Posted by: gillroe | October 7, 2010

University College Cork, Ireland in Chicago with the “Great Book of Ireland”

An important event is taking place on October 20th in Chicago!  University College Cork, Ireland  (UCC), will bring one of Ireland’s national treasures, the Great Book of Ireland to the Union League Club of Chicago for a viewing and presentation on the Book from 7pm – 9pm. This is a unique opportunity for those with an interest in literature/poetry and art to witness a modern Irish manuscript and to become part of its intriguing journey. All the contributors did so in their own hand, the Book contains the last written words of Samuel Beckett, a preface by Seamus Heaney etc etc. The story of the making of the Great Book of Ireland is magical and chilling at the same time. It is a remarkable document and one about which the world will hear much more in the years ahead.

Theo Dorgan, one of Ireland’s well renowned poets, editor of the Book and contributor will be present at the Union League Club to speak about the Book and its journey thus far. Theo has a magnificent speaking voice and an unrivalled ability with words and thus is much sought after as an interviewee and panellist particularly in Ireland.

The Great Book of Ireland is a unique vellum manuscript containing works by 140 poets, 120 artists and 9 composers (almost all Irish) , including Nobel laureates Samuel Beckett, Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney and renowned painters Louis le Brocquy, Pauline Bewick and Basil Blackshaw.  It is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest national treasures and has been described as ‘the Book of Kells of the second millennium’ by former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson.  Its large handmade vellum pages are bound in naturally cured goatskin and it is housed in a wooden box made from an elm tree planted by WB Yeats at Thoor, Ballylee. UCC hopes to acquire the Great Book of Ireland from Poetry Ireland and the Clashganna Mills Trust, two charities dedicated to the support and celebration of poetry and art in Ireland.  A special reception will be held in Chicago to raise money for this significant acquisition*.  Funds raised through ticket sales, sponsorship and donations will help UCC in its endeavour to purchase and publicly display the Great Book of Ireland.

UCC alumnus, Mr Devon Bruce and his wife, Mrs Yvonne Bruce, are very kindly hosting the reception at which there will be a viewing of the book and a presentation and reading by renowned Irish poet Theo Dorgan.  All proceeds from ticket sales, sponsorship and donations will thus be channelled directly towards the acquisition of the Great Book of Ireland.

* In acquiring the Great Book of Ireland, UCC and its graduates and friends will enable public access to this hugely significant volume while simultaneously providing much needed support to the poets and artists of Ireland.  Sponsors will be honoured on a dedicated plaque when the Great Book is on display at UCC, will receive two tickets to an exclusive private viewing at 6pm and two tickets to the exhibition and reception at 7pm.

Tickets: $100     Sponsorship: $500

ONLINE REGISTRATION: To book online please visit:  https://www.eventelephant.com/thegreatbookofirelandinchicago

(Please note that tax receipts cannot be provided for online reservations)

DONATIONS: To make a tax effective donation/booking, please send a cheque, made payable to the Irish Educational Foundation, to:

Karen Kelly, Development and Alumni Office, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork, Ireland Telephone: +353 (21) 490 3643 Email: k.kelly@ucc.ie

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  1. […] University College Cork, Ireland in Chicago with the “Great Book of Ireland” (via Study in Ireland) 7 10 2010 An important event is taking place on October 20th in Chicago!  University College Cork, Ireland  (UCC), will bring one of Ireland's national treasures, the Great Book of Ireland to the Union League Club of Chicago for a viewing and presentation on the Book from 7pm – 9pm. This is a unique opportunity for those with an interest in literature/poetry and art to witness a modern Irish manuscript and to become part of its intriguing journey. All the … Read More […]


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