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An Evening of Conversation and Poetry to Celebrate International Women's Day

Soloheadbeg Ambush: A Century Later: A Unique Story of Reconciliation

Join them in Tipperary Library, Thursday March 7th, 7pm - 8.30pm

Everyone is warmly invited to a unique event to mark International Women's Day in Tipperary Town Library on Thursday March 7th 2024 at 7pm. Inspired by the trauma of the Soloheadbeg Ambush over a century ago, writers Anna O Laoghaire and Annette Condon will share their own personal connections to the event that trigged the War of Independence, the impacts of which still reverberate in Ireland today. Hosted by journalist and broadcaster, Catherine Fogarty with the historical and local background narrated by writer and historical documentary maker, Mary Alice O'Connor, the evening will feature short, conversational style interviews, storytelling, music and poetry readings by O Laoghaire, Condon and local writer and artist, Trish McHale.

Extending an invite to everyone in the locality, Mary Alice O'Connor said, "Our event will pay respectful homage to the past but also celebrate how female descendants of individuals affected on both sides of the War of Independence have found reconciliation through meeting and writing. While Anna and Annette's story featured recently in The Irish Times[i] and on the Poetry as Commemoration website, we were keen to bring the story back to the people of Tipperary, where it all began. We acknowledge with gratitude, the Heritage Office at Tipperary County Council for its financial support, Catherine Fogarty for hosting this event and Tipperary Town Library for the wonderful venue."

Speaking about the event, Anna O Laoghaire, great-granddaughter of James McDonnell, one of the RIC men, killed at Soloheadbeg, said, "My involvement with the Poetry as Commemoration project provided a creative way to explore this historical trauma in my family. My writing journey involved two unique encounters: one with Mary Alice, the second with Annette. I look forward to sharing this story and how the kindness of Tipperary people, when I reached out to them, has helped heal the trauma of years."

Annette Condon, grandniece of Marian Tobin, one of Ireland's first female councillors, who sheltered the man involved in the Soloheadbeg Ambush and whose home Tincurry House, Cahir was destroyed in 1921 by the Black and Tans, commented, "The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2024 is Inspire Inclusion. When we inspire others to understand our perspectives, I believe that we forge a better world. In my experience, meeting Anna and talking about our shared history has helped break down barriers and deepen our collective understanding of the past."

Photo caption: Left to right: Mary Alice O'Connor, Trish McHale, the late Elizabeth McDonnell, Anna O Laoghaire, Annette Condon, the late Marian Tobin and Catherine Fogarty.