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Annual SIPTU May Day Labour History School
Saturday 30 April & Sunday 1 May 2011-04-16
The Athy Community Arts Centre

Following the success of last year’s event the organisers of Athy’s May Day Festival have decided to extend the festival into a two-day event, beginning on Saturday 30 April of the May Public Holiday weekend and continuing into Sunday 1 May.

This year’s event combines music, a photographic exhibition and a History Ireland Hedge School, exploring the radical leftist/republican tradition in Irish history. On the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Inland Barrow Navigation scheme, we also look at the life of the original Irish Navvy, with particular focus on the impact of the opening-up of the Grand Canal on Athy and its surroundings. Music will be provided on Saturday night  by Jimmy Kelly, Luke’s much acclaimed younger brother) and Tom Crean.

All are welcome to the picturesque town of Athy where you will be sure to meet a most eclectic bunch, enjoy the activities and celebrate the dawn of the summer.

Saturday 30 April

12 pm-4.00 pm:
A photographic exhibition commemorating the workers who built canals and the boatmen who transported goods throughout the canal network.

2 pm-2.15 pm:
Official opening of the Festival by the Mayor of Athy.

2.15 pm-4.00 pm:
A series of talks examining the socio-economic and cultural impact that the opening of the canals had on provincial life. The typical life of the early Navvies and boatmen will be brought to life, and the struggle for improvement in conditions leading to early Trade Union formation will also be explored.

8.00 pm:
A concert of labour and Worker’s songs, featuring two of Dublin’s well-known balladeers, Tom Crean and Jimmy Kelly. The concert will be preceded by a Wine Reception at 7.30 pm.

Sunday 1 May

3.00 pm:
History Ireland’s Hedge School:  'Whatever happened to the Citizens Army?'

We have the pleasure of hosting History Ireland’s successful Hedge School series. The round table discussion will trace the history of the radical Left Republican tradition in Irish history.

The panel will consist of:

Brian Hanley: St. Pat’s, Drumcondra (co-author of ‘The Lost Revolution: A History of the Worker’s Party and the Official IRA)

Eoin O’Broin: Sinn Féin

Fergus Whelan: ICTU (author of ‘Dissent into Treason)

Jack O’Connor: President of SIPTU

The panel will be chaired by Tommy Graham of History Ireland

There is no charge for any of the events. If you wish to attend, we strongly suggest that you book a seat to avoid disappointment. You can do so by contacting Evelyn during office hours between 9-1 pm and 2-5 pm on Tel: 045 432318.
All events will take place in Athy community Arts centre (Methodist Church), Woodstock Street, Athy.

For further details contact www.siptu.ie or www.kildare.ie

The Annual SIPTU May Day Labour History School Saturday 30 April & Sunday 1 May 2011 in The Athy Community Arts Centre

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