Kenny Naughton Society, Aghamore in Co. Mayo
Established in 1993 and restructured in 2001 the Kenny Naughton Society exists for the amusement of Aghamore thespians who have a special interest in the works of two famous writers with Aghamore links - PD. Kenny (1862 - 1944) and Bill Naughton (1910 - 1992).
Society members go on regular outings and meet monthly with the view to planning for the annual Kenny/Naughton Autumn School, a literary gathering which honours the memory of Kenny and Naughton. Journalist, author and farmer PD Kenny wrote under the pseudonym "Pat"; an interesting and enigmatic figure he became involved frequently in political and ecclesiastical controversies and in various court cases. He certainly was unpopular among many segments of Irish society.
Author and playwright Bill Naughton is best known for the classic novel and movie 'Alfie' but he also penned many popular plays and short stories. He worked as a lorry driver, weaver and coal-bagger before achieving literary success; he was awarded several literary prizes and is now on the curriculum in British Schools.
The Kenny/Naughton Society fosters friendship, discussion and debate among its members and encourages member participation in a whole range of activities. It also serves to focus energies and channel ideas for the betterment of the Kenny/Naughton Autumn School, which has a separate agenda entirely.
Kenny/Naughton Autumn School
The Kenny/Naughton Autumn School commemorates the lives, works and times of two very distinguished Irish writers, Bill Naughton and PD Kenny, from the Aghamore area. The school, which takes place annually over the October Bank Holiday weekend, consists of lectures, readings, local tours, workshops, new publications, drama and entertainment.
The main aim is to celebrate the achievements of PD Kenny and Bill Naughton in their native place. Other objectives include introducing these writers and their works to a wider audience, critical analysis of their works, dramatic productions and short story competitions to encourage other writers to follow the writing tradition.
In 1998 the school acquired a permanent base in the village of Aghamore. Strong links exist with other socities/schools and things are going from strength to strength.
The Autumn School is organised by a dedicated group of men and women for whom the exercise is a labour of love.