The 33rd MacGill Summer School, one of the most prestigious ‘think tanks’ in the country, opens in the Highlands Hotel this Sunday.
As always, a host of the biggest names in politics, business, education, media and the arts will gather in Glenties for a packed programme of thought-provoking talks, debates and cultural activities. The theme of this year’s school, which runs through to August 2, is How Stands the Republic.
Danish Ambassador Niels Pultz will perform the official opening at 6pm, followed by an address by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. At 9pm, Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly will deliver the 13th Annual John Hume Lecture.
A number of events will take place on Sunday afternoon before the official opening. These include the MacGill Literary Awards at 3pm, the opening of an exhibition of new work by Johnny Boyle at 4pm and a recital by the Glenties Brass band under the direction of Ian Behan at 5pm.
Joe Mulholland, founder and director, says: “For several years now, and especially since the sudden and brutal fall of the Celtic Tiger, the MacGill School has focused on reform of the institutions of the state – political, social and economic. As the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising approaches, what better time is there to look at the republic which came about as a result of that event?”
Among the key speakers are Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty International, poet Theo Dorgan, Historian Dermot Keogh, Ingrid Miley, Fintan O’Toole, Justine Feehily Chairperson of the Revenue Commissioners, actress Mary McEvoy and Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams TD as well as Ministers Kathleen Lynch, Michéal Martin, Dr James Reilly and Ruairi Quinn.
The school was founded in memory of local writer, Patrick MacGill who highlighted social conditions in Donegal, the plight of migrant workers in Britain and the horrors of the Great War in which he fought as a soldier of the London Irish Rifles. His books are still being published.
There will be live webcasts of the proceedings from Monday, July 29 to Friday, August 2. Full programme info on www.macgillsummerschool.com.