Welcome to the website for the Percy French School, Roscommon. The School seeks to illuminate the considerable social significance of French’s song- writing, poetry, and paintings and their relevance to Ireland’s various ways of life today. The School has succeeded in attracting a wide range of significant authors, academics, politicians, and artists to lecture and perform. The range of lectures and events in the programmes to date reflect the broad spectrum of interests of its directors.
The School’s Honorary President is President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.
William Percy French
Was born in 1854 at Cloonyquin House, County Roscommon. He was the second son of landowner Christopher French and his wife Susan Emma (nee Percy).
He was educated in Ireland and England. In 1872 he began an engineering degree at Trinity College, Dublin. There he developed his talent for songwriting. Percy French is perhaps best known as a writer of humorous songs, but he was active also as an editor, concert promoter, landscape painter, sketch writer, poet, banjo player, and stage entertainer.
We have assembled an online Archive of lectures and articles about Percy French which you can browse online.
The International Percy French Summer School, Co. Roscommon, Ireland.
The Percy French Summer School is an annual event that takes place in the second week in July and is set in the wonderful historic Georgian building of Castlecoote House in his native county Roscommon. We have an exciting and diverse programme of lectures, recitals, poems, monologues, music, drama and paintings celebrating the life and times of the multi-talented William Percy French. The School features prominent speakers covering the historical, cultural, social and political context of his life and works.
Originally built around 1690 in the grounds of a 16th century castle incorporating two of its four towers. It evolved into an elegant 18th century Palladian house, encircled by the beautiful River Suck and is surrounded by woodland and the pastoral countryside of County Roscommon, Ireland. In 1989 its interiors were destroyed by ﬁre, but it has since been lovingly and authentically restored by some of Ireland’s finest craftsmen. The house enjoys the status of being scheduled under the National Monuments Acts and provides an idyllic, historical setting for a holistic engagement with the life and works of the remarkable, Percy French.