'It's Us They're Talking About' :
Intro & John and May Doherty

Margaret Farren

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Unlike last year , when the proceedings of the 1998 Summer School were accompanied by interviews conducted according to the previous year's theme (the School's Manuscript Collection for the Folklore Commission), this year it was thought more appropriate to include interviews relating to the theme of the current Summer School (2000). It was considered more timely to include the interviews at this stage, as the theme of this years school was to an extent chosen for us by the celebration of the year 2000 in the Christian calendar. Marking (approximately) the 2000th year since the birth of Jesus Christ, it seemed an appropriate moment to dwell on the religious and spiritual heritage of Clonmany.

As well as sketching the important developments in Christianity in Clonmany over two millennia, including (usually unwittingly) a great many pagan elements which help define our beliefs and culture, it was deemed appropriate that the McGlinchey Summer School should also mark the passing of the 20th century. How better to do this than in conversation with some of those who have lived through most of it - our community's elders and betters? This is surely a commemoration that would have earned Charlie McGlinchey's unqualified approval.

So these interviews have been conducted along very broad guidelines, which it was hoped would invite as much material as possible relating to spirituality and religion, and how these elements were integrated into the everyday lives of our ancestors. Furthermore, the interviewees themselves are the subject. They are a living record of the changing times, and in deference to that fact, they have been encouraged to lead the interviews where ever their memories took them.

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