Maeve Sweeney O'Connor
The Donegal arts world lost a true treasure about this time last year with the untimely death of Maeve Sweeney O'Connor.
Maeve was a talented singer and actress in her own right but she was equally content to leave the spotlight to others and contributed to many Donegal shows as a stage manager – a role in which she was quite simply one of the best - totally professional and also just a great person to have on a production team. She literally raised the spirits of all she came in contact with. Maeve was only in her forties when she died – that somebody who was so full of life dies so young just somehow feels very unfair.
Maevefest is a day-long summer party taking place in Ramelton, where she was a long-time resident, on Saturday, July 1st, when everybody is invited to celebrate her memory through music, song, spoken word and dancing til late.
Maevefest kicks off at Ramelton Town Hall at 3pm with a pair of fun and creative workshops for kids of all ages – choose between dance and movement with choreographer Kevin Murphy or arts and crafts with Lisa O'Connor.
Then, at 6.30pm in McDaid’s Wine Bar, The Ramelton Social is a teatime gathering with comedy, spoken word and music hosted by Maeve’s daughter, Aoife. Guests include Irish Times journalist Una Mullally and RTÉ Book Show host Sinead Gleeson. Admission is free with a donation required to Donegal Hospice.
The main event is Maevefest Live – a night of music and performance at Ramelton Town Hall starting at 9pm. Maevefest Live is headlined by Maria Doyle Kennedy and the bill also features Villagers guitarist Tommy McLaughlin, acclaimed comedian Ursula Burns AKA The Dangerous Harpist along with local Ramelton legends The Shindig House Band and many others. Admission for Maevefest Live is €15 and once again all proceeds go to Donegal Hospice.
I think that this is a lovely idea. It’s very fitting that somebody whose life was dedicated to the arts should be remembered by art, that the fun and joy and entertainment that Maeve worked so hard to make happen should continue. Do come along.
Maevefest takes place on Saturday, July 1st – advance booking for events is available from An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny – 0749120777 or www.angrianan.com