Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Battle for Coman's Wood

Local Kid's bring Roscommon book to life for 2014 SiarScéal Festival
The Battle for Coman's Wood ― 25 October 2014, Roscommon County Library
A new children's book, The Battle for Coman's Wood, sculpted from the imaginations of the children of the Abbey School Roscommon and Castleplunkett N.S. will be launched as part of the 2014 SiarScéal Festival on Saturday 25 October.
"Who needs to create a Hogwarths when you have amazing sites like Roscommon Abbey, Rathcroghan and Oweynagat to develop a story?" says writer Mario Corrigan. "We have so much to work from in this country and we are natural storytellers. What we sometimes fail to recognize is the latent talent within the limitless imaginations of our children and we have a responsibility to develop that."
Writer Mario Corrigan and artist David Butler first collaborated in 2011 on a children's book for two Kildare National Schools and Kildare Libray & Arts Services, entitled, Do Fish Wear Pyjamas? The Quest for The Great Book of Kildare. It was designed as an innovative and creative way to target young people and encourage reading and creative writing; to introduce history and heritage in a fun setting and allow the imagination to run free. 
In 2013 they brought the idea to Listowel and to Roscommon visiting five schools and almost 250 children. It resulted in two books set locally. Listowel: The Writer's Revenge, published in May 2014, and The Battle for Coman's Wood to be launched at the 2014 Siarscéal Festival in time for Halloween.
A rip-roaring tale of mythical proportions!!
An American family have come to Ireland for The Gathering, back to their ancestral home in Roscommon Town, but they have no idea of the adventure that is about to unfold.
Their arrival in time for Halloween, for the ancient Festival of Samhain, becomes a quest to thwart the evil plans of Queen Medbh and The Morrigan, to bring forth a terrible army from the OtherWorld! Ireland and indeed the whole world is in danger and only the true-blooded heirs of Turlough O'Connor, High King of Ireland, can hope to prevent a cataclysm.
Terrible, evil creatures issue forth from beneath the earth, driven hard by the warrior queen who plans to conquer everyone and everything that stands in her way. Men rally round the ancient banners and defend what they hold dear. Plans are laid and a terrible battle must be fought, but help is on hand from unknown quarters....from long dead Kings and loyal Followers. Time is running out. Our brave heroes must face the might of these supernatural forces, for it is the blood in their veins that gives hope for salvation. All hell breaks loose, literally, in an epic showdown in the ancient wood, Coman's Wood, near Owneynagat; gate to the OtherWorld ... the gate to terror and destruction.

Gwen McNamara Bond, founder of the SiarScéal Festival is elated. "I recognised the potential from the outset, but am delighted that we are finally able to bring this project to life. It focuses not on one or two talented minds, but whole classrooms. Who knows, maybe we will help develop a future generation of writers and illustrators as we give this project to the younger generation of the county as a whole. In partnership with Richie Farrell of Roscommon Library we feel our remit is not only to showcase existing talent, but help prepare the canvas that is yet to be drawn. We sincerely hope that young and old readers alike will enjoy the story and take pride in their surroundings as they board the rollercoaster ride that is The Battle For Coman's Wood. Likewise we hope the people of Roscommon take this year's Festival to their hearts and enjoy the programme of events and support it as they have on previous occasions. Without them and our sponsors it would be impossible to continue."

For full details of the 2014 SiarScéal Festival visit