The inaugural Archbishop Mannix Memorial Weekend which, was celebrated last weekend, 13th to 15th September, as Charleville’s contribution to the Gathering, was an outstanding success.

A large audience, including twelve visiting Australians as well as people from America and England, attended a history conference entitled ‘Communion in Historiography.’ This was the centre-piece of the weekend at the Charleville Park Hotel and those in attendance heard a wide variety of topics discussed from very notable historians including Professor Dermot Keogh, Dr. John Borgonovo, and Dr. Miceal Ó hAodha, Dr. Shane Kenna, Patrick Mannix, Liz Gillis, Miceal Ó Doibhlin and Fr. Tom Looney.

The conference was officially opened by Mr. Éamon Ó Cuiv, T.D., who pointed out the Gathering, allows us to “celebrate the opportunities our incredible Diaspora give us.” On Saturday afternoon Her Excellency Dr. Ruth Adler, Australian Ambassador to Ireland, travelled to Charleville to close the conference. The ambassador outlined the strong links between Archbishop Mannix, Charleville, Melbourne and Australia in general.

Other events that took place over the weekend included a guided tour to places of historical interest locally including the Provincial Heritage Museum of the Mercy Order, which is located at Charleville Convent of Mercy and it finished up with the laying of a wreath by relatives at the Mannix family grave in Shandrum Cemetery. ‘Music and Memoirs’ a show telling the story of Cork during the Revolutionary period 1915-1923 devised and presented by Patrick Mannix was one of two shows that took place at the Schoolyard Theatre on Friday night.

On Saturday night the young musicians and singers of Craobh an Rath Comhaltas branch put on a sparkling show which was followed by a live broadcast of Donncha Ó Dulaing’s popular RTÉ Radio One show ‘Fáilte Isteach’. Among the guests were Labhras Ó Murchu, Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, and Voice of Ireland winner Keith Hanley.

The weekend drew to a close with a memorial Mass in Holy Cross Church which was concelebrated by Very Rev. Seán Canon Cotter P.P. assisted by Msgr. Greg Bennett, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Msgr. Hugh Connolly, President of St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and Msgr. John Bennett. A memorial plaque was unveiled by Msgr. Greg Bennett, Mr. Julien O’Connell, a representative of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Msgr. Hugh Connolly and Patrick Mannix, chairman of the organising committee.

Charleville intermediate hurlers took on Kildorrery in a tournament game for a specially commissioned Dr. Mannix Perpetual Memorial Cup and medals and fittingly the locals emerged winners to keep the trophy in Charleville.