Councillor Mackle has commended Council officers for a successful events to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of George ‘AE’ Russell.
Councillor Mackle said: “George Russell, known as AE, was born in William Street on 10th April, 1867 and lived his first ten years in the town.
“As an accomplished painter and poet he was a hugely influential figure in Irish cultural life in the first three decades of the twentieth century.
A series of events was organised to mark the anniversary in his home town.
“Local historian and AE expert Jim Conway led a walking tour of sites associated with AE on the morning of 8th April and in the afternoon I was delighted to open two fantastic lectures exploring Russell’s life and work.
“Professor Nicholas Allen from the University of Georgia and Professor Liam Kennedy from Queen’s University were well received by the audience in Brownlow House.
“On Tuesday 11th John Donohoe from Athlone brought some of his collection of AE material and gave a talk in Lurgan Library.
“AE was a big figure in Irish life and hopefully these events will lead to more appreciation of him in his home town.
“His connection to figures such as Yeats and Joyce would bring visitors from all over the world to Lurgan.
“As such we need a significant and permanent monument as well as a display of his work in the town – a suggestion team Sinn Féin will bring to the council in the coming weeks.”
He was the second son of Thomas Russell and Mary Armstrong. His father, the son of a small farmer, became an employee of Thomas Bell and Co, a prosperous firm of linen drapers.
The family relocated to Dublin when he was 11 years old.