Visiting Poet Kicks Off Busy Stretch for UM Irish Studies Program

April 17, 2017

MISSOULA – The Irish Studies Program at the University of Montana, along with the Friends of Irish Studies, will sponsor a visit to Montana by award-winning Irish poet Leanne O’Sullivan this month.

She will give a reading at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at Missoula’s Fact and Fiction, located at 220 N. Higgins Ave., and again at 7 p.m. Friday, April 21, at Butte Brewing Company, located at 465 E. Galena St. in Butte.

O’Sullivan is a native of Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland, which has a rich mining tradition. It has been the inspiration for much of her work, which includes three collections of poetry: “Waiting for My Clothes,” “Cailleach: The Hag of Beara,” and “The Mining Road.” Considering the long historical connection between Butte and Beara and the shared mining heritage, her poetry should reach the people of Montana in a special way.

O’Sullivan’s visit is the start of a busy summer scheduled for Irish Studies at UM. A list of events follows:

  • UM will host its first hurling camps this summer, which are designed to teach the finer skills of the game. The first camp runs June 5-9, and the second is July 10-14. Visiting Fulbright UM teaching assistant Pa Sheehan is the instructor, and he will be assisted by members of Montana’s hurling community. The camps are ideal for all hurlers but will be of special benefit to those wishing to coach or train.
  • The annual Friends of Irish Studies trip to Ireland is June 18-27. The tour takes visitors to places the Irish themselves like to go – the less-publicized places of historical and natural beauty so dear to the hearts of the Irish. Visitors will meet the ordinary people of Ireland and enjoy their celebrated wit, humor and generosity. Spots still are available for the tour.
  • This year marks the 150th anniversary of the mysterious death of Thomas Francis Meagher, famed Irish rebel, Civil War general and acting governor of Montana Territory. To honor Meagher and his contributions to Ireland and America, a celebration of his life will take place in Helena on Friday, June 30, and Saturday, July 1. Events include a bus tour to Fort Benton where Meagher died, a simulated inquest, a selection of speakers and an evening of music and dance. This is the first of what is hoped will be an annual event. For more information visit
  • The annual weeklong Irish language immersion program will take place in Butte July 22-29. This is one of only two such courses taught in the United States, making it a rare opportunity to learn the language or to practice skills. There are two courses: one for complete beginners and another for students who have a solid command of the language and want the opportunity to speak and improve their fluency.

All events are sponsored by UM’s Irish Studies Program and the Friends of Irish Studies. For more information call UM Irish Studies Program Director Traolach Ó Ríordáin at 406-243-6359, email traolach.oriordain@mso.umt.eduor visit .


Contact: Traolach Ó Ríordáin, UM Irish Studies program director, 406-243-6359,