The Irish Itinerary is an Irish cultural tour of Europe. This initiative of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS) started in 2013 with the first Irish Itinerary.Read more Discover Circuits
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“Lillis O Laoire came to sing at the University of Rennes 2 on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015.
The event was co-organized by Efacis and the Centre of Breton and Celtic Research of Rennes 2.
The venue was carefully chosen and very appropriate, in a room especially designed for singing, at the Music Department of Rennes 2.
The acoustics were therefore very good, Lillis appreciated this and he sang for nearly an hour and a half with short comments in English about each of the songs. The attendance was a nice mix of around sixty people, students and lecturers alike, mostly from the departments of Celtic (including some students of Irish), English (Irish studies stream) and Music. They were both very attentive during the performance and enthusiastic after it : Lillis's voice literally worked wonders. The performance was recorded and filmed, with Lillis's agreement, by a colleague from the Centre de Formation des Musiciens Intervenants of Rennes 2. The rest of the evening went on very smoothly, with five of us from Rennes 2 (including our Irish language tutor, who happened to be an ex student of his) having dinner with Lillis in a restaurant in town, after which he even gratified us with one last going-away song. A great evening indeed, magic !”
"I really liked it! I already had a soft spot for James Joyce's poetry and folk music separately, and I thought the combination very appealing. I am looking forward to hearing the entire CD." (on Gerry Smyth's performance)
‘Every song was a pearl on a string – I was sad when it was over’
During our BA studies, this is the first semester that we got a deeper insight into Irish Culture and Literature and a reading event like this was just the perfect way to raise the students’ interest not only in Mr Patterson’s novels, but also in Irish literature in general. Mr Patterson’s great sense of humour and the way he talked about his novels, the city of Belfast and the process of writing made us rush to the library right after the event and borrow his books immediately. It was also amazing that he himself read out some parts of the novel, Fat Lad, which is required reading for our Introduction to Irish Studies lecture course. We do not often have the chance to meet the authors of the reading materials for our courses, and it was not just entertaining and enjoyable but also quite useful; an event like this brings the students closer to the topics discussed in class. My favourite parts of the event were when Mr Patterson described how he chose the titles of his novels and when he talked about his experiences about Hungary and Hungarian people. I enjoyed listening to him, it was so good to hear him talk about Belfast; it was clear that he loves the city where he lives and works.
Mary McPartlan sang in Prague at the Marjánka dance hall on 20 November, accompanied by Aidan Brennan and Pádraic Keane to a dedicated and enthusiastic audience, aged 5 months to 60 years – even an impromptu jig was danced by some audience members during the final number. The concert was followed by a music session in a Scottish bar owned by the concert producer where our Irish guests were astonished to see that, as soon as they played the first few bars of the first tune, about 20 people whipped out their instruments and joined in. It turned out that some of the participants travelled over 200 km to be able to play with Mary, Aidan and Pádraic. The wave of energy was simply amazing, and needless to say, the session turned out to be long. In addition, Mary lectured to Charles University students on Irish women singers on 21 November.