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Commemorations

Updated October 2007

See the Donegal County Council sponsored website for regular updates on developments.

www.flightoftheearls.ie

Dom Hugo O'Neill and the Irish Embassy in Lisbon staged a memorable Flight of the Earls commemoration in the city on the weekend of 19th to 21st October 2007. Details will be posted in due course. Donal O'Kelly's drama 'Running Beast' was staged to the music of Michael Holohan.  donalokelly@eircom.net

Pat McGinn, Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council 2005-6, is supporting efforts to mark the Newry connection to the Flight of the Earls. Two of Hugh O’Neill’s four wives were ‘Newry’ women, his third wife, the protestant beauty, Mabel Bagenal, Ireland’s ‘Helen of Troy’, and his fourth wife, Catherine Magennis, the countess who accompanied him to Rome and whose ‘beauty’ was much admired in Italy. The Newry connection to the Flight will also be highlighted in Noreen Cunningham’s remarkable initiative to have ‘Bagenal’s castle’ restored as a museum with the aid of some £2m of National Lottery money. Bagenal’s castle opened in early 2007.

Cookstown District Council are making plans to have an interpretative centre opened at the crowning stone of the O’Neills in Tullyhogue .

His Excellency, Frank Cogan, Irish ambassador to Italy, has been involved in planning Flight of the Earls commemorations in Rome for some time.  His successor, Ambassador Sean Huiginn, is bringing these plans forward with a view to having a special commemorative weekend marking the 400th anniversary of the earls' arrival in Rome (according to the Julian Calendar) on the weekend of 11th to 13th of April 2008. Tom O'Gorman and Rosie O'Neill from Chicago are also liaising in this respect with Aideen Archbold, a prominent member of the Irish community in Rome. They hope to have a special commemorative stone laid outside the burial place of the earls in Rome, the church of San Pietro de Montorio.

Pat Ramsey, MLA, Chairman of the Development Committee on Derry City Council, is leading an initiative to commemorate the Flight of the Earls, complementing his campaign to have ‘Derry’s wall’s accorded ‘World Heritage Status’. 

Meanwhile, efforts have been under way for some time in an endeavour to have the inter-related quartercentenaries of the Flight of the Earls and the Plantation of Ulster commemorated on a cross-community basis. Mark Thompson, the new Chair of the Ulster Scots Agency, has been involved in making plans to have the quartercentenary of the Hamilton and Montgomery settlement in Co.Down commemorated. It is also hoped to link these commemorative plans to the wider international context. The Jamestown Virginia settlement also marked its 400th anniversary in 2007. See http://www.jamestown2007.org/


Caroline Cracraft, based at the British Consulate in Chicago, along with Tom O'Gorman and Rosie O'Neill, organised a marvellous commemorative event in Chicago in October 2006.

Maura Erskine and John McCavitt have completed a stage play project, with the former providing the music and the latter the script.

The O'Donnell Clan Association intend commemorating this event with a trek from Louvain to Rome, roughly along the same route as described by Tadhg Ó Cianáin, and arriving in Rome in time to commemorate the deaths of Rory and Cathbharr O'Donnell, Sept. 2008. 
See http://www.odonnellclan.com

'The Ulster Scots Agency marked the 400th anniversary of the Hamilton
and Montgomery settlement in Co.Down in 1606.
See http://www.hamiltonmontgomery1606.com/home.asp'

'Straightforward productions shot a documentary broadcast on the BBC in November 2006 about the Hamilton and Montgomery settlement. Actress Flora Montgomery, a direct descendant, is presenting the documentary which includes contributions from Dr John McCavitt, among others'.

'Musical Journeys with the Flight of the Earls at the Dublin Institute of Technology' http://www.dit.ie/DIT/news/2006/flight_of_the_earls.html

Robinson McClelland has been in touch to inform me about his recent Albany Symphony premiere on a Flight of the Earls theme and to let me know it is now available online.
Hear samples and read about it at

http://www.robinsonmcclellan.com/music/Title-FlightoftheEarls.htm

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