Wednesday, July 30, 2014

World War One Anniversaries!

World War One Anniversaries!


The above is a memorial cross to the last war to come rolling through this neck of the woods and neglected enough it is, but the last few days and indeed the next few mark a number of anniversaries when the great nations of Europe took leave of their senses and embarked on a series of conflicts that would leave millions dead and even more injured and maimed. This county alone saw hundreds of those who enlisted counted among the war dead and most of them are now forgotten as if it never happened. Though in the past few years this might have been put to right to some degree and Noel French's "The Meath War Dead" from The History Press Ireland lists them by name. Most people though get their history from the school books or popular ballads and songs and the  poetry and prism of those poems and songs counts for a lot. The events of Easter 1916 overshadowed everything and although they were only a fraction of the number involved in the Great War, the poems of Pearse and W.B. Yeats and others, and indeed the songs from then and after are the constant that remains. Likewise in England for the war poets. A subject to get back to! 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Christopher Gray and the poet F R Higgins (1896-1941)





Christopher Gray and Michael Farry read the poem "Auction" at the old church in Laracor. With thanks to Paddy Smith of the Boyne Writers Group who recorded the piece. I would imagine if there was ever a "list" of the best poems written about places or events in County Meath, this one this one would be up there with the best. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Tara Fairy Tree!

The Tara Fairy Tree!

Fairy Tree at Tara?

Listening to the John Murray Show on RTE yesterday about the above tree on Tara I thought I'd wander up and have a look and it fairly well decorated with bits and bobs. I've been told it's not even the correct  tree but it's the one people have been directed to and just about everything's hanging on there. A clean up due at the weekend! For many people it's a wishing tree where mementos of loved ones have been tied and some are coming back to collect them but others have tied just about everything you could imagine there. Over a bit further from the site is the memorial to the 1798 rebellion and it's now impossible to read the inscription on the cross. I can remember an old photo of "Dev" standing beside it at the celebrations in 1948 and you could read it clearly then! What ever happened to the plan to make Tara a world heritage site? 
 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Martina Quinn reads "Leisure"

Martina Quinn reads "Leisure"

video

A poem for a Sunday and very good advice too. Recorded at the Old Rectory in Loman Street Trim for the Bealtaine Poetry Readings. Martina Quinn here reads a poem by William Henry Davies called "Leisure". Davies is a poet worth giving a look see and plenty of information over on wikipedia and other sources. He seems to have led a very interesting life indeed.     

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

James Linnane/ Peoples Internet Radio!

James Linnane/ Peoples Internet Radio!


James Linnane/Scurlogstown Olympiad 2013.

James Linnane of both writers groups, The Meath Writers' Circle and The Boyne Writers is now co-hosting a radio show every Saturday night on Peoples Internet Radio. 9pm to 12pm.
 www.peoplesinternetradio.com and for the past three weeks has opened with a slot on poetry featuring both Michael Farry and myself and this week's guest no less than one Kieran Furey who needs no introduction I'm sure. James has published three books himself, Never Take An Irishman Seriously Unless He's Armed which was published in New York in 1998, Gotcha in 2011 and his latest The Potless Generation which was launched recently in Trim Castle Hotel. Podcasts of the above radio shows are available if you click on the link to Bookchat Corner over to your right and very enjoyable too. Give a listen! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Feat of Clay/ Trim Swift Festival!

Trim Swift Festival/ Reading of "A Tale of a Tub"


Paddy Smith
Not a scene from Braveheart!
Willie G. Hodgins, Verona Pentony and Vera Tuite
Pat Dunne

Noel French and Michael Farry

The simultaneous reading of Jonathan Swift's "A Tale of a Tub" took place yesterday on the grounds of Trim Castle in Co. Meath where the participants stood with one foot on the soil of the county and the other foot on the soil of Kilroot in County Antrim where the good Doctor spent some time of a Sunday while awaiting his congregation. Given the day that was in it there was some confusion as to which foot should be on which but some alternated between both so as not to show any leanings in one way or the other or because their feet were tired. In what can only be described as a unique or historic occasion the reading was accomplished in perhaps four and a half minutes and the babel of voices echoing from the towers behind brought home to me how much the good Doctor has borrowed from my writings but I'll let that pass! Paddy Smith is to be credited with the idea and he travelled all the way north to obtain the soil which is now willow bound. A video of this excursion can be seen if you click on the link to Michael Farry's blog to the right! Finally congratulations are in order to Angela Finn who was the winner of the Battle of the Books Prize, to Mark Doyle for the Audience Prize and to Caroline Carey Finn who made the short list. Info also on Michael Farry's Blog! 








Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Garth Brooks/Cold Shoulder!

Garth Brooks/Cold Shoulder!




If I'm in country and western land I'm out there with Waylon and Willie and Kris and a bit of Johnny Cash and Glen Cambell and Emmy Lou maybe and not forgetting the great George Jones. But many others as well and more the song and performance than the singer at times, but I'll tell you this, Garth Brooks is one fine singer. even if the only song I like is the one mentioned above and only cover versions seem to be out there on youtube and often not very good ones. The fans though like the other songs and those fans, four hundred thousand of them have been treated very badly in the last few days. Whatever the rights and wrongs of it, it is not the fault of those who have purchased the tickets or planned their visit to Ireland around the event and preventing the concerts from going ahead in the light of this and the revenue it would have generated is madness. The simple solution would have been to allow the concerts and sort the differences out afterwards. But I suppose we don't do simple solutions and it reminds me of one of those Carry On films from the sixties where the shop steward would drop something on his big toe and bring everyone out on strike. It's a debacle in a long list of ones that would give it a run for its money, the medical cards, the driving licence, the water meters, the household tax, the health service and my head won't work anymore. I'm off to drag up an episode of "Yes Minister", the one with Toby and the regulation of the sausage. But maybe the mind's playing tricks! Would somebody just make a few phone calls and the concerts will go ahead. And no I don't have a ticket and wasn't going anyway but people would have got great enjoyment out of it and to spoil that... what can you say?