Mary Harkin

Nowadays there are very many different ways to pass time in the evenings but everyone still loves a good story. The McGlinchey Summer School takes up the tradition of storytelling described in The Last of the Name - with some modern twists!

Gathered in our fine community hall instead of around a fireplace, we are not only passing time but also marking the passage of time. The stories told at the Summer School take us back through time and bring our parish alive again during wartime, Famine and back further still to the days of the Norsemen and the earliest settlers.

These stories are told today for the same reasons as they were told in Charlie McGlinchey's day - primarily to entertain but also to forge an awareness of our rich heritage and pass it onto the new generaions. It is in this spirit that the McGlinchey Summer School was first held and that this publication was compiled from the stories and articles it inspired.

Inspired by the 1938 Folklore Collection which provided the theme for the first Summer School, Margaret Farren has again collected some delightful accounts of the lives and times of some of the older people in the parish. Others also have memories to share - Master McGlynn contributes his thoughts of yesteryear and Brother Tom Connolly recalls his memories of Nelius Friel.

But it is not just the old people who have stories to tell. Many young people have gone out from Inishowen in search of further understanding about their heritage and here they have the opportunity to bring their learning home and to share it with those they grew up with. From linguistics to veterinary medicine, our past is enriched by the new insights they present.

It's Us They're Talking About weaves together scholarship, reminiscence and the skill of storytelling handed down to us from the time of Charles McGlinchey. It represents the wealth of memory and of learning that is held by the people of this parish which enriches our heritage when it is shared. Perhaps, while reading, you will find that you too have a story to tell?

Mary Harkin

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