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Carrigallen's New Orleans connection promoted on American Radio

East coast Americans will be treated to a special radio programme this weekend that promotes Carrigallen and Co Leitrim as a tourist destination. The programme recorded by travel writer and broadcaster Stephanie Abrams documents this year's Margaret of New Orleans celebrations at the extraordinary lady's homeplace at Tully, Carrigallen.

Local councillor Martin Kenny and Chairperson of the Margaret of New Orleans committee Martin Reilly were interviewed promoting Carrigallen and Co Leitrim as a tourist destination for those interested in the mother of the orphans' story in July and this recording will be broadcasted to over 3 million Americans this Saturday, September 5th. Cllr Martin Kenny said the radio programme was organised to "encourage people to come to Leitrim with the added incentive of the New Orleans connection."

Cllr Kenny met Stephanie Abrams at a Clare Tourism Conference last November, the two got talking and exchanged business cards before they each departed. Remembering his American media contact in July, Cllr Kenny contacted Ms Abrams and organised a radio interview about the Margaret of New Orleans festivities held in Carrigallen on July 4th and 5th, their American visitors and their plans to build on this connection.

Cllr Kenny says he hopes the programme "will give Carrigallen good exposure and give Americans a great reason to come to Leitrim." Writing on her website blog, Ms Abrams said "Clearly, Martin Kenny knew how to recognise an opportunity and seized it when he held onto my business card, using it when the moment was right. Bravo, Martin!"

Cllr Kenny said that the Margaret of New Orleans committee have applied for funding to construct a museum and exhibit artefacts at Tully, Carrigallen the homeplace of Margaret Haughery, the Angel of the Delta (1813-1882). He also told the Leitrim Observer that a group in New Orleans are campaigning for Margaret Haughery to be beatified as a saint for her good work as a "the mother of the orphans." For more information on the Stephanie Abrams' travel radio programme or to hear a podcast of the interview visit www.sabrams.com

Margaret's Place - Official Opening on 15th June 2013 by David Rawle
Margaret's Place Committee
Martin Reilly
Tel: (086) 8265051

Bernie O'Rourke

May McManus

Michael Smith
Kieran O'Rourke
Kevin McManus
Loughlin McManus

Margaret's Place
Celebrating the life of Margaret of New Orleans in Carrigallen
The story of Margaret of New Orleans spread to young and old recently with a celebration of her life and work by the people of Carrigallen who hosted a 'Margaret of New Orleans' weekend. Margaret, who was born in Tully, emigrated to the USA with her parents in 1818. Following the tragic loss of her husband and child at the tender age of 23, she devoted the remainder of her life to helping the poor of New Orleans.

The weekend was marked by the arrival of a group of tourists from New Orleans who visited Carrigallen and Tully. They were welcomed by the Margaret of New Orleans Tully Committee and treated to a weekend of Leitrim tradition and culture. Leitrim Youth Theatre Company, Carrigallen performed a production of "Our story of Margaret of New Orleans" written and directed by Maura Williamson and performed by a cast of eighteen. The audience came to know Margaret and her work through the production which was enhanced by songs written by Tony Fahy and sang by Mary Harte, Eilish Connelly, and Reichelle Payler. Danny O'Flaherty, who organised the visiting group, was impressed by the production and speaking through tears said that this show would be warmly appreciated by a Louisiana audience. He extended an open invitation to the youth theatre group to perform in New Orleans. Following the play, Danny Flaherty, supported by youth theatre members and by Eilish Connelly, Fr. Denis Murray, Martin Gaffney and his daughter, provided further entertainment in the Kilbrackan Arms.

On Sunday the sun shone for a "Meitheal at Tully" and crowds travelled to a very enjoyable cultural day at Margaret's birthplace where now stands a restored cottage in her honour. The cottage sits in peace and tranquillity under the shade of trees and beside a gently running stream from Margaret's well. Politicians and local business men flashed their tans and took to the ducking chair all in the spirit of fundraising to continue the restoration of Margaret's birthplace. Old craftwork and traditions were demonstrated and the live sculpting by Martin Doyle of Margaret was quite an attraction. Free bouncy castle activities were provided by Frank Sheridan and beautiful food was served throughout the day. As night descended the group gathered in the Kilbrackan Arms for a session of music, song and dance lead by students of the Padraic Lynch School of music. The New Orleans group returned with a strong sense of tradition and culture that this area represents.

