John C. McTernan A celebration of his life & work
Michael Farry, Fióna Gallagher and Cathal Martyn in conversation with Niamh Mac Cabe
Music with Kate Gavin
Sligo Central Library
Wednesday 26th of April 6.30pm
John C. McTernan, retired Sligo County Librarian, has devoted over two decades to researching and writing on various aspects of the County’s history. Thanks to his meticulous approach and scholarly analyses of both manuscript sources and printed records various aspects of Sligo’s historic and colourful past have been resurrected and made available in well-illustrated volumes thereby filling a tangible void and complimenting the works of 19th century historians, O’Rorke and Wood-martin.
In 2002 the National University of Ireland conferred on him an honorary degree of M.A. in recognition of his contribution to the building up of a comprehensive Local History Collection in Sligo, Co. Library and in particular the quantity and value of his many publications, notable the trilogy “Olde Sligo”.
John was passionate about GAA and was Chairman of Coolera/ Strandhill GAA Club, his contribution leading to several winnings during his tenure.
Michael Farry is a native of Coolaney. He has published widely on the history of the war of independence and civil war in Sligo – A Chronicle of Conflict: Sligo 1914-1921 (Killoran Press, 1992), The Aftermath of Revolution – Sligo 1921-23 (UCD Press, 2000), Sligo 1912-1923 The Irish Revolution, (Four Courts Press, 2012).
His article on Sligo during the War of Independence is included in the monumental Atlas of the Irish Revolution published in 2017 by Cork University Press. He also published Killoran and Coolaney – A Local History in 1985.
He also writes poetry and his published collections are Troubles (Revival Press, 2020), The Age of Glass, (Revival, Press 2017) and Asking for Directions (Doghouse, 2012).
Dr Fióna Gallagher, a native of Sligo, is an historian, with a focus on Irish provincial towns, urban studies, and local history. She is a graduate of Maynooth University, and her PhD studied the re-housing of the urban working class in Irish towns, 1880-1947, with a detailed case study of Sligo. She is the author of the “The Streets of Sligo: urban evolution over the course of seven centuries”, and co-author of the Royal Irish Academy’s Historic Town Atlas of Sligo. Currently she is an Irish Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow, at the School of History & Geography, Dublin City University, where she is mapping the impact of the 1832 Cholera epidemic on Irish provincial towns.
Fióna worked for over 14 years with the County Sligo Heritage & Geological Centre, which is how she came to meet and work with John McTernan. She worked closely with John on many projects over the last three decades, and credits John for being a significant guiding force on her journey to becoming a professional historian.
Cathal Martyn was raised at the Foot of Knocknarea. He first encountered Sean Mc Tiernan at U-12 training during Spring of 1980. John took an interest in Cathal because he knew his dad from his younger days, many of which he spent in Coolera. A relationship which would last over forty years began that day.
Cathal first served on the Coolera/Strandhill Executive as U-18 delegate and held many different positions over the years. During that time he served five years as Chairperson and seven as secretary. County Board Rep. was his favourite position and Cathal was fortunate to be afforded the chance to serve as Assistant Secretary and Youth Officer on the County Management Committee.
Cathal is currently a back seat member on a number of club committees.
Niamh Mac Cabe is an award-winning writer and visual artist. She is also an editor, writing mentor, and part-time lecturer on the Masters in Creative Practice and the Honours Degree in Writing & Literature at Atlantic Technological University Sligo.
Dublin-born, she worked overseas for several years in the Animated Film industry, before settling in Leitrim, Ireland.
She is published in many literary journals and anthologies in Ireland, the UK, and the US.
Kate Gavin is a traditional fiddle and harp player from Sligo town. She is an all-Ireland champion musician, having competed in Fleadhanna and Feiseanna for years. She has played at home and abroad in solo and group arrangements, and has performed for many significant events including for the President of Ireland, the Taoiseach and various ambassadors. Kate is a current student at Trinity College Dublin, studying History and Political Science.
The event is free and unticketed with limited seating. The doors will close at 6:30pm.
The event will also be streamed on Facebook on the night: //www.facebook.com/SligoCountyLibrary/
The Word is a collaborative event between Sligo Central Library and the BA in Writing & Literature course at Sligo ATU.
There is no charge for this event.