Kickham Festival kicks off this weekend

THE annual Kickham Country Weekend will be held in Mullinahone beginning this weekend on Friday, August 10.

THE annual Kickham Country Weekend will be held in Mullinahone beginning this weekend on Friday, August 10.

The popular festival has taken place in Mullinahone since 1982 to commemorate the death of Charles J Kickham in 1882. It remains one of the highlights of the calendar year, celebrating the life of a well-known Fenian and revoluntionary.

The weekend attracts a crowd of regular attendees, as well as newcomers from all over the Southeast. The lectures provide an insight to the local history and heritage.

It all kicks off on Friday evening at 7.30pm with a cheese and wine reception.The festival will be officially opening by Dr Catriona Clutterbuck of the Department of English in UCD.

This will be followed at 8.30pm by the first lecture: “The Trial & Execution of the Cormack Brothers at Nenagh 1858”. (Nancy Murphy: Local Historian & Publisher, Nenagh). Ms Murphy will cover the key details of the trial, the appeals for reprieve by the accused, by Archbishop Leahy of Cashel and Emly and, most interestingly, by the jury and Judge Nicholas Keogh.

She draws on the extended press coverage of the case before and after the executions. She will also recount the extraordinary revelation by the prosecution’s chief witness as he made his way into exile, courtesy of the Crown. Ms Murphy will conclude with a brief account of the exhumation of their remains in the gaol grounds in Nenagh and their re-burial in Loughmore in May 1910.

On Saturday, there will be at 1.30pm a guided bus tour of the Parish of Clonoulty. (Tour Leader: Kitty Barry, Vice-Chairman Tipperary Historical Society).

At 8.30pm that evening, there will be another lecture: “The Trial & Execution of Fr. Sheehy at Clonmel in 1776”. (Dr Frank Holohan, Retd. Inspector, Dept. of Education & Science, Author of History Text Books). In his lecture on the trial and execution of Fr Nicholas Sheey, Dr Holohan will explore the religious, political, social and economic conditions of mid eighteenth-century Ireland and the particular circumstances prevailing in South Tipperary which gave rise to the judicial murder of Fr Sheehy at Clonmel.

On Sunday, as is tradition, there will be at 11.30am an anniversary Mass for CJ Kickham and James Maher, followed by oration and laying of wreaths by Mr Jim McCauley, past president of An Comhaltas.

At 3pm, there will be a poetry reading and music in Killaghy Castle Walled Garden, with guest poet Patrick Moran.