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Blacklion, Co. Cavan-The Cathal Buí Community Arts and Heritage Festival 2009
hosts 12th annual festival

For further information and to download festival programme please visit www.cathalbui.com/www.cavantourism.com

The Cathal Buí Community Arts and Heritage Festival will take place in Blacklion from Thursday 25th June - Monday 29th June 2009. Once again a comprehensive Programme of events has been arranged that will attract visitors to the area from far and wide. Events include anything from Traditional, Singing, Storytelling and Poetry Readings to Geopark Safari through Cuilcagh Mountain Park. Other events not to be missed include Geo-Archaeological Field Trips, a walk and talk in Moneygashel - Stoneworking from the Neolithic to the Twentieth Century, a Car Treasure Hunt, Children’s Magic and Puppet Show and Disco, and various Art Workshops for both adults and children. In addition art exhibitions will run for the weekend. Many events are free of charge.

This year the Cathal Buí Festival Committee have been delighted to welcome back Mary McEvoy (Biddy from RTE’s Glenroe) in her one woman show ‘Mrs Whippy’ a play by Cecelia Ahern and presented by Dublin City Theatre Company . This will take place on Sunday night in MacNean Resource Centre @ 8:30pm. Don’t be late to avoid disappointment as limited tickets only available at the door.

The festival opens :
Thursday 25th June 2009 with the Leitrim Mobile Cinema showing the popular film Marley and Me starring Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and a mischievous Labrador. The film starts at 8:00pm in Blacklion Enterprise Centre.

Friday 26th June Sean Galligan (Kids Party Club) will host a Children’s Special with Magic Show, Puppet Show and disco, in the MacNean Resource Centre, Blacklion from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. At 8:30pm Local historian Mr Gaby Burns will give an illustrated talk on Archaeological Discoveries in the Cavan Burren/Marlbank Area. The evening will finish with Traditional singing and storytelling by local and visiting Artists. These events will be held in Market House, Blacklion and are free of charge.

Saturday 27th June, Seamus O hUltachain will take you on a guided tour of Moneygashel – highlighting the stoneworking from the Neolithic to the Twentieth Century. Meeting point is Gowlan Church at 11:30am. This event is free of charge and has been sponsored by Cavan County Council.

Saturday Afternoon will host a Children’s Art Workshop with Jim Fee and Maria Bagnoli from 2pm – 4pm in the MacNean Resource Centre, Blacklion. Also at this time an Art Workshop with Eddie McNulty will take place at the Belcoo Community Centre and will be taken outdoors if weather permits.

Saturday night there will be a night of Music and Poetry. This will include traditional music, poetry readings, dancing and music by the choral group ‘together one voice’. This will take place in the Market House from 9:00pm.

Sunday 28th June a Geo-Archaeological Field Trip will take place with Seamus O hUltachain and Gaby Burns. The group will meet at the Market House, Blacklion at 1:30pm or Burren Forest Entrance at 1:45pm. On Sunday Afternoon there will be a Car Treasure Hunt – meet at Fairgreen, Blacklion @3:00pm. Sunday Evening will have an Interdenominational Prayer service followed by musical entertainment at Lough MacNean Park from 6:00pm.

Sunday will close with the play “Mrs Whitppy” by Cecelia Ahern starring Mary McEvoy (Biddy from Glenroe), in the MacNean Resource Centre at 8:30pm.

Finally Monday 30th June there will be a Geopark Safari, by Landrover through Cuilcagh Mountain Park.
On Monday evening from 10pm a Monster Raffle and Car Treasure Hunt Prize giving with lots of Valuable Prizes will take place at the Bush Bar, Blacklion.

Arts Exhibitions at the MacNean Resource Centre and Market House, Blacklion Thursday – Sunday. In addition music will be held in alternative pubs in Blacklion village each night of Festival.
All welcome. Some events have admission charges but many are FREE!

For further information on Cathal Bui 2007 may be got by phoning Seamus O’ hUltachain at 071 9853299

Who was "Cathal Buí"? (Taken from the Website www.cathalbui.com
When I think of Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna (c1680--c1756) I think of an Irish-speaking Christy Moore, an incisive ballad-singing entertainer for a totally Irish-speaking community of poor people living at or below subsistence in the early 18th Century. Not that Cathal is remembered for playing a musical instrument but in folklore all the stereotypical characteristics of the wandering dispossessed Gaelic poet are attributed to him, perhaps unfairly. It is certain that he is remembered with affection for his poem on his own drinking "An Bonnán Buí" where he laments in comic mockheroic terms the death of a little bird from thirst and taunts those who warn him that he himself will die of drink. The astonishing thing is that without the assistance of modern media his songs spread widely throughout the country and were enjoyed and transmitted to such an extent that some are still sung today. The scholar Breandán Ó Buachalla published a collection of them in his book "Cathal Buí: Amhráin" in 1975.

My own received impression of him is simply that of a carter -- a transporter of goods with horse and cart -- throughout Bréifne, the traditional Irish name of the area comprising Cavan, Leitrim, and south Fermanagh. Such a traveling life was not conducive to maintaining a home and family and it was easy for the settled community to consider him a rake. His literary ability was attributed to his having studied for the priesthood. Nothing is certain concerning his life however. We are even unsure of the date and place of his birth and those of his death.

The story of his death is frequently told. Traveling on his own he fell ill and sought refuge in a poor woman's house. Seeing he was near to death she left him and hurried off to get the priest. When she returned he was already dead but scattered on the floor beside him were the verses of his repentance, aithrí, a very fine poem in beautiful Irish full of religious sentiment, Aithrí Chathal Buí, which is still read today.

There is a small monument to his memory on the shore of Lake MacNean west of Blacklion.
Regarding the poet's name: the surname Mac Giolla Ghunna (son of the gun servant) is also rendered Mac Giolla Dhuinn (son of the brown servant) and has been variously Anglicised as McElgun, Gilgunn, and Gunn. Cathal (pronounced Kaw-hull, with the second syllable unstressed ) means "strong in battle". One of the most common names in Ireland in the early middle ages. Amongst its most famous bearers were Cathal Mac Finguine (died 742), one of the most powerful early kings of Munster and Cathal Crobhdhearg (of the wine-red hand), king of Connacht (died 1224). It was a favourite name among the O'Connors of Connacht throughout the medieval and early modern period and was also much used by the MacManuses, Maguires, MacDonaghs, and other families. It was everywhere anglicised Charles -- a name with which it has no connection whatever. (Quoted from "Irish Names" by Donnchadh Ó Corráin and Fidelma Maguire.)
Cathal carried the nickname "Buí" probably due to his sallow skin

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