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Celebrating ‘A History Of Ireland in Songs & Poetry’

Michelle Duffy

WHEELING — In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Irish American Heritage Month and Women’s History Month, the Ohio County Public Library’s Lunch With Books Livestream program will broadcast “A History of Ireland in Song and Poetry.”

The program will take place virtually via livestream at noon on Tuesday, March 16.

Ireland’s history is ancient and complex, but the connecting fibers throughout time have always been words, beautifully arranged words. Whether in the native tongue or the language of the occupier, the Irish are known for weaving words into lyrical and introspective stories, poems and songs, works that evoke a powerful range of emotions from irrepressible humor to overwhelming sadness, resilience and defiance. In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, this program will explore those words as they have been used to record the “terrible beauty” of Ireland’s history, from the ancient magic people, to the Celts, to the patron saint himself, to the countless invasions and rebellions, to eight centuries of English rule, to the Great Hunger that killed millions and drove millions more into exile, to revolution, division, civil war, independence and the seemingly endless “Troubles,” and to the joy and sorrow of being Irish or having Irish roots.

This program will be available to watch live on Facebook Live, YouTube, and the Ohio County Public Library website’s LWB Livestream page. Log into an active Facebook or YouTube account during the program to leave questions for our presenters in the comments box. They will answer them during the live broadcast.

This multimedia program will feature songs from actor and vocalist Michelle Duffy intermixed with poetry and a little bit of history from some other Duffy some library regulars might know — the library’s adult programming director Sean Duffy, cousin of Michelle.

Michelle Duffy has had an extensive career primarily as a legitimate stage actress (classical, contemporary and musical) and vocalist. She was born and raised in Wheeling, went to college in Ohio, got her Equity card in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her SAG card and career launch in Chicago before many years based in Los Angeles and New York. She’s lived and worked all around this country and in many others besides, but nothing makes her happier than getting to sing back at home with friends and family.

The local music group Faire May will provide musical accompaniment during the program. Faire May is a traditional music band specializing in enjoyable folk music from the near and distant past.

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