The Tully Committee would like to thank most sincerely all the volunteers who helped over the weekend and those who contributed financially. They would like to mention Brendan Reilly who organised a fishing trip for the visitors, the Leitrim Youth Theatre Company, Carrigallen for their entertaining production, and the Corn Mill Theatre for their support. In a strange way Margaret of New Orleans footsteps were revisited by the support and generosity of the people of our community.
Margaret's Place, Tully, Carrigallen
Leitrim Youth Theatre Company present the story of 'Margaret of New Orleans'

Leitrim Youth Theatre Company head into their sixth production. This time their production tells the story of "the Angel of the Delta", the Bread Woman of New Orleans, the Celebrated Margaret, Margaret of Tully, Mother Margaret, and Margaret of New Orleans, all appropriate titles indeed for an extraordinory unique woman, who was born in Tully, Carrigallen. She emigrated with her father, mother and two other siblings to Baltimore at the tender age of five in 1818. Speaking with Maura Williamson, Leader, Director and writer of this play, assisted by the cast has said it has been one of the most challenging pieces of work the company have worked on to date. History of people who lived a life time ago can be a boring subject to young people, and maintaining their interest and staying with the method of devising a play was a difficult task, but we all took a deep breath and a sigh of relief as the final script, (still a work in progress) became the end product and indeed an exciting nights entertainment for all who attend is guaranteed, as the company head into the final weeks of rehearsals.

Youth drama is not always about performing on stage, and if the workshops are in the hands of good leaders, the work can take members on a challenging journey that life may take them on in years to come. Two members of LYTC Carrigallen, Aaron McManus assistant lighting technician, and Daniel Mimna sound technician are busy touring the amateur drama festival with "Kevin's Bed" directed by Killian McGuinness and the Corn Mill Theatre, another side to what youth drama is about.

This production has a strong community feel about it, and with the seed of Margaret's story been sown by many previously in this community like former National School teacher Joe Doonan, Raymond Hackett, Michael Reilly, John Joe Rudden, and the Tully Committee of The Margaret of New Orleans project. On this production musician and song writer Tony Fahy has written five songs to add to the artistic value of this production. John McCartin, Brian Mulligan and Mary Harte are also adding original music to this production. Many strands of an organic artistic community all coming together with Leitrim Youth Theatre Company to enhance this production, and in the lines of the play "Margaret's spirit still lives on".If you are familiar with Margaret of New Orleans or if you are interested in hearing about a very extradinary woman come along and support Leitrim Youth Theatre Carrigallen performing at The Corn Mill Theatre, Carrigallen on Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th April at 8:30pm. Booking at (049) 4339612. The Company will also perform a day time show on Thursday at 12 noon for the pupils from the local Vocational School, Carrigallen. LYTC Carrigallen is funded by Leitrim County Council and Arts Council as part of the wider Leitrim Youth Theatre Company programme which includes groups in Manorhamilton and Carrick-on-Shannon. Further information contact Kate at (071) 9621694

Danny O’Flaherty (in centre with beret) with Pascal Mooney and his tour group from New Orleans, other dignitaries include Frankie Feighan TD, Cllr Gordon Hughes, Cllr Maura Lynch, Cllr Paddy O’Rourke, Fr Dennis Murray (PP Carrigallen) and the Margaret of New Orleans Association Committee.
Loughlan McManus, Frank Rourke, Kevin McManus & Sean Connolly.
Some of the volunteers who help to build the replica of Margaret’s House.
Construction of the mud-wall cabin at Margaret's Place
John Joe Masterson, Sonny Kiernan, Jimmy McManus, Michael Doherty, Michael Smyth & Martin Reilly on teleporter.
All locals who volunteered to help with the construction

Construction of the mud-wall cabin at Margaret's Place
Mickey Masterson, John Joe Masterson, Michael Smyth, Jimmy McManus, Sonny Kiernan, Michael Doherty.
All locals who volunteered to help with the construction

Last Updated: June 18, 2013
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