Elizabeth Bowen Commemoration

The annual Elizabeth Bowen Commemoration will be held in St Colman’s Church, Farahy on Sunday afternoon, September 22 at 3.30pm.

The guest speaker on the day will be Dr Heather Bryant who is a Lecturer in the Writing Programme at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA.

Elizabeth Bowen died in London in 1973 and was buried at Farahy among the people of this parish and alongside both her father Henry Cole Bowen and her husband, Alan Cameron.

A special place indeed which lives still through Bowen’s splendid fiction for, as her memorial here records: ‘She left in her writings a proof of her  genius, a reflection of her personality and a history of her home’.

St Colman’s Church, Farahy.

Dr Heather Bryant

Dr Bryant previously taught in the English Department at the Pennsylvania State University and at Harvard College where she has won awards for her teaching.

She received her A.B. in History and Literature from Harvard College and her PhD in modern British and Irish literature from the University of Michigan. She lives in the Boston area with her family.

300 years

St Colman’s Church will celebrate its tri-centenary next year. Built in 1720, it’s later restoration was led by Trustee Dr Robert MacCarthy and was formally re-opened in 1979 in a ceremony at which the then Archbishop of Armagh, Dr George Simms, was the preacher.

Dr MacCarthy has previously acknowledged the persistence and loyalty of Patrick and Jane Annesley of Annes Grove for the continued survival of ‘this last physical reminder of the Bowens in Ireland’.

Records of the church reach as far back as 1225 in what Dean Jonathan Swift described as ‘a hedge-deanery’ in 1736. It is reached by a short walk up the avenue from the car park off the Mallow-Mitchelstown road.

Next to the avenue is the track leading to what remains of Bowen’s Court – the now-vanished house to which Elizabeth Bowen invited her literary colleagues and friends over many summers.