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Thread: McGill summer school - history?

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    Default McGill summer school - history?

    May I ask -apologising for not knowing - what is the history of the McGill Summer School in Donegal?

    I'm every year astonished that all sorts of public or not so public people find it important to turn up there.

    I like it in some way that a place in the countryside is so important. But would like to know why at this one.

    Thank you.

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    This school is called after Patrick McGill who was born and reared near Glenties. As a young lad he used be sent to the hiring fairs in Strabane where he was hired out to a welthy farmer who would view them up and down before hiring them -sort of slave trade. Afterwards he went to Scotland and worked on a railway. He also fought in the WW1.He wrote Children of the dead end, and also a Navvy Scrapbook about the harsh conditions experienced by people like him. The school is going for a few years now, Joe Mulholland, former DG of RTE is at the helm. It attracts various speakers every year, some politicians turn up there and it can generate some heat ! Also people from other walks of life attend . It seems to have gained a niche for itself, and probably is the premier summer school. Merriman one in Clare probably had that honour for some years, but there are a plethora of such schools round the country, where intelligentia can clear their heads. But do the ordinary people listen,and have they any effect. I rather doubt it.
    Last edited by Tomas Mor; 25th July 2010 at 12:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomas Mor View Post
    This school is called after Patrick McGill who was born and reared near Glenties. As a young lad he used be sent to the hiring fairs in Strabane where he was hired out to a welthy farmer who would view them up and down before hiring them -sort of slave trade. Afterwards he went to Scotland and worked on a railway. He also fought in the WW1.He wrote Children of the dead end, and also a Navvy Scrapbook about the harsh conditions experienced by people like him. The school is going for a few years now, Joe Mulholland, former DG of RTE is at the helm. It attracts various speakers every year, some politicians turn up there and it can generate some heat ! Also people from other walks of life attend . It seems to have gained a niche for itself, and probably is the premier summer school. Merriman one in Clare probably had that honour for some years, but there are a plethora of such schools round the country, where intelligentia can clear their heads. But do the ordinary people listen,and have they any effect. I rather doubt it.
    Thank you for the answer. It's still amazing how they all flock there. I'd really like to know how the community achieved this.

    Joe Mulholland, is he from the area initially?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christel View Post
    Thank you for the answer. It's still amazing how they all flock there. I'd really like to know how the community achieved this.

    Joe Mulholland, is he from the area initially?
    Yes he is from Donegal, not sure if it is Glenties actually, I think not. Just took off,and I think he gets some grants to help run it. Not so sure of much local involvement. I had some experience of another summer school and very few locals attend as such. Mostly all blow ins. I attended McGill a few years ago for two days and it was mostly outsiders who were there.

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    I was at the Mc Gill Summer School yesterday evening to hear Eamon Gilmore. He was quite good but by the time he got to speak it was late and people were getting restless.
    Very few under the age of 50 at it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by rgaok View Post
    I was at the Mc Gill Summer School yesterday evening to hear Eamon Gilmore. He was quite good but by the time he got to speak it was late and people were getting restless.
    Very few under the age of 50 at it....

    I noticed that too, goes bit late, a lot of the grey and blue rinse brigade there,and hardly any young people. A sort of sill season thing that incestuous media hone in on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christel View Post
    May I ask -apologising for not knowing - what is the history of the McGill Summer School in Donegal?

    I'm every year astonished that all sorts of public or not so public people find it important to turn up there.

    I like it in some way that a place in the countryside is so important. But would like to know why at this one.

    Thank you.
    Would suggest that you read two of Mac Gills books The Rat Pit andChildren of the Dead End --Do not know if they will help you in understanding what has been going on in Donegal over the past few days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loner View Post
    Would suggest that you read two of Mac Gills books The Rat Pit andChildren of the Dead End --Do not know if they will help you in understanding what has been going on in Donegal over the past few days.
    Thank you very much for the recommendation to read these books.

    But could you possibly nevertheless tell a bit about what you think is important in what was going on in Donegal over the past few years?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christel View Post
    Thank you very much for the recommendation to read these books.

    But could you possibly nevertheless tell a bit about what you think is important in what was going on in Donegal over the past few years?
    Ido not think anything important was going on there but it does provide a fillip to the tourist industry in Donegal for a week.It is usually a navel gazing exercise where political figures and otherimportant people read papers on a variety of topics-the Press reports them extensivelyand hopefully some of the pearls of wisdom spoken are taken on board bywhoever and translated into some kind of activity that might or might not benefit the nation. Its a nice start to the Summer for some politicians at the start of a 3 month holiday from Leinster House --Iwould prefer to see them remain in Parliament to adequately deal with legislation and not continue to guillotine Bill after Bill--sorry shouldnt use that word guillotine so close to 14 July--it might give hard pressed taxpayers and holders of negative equity bad thoughts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loner View Post
    Ido not think anything important was going on there but it does provide a fillip to the tourist industry in Donegal for a week.It is usually a navel gazing exercise where political figures and otherimportant people read papers on a variety of topics-the Press reports them extensivelyand hopefully some of the pearls of wisdom spoken are taken on board bywhoever and translated into some kind of activity that might or might not benefit the nation. Its a nice start to the Summer for some politicians at the start of a 3 month holiday from Leinster House --Iwould prefer to see them remain in Parliament to adequately deal with legislation and not continue to guillotine Bill after Bill--sorry shouldnt use that word guillotine so close to 14 July--it might give hard pressed taxpayers and holders of negative equity bad thoughts.
    Thank you. I thought you had some other things in mind.

    But what you say was my impression as well. And I was wondering why exactly this event attrackts all those politicians and similar.

    Is it just the timing? So shortly after the start of their summer break? Or is the media interest in it influentual? As it seems those attending can be sure of reports in the media, at least if I go by the Irish Times. Then the question would be why the media are so eager to write about it.

    I'm just really amazed.

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