke and Joan Sheehy in rehearsals for the The O’ Donoghue – A tribute to the poetry of Bernard O’ Donoghue which will be staged at An Cultúrlann, Newmarket on June 28th and 29th at 8pm. Photo by Sheila Fitzgerald.

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CULLEN born poet Bernard O’Donoghue has spent most of his life in England, where he now teaches poetry amid the spires of Oxford – but his inspiration, his material, even his accent are still pure north Cork.

And now his poetry, focusing on the mainstays of life in north Cork and throughout rural Ireland – the rural farm, the GAA, traditional music and the storyteller – is to feature in a new musical celebration, The O’Donoghue, which will be staged in Newmarket’s Cultúrlann.

The production, directed by Geoff Gould, will feature actors Seamus O’Rourke, whose poetry recitations on the Late Late Show kept us going during the pandemic and Brexit; and Michael Patric and Joan Sheehy, both of whom had leading roles in the runaway movie hit of the summer, An Cailín Ciúin. It also features the music composed by Eoin ‘Stan’ O’Sullivan and Gino Lupari.

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Speaking to The Corkman, Michael said that the show, which will be staged in the Cultúrlann on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, June 28 and 29, promises to be two nights of ceol, craic and ailleacht.

“The beauty in nature and the fragility of life seen through the eyes of this region’s most eloquent wordsmith will provoke thought and evoke memories.” he said.

Now a Fellow in English at Oxford’s Wadham College, Bernard O’Donoghue has published a number of poetry collections, the latest being Farmers Cross, (2011) and The Seasons of Cullen Church (2016), both of which were nominated for the prestigious TS Eliot Award. He also wrote ‘Seamus Heaney and the Language of Poetry’. The poet himself will be in attendance in the Cultúrlann, which is proving to be a huge cultural magnet in the north Cork area since a €1m donation from the McAuliffe family, who had emigrated to New Zealand.

Tickets, which are €15 at ticketstop.ie. While the show is ostensibly about ‘The O’Donoghue’, Michael feels it’s ‘both a celebration and observation of who we are, where we come from and the traditions we hold dear’.


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