Congratulations to George Cunningham who was honoured recently in
Aras An Uachtaran by President Michael D Higgins. The event celebrated
George’s success in organising fifty consecutive Roscrea Conferences which
has helped bring scholars from all corners of the globe to Roscrea over the
past quarter of a century. A book entitled “A Carnival Of Learning” was
published recently in honour of George. The book launch took place at
the 50th Roscrea Conference and members of the working committee who
helped make the book a reality were also in attendance with George when
he was honoured by the President. This included the editors of the volume
Peter Harrison and Valerie Hall as well as Maureen and Jerry Chair, Dom
Richard Purcell and Amanda Medlow.
George Cunningham, President Higgins with the two editors, Peter Harbison
and Valerie Hall.
A specially signed copy was presented to the President during a most
pleasant and memorable ceremony. The president signed the special copy
that had been presented to George Cunningham at the launch on the previous
Incidentally this special copy is now signed by not only the President of
Ireland but the Abbott General of the Cistercians, the four abbots of Roscrea
who were abbots during the fifty conferences; the contributors to the
volume, the editors and committee; the printer and in time will be signed by
others associated with it conception and production.
At the presentation of the book, ACarnival of Learning, in honour of George Cunningham in Arasan Uachtaráin were the principals behind the publication.
Dom Richard Purcell, ocso, Abbot of Mt StJoseph Abbey whose Cistercian Press published the volume, Carmel and GeorgeCunningham, President Higgins, editors Peter Harbison and Valerie Hall, and thefinancial committee of Jerry and Maureen Cahir and Offaly heritage officer,Amanda Pedlow.
After the presentations, tea was shared in the priceless Maire Antonienette
suite (a gift from President De Gaulle to the Nation). Afterwards the
President arranged for the party to be given a private tour of the state
rooms where the President’s aide-de-camp photographed the group at
various historic locations including being seated at the Council of State
table. President Higgens, Jerry Cahir and George Cunningham were
contemporaries at St Flannan’s Ennis. Indeed, Jerry Cahir kept up his
friendship with the President and he stayed in the Cahirs home in Roscrea
when he was a Minister . During the presidential visits they shared many a
memory of a boarding school that was of its time!