The Eliza Lynch Commemorative Weekend, which takes place in Charleville from 19th to 21st September was officially launched by Cllr. Timmy Collins the Deputy Mayor of Cork County at the Charleville Park Hotel on last Friday night.

Launching the event Cllr. Collins said that Charleville in conjunction with every other town in the county was celebrating its heritage by remem-bering Eliza Lynch, the National Heroine of Paraguay in South America, who was born and baptised in the town in 1834.

The event is being promoted by Charleville Chamber of Commerce and its President P. J. McCarthy, in his address, said that history will play a central role in the weekend with a seminar on the life and times of Eliza Lynch on Friday 19th September, which will follow the official opening of the event.

The panel of speakers will include Professor Ronan Fanning and former diplomat Michael Lillis, the authors of the book ‘Eliza Lynch Scandal and Courage.’ They will be joined by Dr. Laurence Geary of the History Department at University College Cork whose topic will be the famine in the Charleville area around the time of Eliza Lynch’s childhood in the town.

The film Eliza Lynch Queen of Paraguay, starring Maria Doyle Kennedy as Eliza will be shown on Saturday night at the Charleville Park Hotel. The star of the film, Maria Doyle Kennedy, will be present on the night and will give a performance after the screening of the film.

Local historians will also play a role in the weekend with Philip O’Connell leading a walking tour to places of historical interest around Charleville and Eamon O’Sullivan invites people to take ‘A Walk Back in Time’ to view artefacts dating from the 1820s in a pop-up museum in the ground floor of the community hall in Chapel Street.

On Sunday 21st September, a Mass in memory of Eliza Lynch will be celebrated by Very Rev. Seán Canon Cotter, P.P. Charleville in the community hall, which was formerly Charleville Parish Church, where Eliza Lynch was baptised the 2nd May 1834. After the Mass a commemorative plaque will be unveiled on the front wall of the building.

Mr. McCarthy invites all Charleville people with an interest in history to support the weekend which is being organised on foot of the success of the Archbishop Mannix Memorial Weekend last year that was run in conjunction with The Gathering.