While there was a small attendance at the Crinniú na Cásca event in Fermoy on Monday night, those present were treated to a most enjoyable lecture on the life and times of An tAthair Peadar Ó Laoíre by Eilís Uí Bhriain.
Eilís confessed to being a staunch admirer of an tAthair Peadar and his works, reminding those present of their schooldays by quoting briefly from Séadna which was seen to be the first major literary work of the emerging Gaelic revival.
An tAthair Peadar was born in Clondrohid in Mid Cork and locally, served in the parishes of Kilworth, Rathcormac and Castlelyons. He spent some time in Macroom, a town with which he had a great affinity and from there was transferred to Charleville. He was staunch advocate of the ‘old’ Irish language, giving lessons in every parish where he ministered and, while serving in Rathcormac, also set up a brass band there.
Eilís said that while many would refer to him as being serious or rather reclusive, she was keen to show the humane side of the man whom, she said, was ‘a very pious and caring individual’ who possessed ‘a good sense of humour’. In 1891 he came to Castlelyons as Parish Priest where he remained until his death at age 81 in 1920. He is buried in the churchyard there.
Part of a DVD recorded in Castlelyons at a commemoration there in 2005 was shown and those in attendance were treated to a ‘cuppa’ and some home baking from the lady herself. Eilís said her wish is to keep the memory of this great man very much alive in this particular area. She was warmly thanked by those present for what was an informative and enlightening lecture.