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Celebrating the Life of Fr. O'Flynn - Prof Fiona Gibbon, University College Cork

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Published on Dec 1, 2011

Sr Marie de Montfort Supple, retired, Department of Clinical Speech & Language Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Prof Fiona Gibbon, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University College Cork, Ireland.
Give me the flowing line: Celebrating the life of Fr. O'Flynn (1881-1962) of The Loft and his work with people living in Cork who stammered.
In January, 1961, the BBC televised a programme entitled It Happened to Me, and the world got to know about Fr Christy O'Flynn, an 80-year-old parish priest of Passage West, who had by then become a legend in his native Cork. More than 30 years earlier, Fr O' Flynn had opened a school of drama, music and philosophy, situated next to the renowned Shandon steeple in Cork City, which became known as The Loft. Here, he founded the Cork Shakespearean Company.

In The Loft, Fr O'Flynn not only taught drama, he also worked with people who stammered. He helped people at a time when there was no speech and language therapy service in Cork City. It is almost 50 years since the passing of this remarkable man and, to commemorate the event, the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at UCC held an exhibition to celebrate Fr O'Flynn's work and the progress we have now made in the last 50 years in providing speech and language therapy for the people of Cork.

The exhibition was launched at the Jennings Gallery, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, on Thursday 6th October 2011. There were brief talks about Fr O'Flynn and about speech and language therapy in Cork today. The exhibition was officially opened by Donncha Ó Dúlaing, the broadcaster from Cork who is known country-wide for his sports and traditional music programmes. He currently presents Fáilte Isteach, Saturday evenings, on RTÉ Radio 1. The exhibition ran 6th October -- 4th November 2011.

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