The ongoing collaboration of Roscommon County Council: Library Services and Castlecoote House in a public and private partnership continue its successful development of the Percy French Festival. The festival, now in its fifth year continues to expand and explore new avenues and themes, guided by the figure of Roscommon native, the wonderful Percy French.

The festival is an important occasion in the county calendar of events as it seeks to promote a range of community, educational, arts, heritage, recreational, leaning resources, exhibitions and programmes that support the cultural and tourism events scheduling throughout the County.

Roscommon County Council: Library Services are once again delighted to be associated with the 2013 Percy French Festival and to be a in a position to offer support. The promotion of our rich cultural heritage as part of our tourism programmes and the historic houses programme is a vital avenue for attracting visitors.

The Percy French Summer Festival has particular significance in this the year of the Gathering 2013, with its theme of The French Connection.  It reflects the commitment of Roscommon County Council to working together with attractions, accommodation providers, organisers and communities around the county and engaging very actively in the Gathering to attract further visitors to the County in the coming years.

The Gathering 2013 is a special year long celebration of everything great and unique about Ireland and one of the biggest tourism initiatives ever staged and planned, focussing on inviting people from around the world to join and support Ireland in 2013. It is also about using all our connections in whatever form they may be from historical, educational, business, genealogical, the arts, sporting, food industry, social and cultural and indeed many others to reconnect with our rich history and heritage.

Percy French was a remarkable talent and it is important that we celebrate, honour and commemorate his legacy and indeed the unique contribution that he made as artist, writer and entertainer to our cultural heritage, not just at home but on his travels abroad during his life.

This year’s exhibition of the Percy French memorabilia compiled over the years by the County Library, entitled Echoes of Percy French, will be showcased in the recently refurbished County Library building, Abbey Street, Roscommon, where the launch of the Percy French Festival itself will also take place on Thursday 4th of July.

Roscommon County Council: Library Service will be supporting the “Family Day” programme as part of this year’s festival offering learning activities for children. The Roscommon County Youth Orchestra, as part of our arts programming will also again be involved this year with the festival.

Richie Farrell
County Librarian

Telephone: +353 (0) 90 66 37275