Irish Culture Night @ Global Lounge (Senate House)

Friday 15th March, 18:00 – 20:00

A night of Irish culture, music, and storytelling, featuring:

  • Acclaimed author and critic Ellen McWilliams discusses her memoir, Resting Places: On Wounds War, and the Irish Revolution (Belfast, 2023)
  • Music from by renowned sean nós singer, Marianne McAleer
  • Discussion of 2024’s St Patrick Day processional arts design by members of award winning processional arts group Lamplighters CIC

Ellen McWilliams was born and raised in West Cork but has lived in the West Country for the last twenty years. Her book, Resting Places: On Wounds, War and the Irish Revolution, has just been published by Belfast’s Beyond the Pale Books. Literary scholar Lucy McDiarmid describes it as ‘the creation of a new literary form’ while historian Ronald Hutton concludes that ‘Land, family, community and tragic history make one of the most powerful and poignant combinations of which human experience is capable, and rarely has it found such an expressive and humane voice, capable of such wonderful language, as that of Ellen McWilliams’. BBC War Correspondent Fergal Keane calls it it ‘a work of eloquent, haunting beauty, a song of mourning and revelation that deserves the widest possible audience. This is a story rooted in a place and time, but it is truly the story of all wars in all times’.

Marianne McAleer is the daughter of Irish emigrants who made their home in London in the 1950s, she was raised singing Irish songs and has been carrying her parents’ tradition ever since. She is a medal winner at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil and is the current All Britain champion in Singing (in Irish and in English) and Lilting. Well known in folk clubs all over the UK and in Ireland, Marianne has performed in venues as diverse as the Irish Embassy in London, the Bristol Old Vic theatre, the Bishop’s Palace in Hereford – and memorably, the queue for stamps in Belmullet Post Office. A resident in Somerset for over thirty years, Marianne leads workshops in traditional singing at folk festivals. Her influences include Dolores Keane, John Tunney and a raft of young singers encountered at Scoil Éigse down the years. She has recorded two CDs: “The Sweet Nightingale” in 2002 and “Charmed” in 2012.

Dee Moxon and Amy Peck are directors of the renowned Bristol arts group Lamplighters CIC. They are artists and designers based in East Bristol wanting to make positive change where they live, and have a shared practice in creating work which encourages social interaction through both workshop processes and by engagement in creativity in public spaces. In 2024 they joined forces with W.E. Irish and historian Erika Hanna from the University of Bristol to research, explore, and co-produce new processional arts for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade. They will be exhibiting some of their processional arts and discussing their creative practice.

Location: Global Lounge (Senate House), First floor, Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TH

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