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Averitt Lecture to feature music, history of Ireland
Free event set for 2 p.m., Sunday at Averitt Center
Averitt Lecture - Ireland
Colin Farrell, left, and Dave Curley will present "The Lively Legacies of Traditional Irish Music" at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Averitt Center as part of the annual Averitt Lecture event. (SPECIAL)

Two of the most respected practitioners of traditional Irish music will help the Bulloch County Historical Society celebrate 30 years of the Averitt Lecture Series.

Colin Farrell and Dave Curley will share their knowledge of the history and repertoire of Irish jigs, reels, hornpipes, waltzes and multiple other genres during the annual Averitt Lecture event on Sunday at 2 p.m. inside the Emma Kelly Theater of the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro. 

"The Lively Legacies of Traditional Irish Music" lecture and reception are free to the public. For more information about the event, go to

"In the past few years we've tried to add some more entertainment to this (series), so it's not just a lecture," said Virginia Anne Franklin Waters, the Historical Society's executive director.  "This is year I'm very excited … not only will they be doing Irish music but they will also be telling us how Irish music affected our way of life in south Georgia."

Georgia Southern University's Center for Irish Research and Teaching is another sponsor of the 2023 event, she said. 

Farrell and Curley will both perform and talk about the music and lyrics that convey the rich, complex history of Ireland. 

Farrell was born in Manchester, England, to Irish parents: one from County Galway on the Atlantic coast; and the other from County Cavan in the north midlands. 

With those roots, he played the fiddle and the tin-whistle from an early age. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, he successfully competed in multiple "fleadhanna," the Irish-language term for "traditional music competition." 

One of Ireland's leading multi-instrumentalists and vocalists — and a champion Irish step-dancer, as well— Curley grew up steeped in traditional Irish music and culture. A native of the village of Corofin in County Galway, on Ireland's western seaboard, Curley graduated with first-class honors from the prestigious program in Traditional Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, Ireland. 

The Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Foundation sponsors the lecture series, and the Bulloch County Historical Society hosts it with further support from corporate members.

The late Professor Emeritus of History Jack N. Averitt, Ph.D., and his wife the late Addie D. Averitt started the lecture series in 1990. Its stated purpose remains "to present outstanding thinkers and authors who can contribute to the public's understanding and appreciation of Southern history, literature, and culture."

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