PEI

A song, a legacy, and a tragic tale: The Irish lecture series

The Irish lecture series at Charlottetown's Benevolent Irish Society launches its 2017 season Friday.

From rags to riches to Raglan Road

Edward Whelan was a journalist and Father of Confederation. (William Notman/McCord Museum)

The Irish lecture series at Charlottetown's Benevolent Irish Society launches its 2017 season Friday.

The series has been running more than 30 years, with a mission to educate on the culture of Ireland, the Irish on P.E.I., and the broader Gaelic community.

Owen Connolly built a legacy that continues to this day. (Government of P.E.I.)

It opens Friday evening with a talk about Owen Connolly, who arrived on P.E.I. from Ireland in 1825 as a penniless teenager and built a business empire with a legacy that continues today through the annual awarding of education bursaries.

Next Friday will feature a close look at the popular song On Raglan Road. It was originally recorded by The Dubliners, and also recorded by Mark Knopfler, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor and many others.

"Dr. Tom O'Grady will be talking about the tune, the history, the motivation that went into the song and a little bit about the young maiden about whom the poem and song was written," said George O'Connor of the BIS.

 

"A great story altogether."

Other lectures will discuss Irish conscientious objectors in the First World War, The Gaelic League and the preservation of the Irish language, and Father of Confederation Edward Whelan.

"He has a great story, a great career, but kind of tragic too, in that none of his family survived him," said O'Connor.

The Irish Lecture series runs Fridays into December.

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