Bob Doyle and the Donnelly Winter School, Feb. 2007
Thanks to Geraldine Telford for this report.
The 5th Charlie Donnelly annual weekend took place in Craic Theatre Coalisland from Thursday 22nd - Saturday 24th February. The weekend kicked off with a screening of Ken Loach’s film ‘Land and Freedom’ on the Thursday evening. Bob Doyle was in attendance at this event and he officially launched the weekend festivities.
Bob played a prominent part in Friday evening’s event, giving a very moving address which received a standing ovation from the large crowd in attendance. Bob stressed the need for “education, organisation and civil disobedience” – these are the tools of the modern socialist/revolutionary. The panel discussion that followed Bob’s opening speech also proved to be very interesting and informative. Harry Owens and Martin McGuinness addressed the audience and then took questions from the floor.
The highlight of the weekend was on the Saturday afternoon when people gathered up at Edendork (Charlie Donnelly’s homeplace) for a short memorial service. A delegation from Dungannon/Coalisland had gone out to Jarama a few weeks previous to the weekend and brought back some thyme from the battle-field. They also brought back olives and a number of artefacts which were on display in Craic’s theatre – along with an exhibition of posters from the Spanish Civil War.
Bob Doyle laid some flowers and planted a bunch of thyme at the commemorative stone which was bedecked with flags for the occasion. There was a roll of honour called out for those Irish Brigadistas who fell at Jarama. All in all it was a very emotive ceremony. Afterwards Bob was brought to the homestead of Charlie Donnelly which is quite close to the commemorative stone. The weekend closed with an evening of poetry, music and song.
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