For the first time in its 22-year history the William Carleton international summer school held lectures in Monaghan town. The official opening was performed by the Mayor of Monaghan Cllr Sean Conlon in the presence of the Mayor of Dungannon & South Tyrone, Cllr Sean McGuigan. The guest speaker was Professor Thomas O’Grady from the University of Massachussets in Boston. He will be delivering the keynote address at the summer school on Monday at 2:30pm at Corick House in Clogher, talking about Carleton’s story, ‘The Donagh’. The other speakers were poet Mary O’Donnell (originally from Monaghan), Art Agnew from Inniskeen, who performed brilliantly in the role of Patrick Kavanagh, Aidan Walsh and Dr Brendan O Cathaoir on Charles Gavan Duffy and Felix Larkin who spoke about the Shemus cartoons in the Freeman’s Journal. Fifty people were there by lunchtime but the crowd grew to almost 300 by 6pm, when I launched the book: ‘Memories amidst the drumlins: Cavan and Monaghan’ by the late Terence O’Gorman. It is a beautifully produced book of his poems and stories, compiled and edited by his daughter Patricia Cavanagh. It was an honour to be asked to write a foreword for the publication and to speak at the beginning of the event. One of our guest speakers from Dublin decided to stay on for the launch and commented how he had never seen such a display of community spirit as was evident amongst the crowd.