Monday, May 20, 2019

Tubridy/Kennedy Exhibition ~ Trim!

Tubridy/Kennedy Exhibition ~ Trim County Meath!

Still with the Irish in America I can't say I was aware of the very strong local connections between Dot Tubridy and the Kennedy family but I dropped in to the Heritage Centre in Trim today to have a look at some of the items on display. Had no idea she played such a central role in the connections between the two countries and indeed the peace process in the North. Some of those bowls of shamrock made their way from very close to here to the White House. The equestrian world figured largely there too and some of the political events that unfolded over the years owed much to her endeavours. If you've got a few minuted to spare and find yourself in the south Meath area or just happen to be passing: worth a visit.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Irish in the American Civil War- Paddy's Lamentation

Because of its importance, I would say it's a ballad that should have been included in any list of "favourites". There are many versions of it out there though on a quick shuffle through I went for this one loaded by - "nicktheirishman". Must look up the history of the song! Comments both negative and positive. Mary Black sings and some interesting video. The forgotten war of the Irish. With thanks to youtube and the share button and nick who loaded.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Meath Writers' Circle/May 2019!

The Meath Writers' Circle/May 2019!

A small number turned out for last Thursday night's meeting of The Meath Writers' Circle but there were some great stories told and poems read, though not all of the stories will go to print. (True!) The material for the magazine is still coming in and we're now about somewhere over the half-ways mark, so a reminder to those who have yet to finish or are still writing, send it in please! The material itself is a broad mixture of poetry, prose, and pieces of historical interest and there are also some poems in from children so hopefully the finished product is a nice read. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Just Saying

So National Poetry Day was yesterday. A day late as they say but here goes. Came across this a while back on youtube and with over half a million hits it sure has attracted a lot of interest. Saw him on the Late Late Show with Ryan about a year back and posted one of his videos before. An Irish actor, playwright and screenwriter who tells it as it is, this one goes back to 2012 I believe. With a few exceptions he goes where most modern writers refuse to. Anyway give a listen. Other videos of his on You Tube. With thanks to "daveytan" who posted and the share button!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Ireland's Favourite Folk Songs ~ RTE!

Ireland's Favourite Folk Songs ~ RTE!

Another Sunday morning and reeling through the newsfeeds I came across a reference to a programme on RTE about the subject above and curiosity getting the better of me I had to go look-see as they say and I wonder how they arrived at their final list. Now there are only so many hours in the day and I didn't read why but I'd contend there are glaring omissions from that list. Some of those included aren't Irish at all and while you'd get hard to argue with any list that includes Eric Bogle, perhaps the greatest writer of folk songs of them all, though some would argue for Richard Thompson, I believe Eric is Scottish/Australian and I believe Robbie Burns who is Scottish has some claim to, "The Parting Glass". Now for the Omissions and the importance of them for many reasons ~ Go figure!

Where is Christy Moore's, "Viva La Quinta Brigada, They Never Came Home?"  Where is Jimmy MacCarthy's, "Bright Blue Rose, Missing You?" Where is Dominic Behan's, "Building Up and Tearing England Down?" and a number of others of his as well not to mention his brother. Where is Van Morrison's, "Coney Island?" Where is The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem's, "We Want No Irish Here?" Look at the expression on President Kennedy's face when they sang it! And that's just some of them! If you are going to do a programme on "Ireland's Favourite Folk Songs" then you'll need a longer list and another timeframe and perhaps another working guide.   

Two Hours Later: I did go back and read "How we picked the Shortlist" and  obviously there are people there with different levels of interest in different fields of interest and everything is a compromise at the end of the day anyway but the definition of favourite from the dictionary reduces down to something of what one likes most, or that is expected to win and since the qualifier here is "Ireland" then surely the prize must go to Pete St. John's "The Fields of Athenry". Game over if you'll pardon the pun. If you start dragging in other criteria I might as well add a personal favourite, Steve Earle's "Dixieland" at least it's some recognition of the hundreds of thousands of Irishmen who fought in the American Civil War. About the same number as fought in the first world war but there is not a monument or remembrance to be seen in recognition of them anywhere. (Paddy's Lamentations ~ SinĂ©ad O' Connor, Mary Black)  Be careful of your lists folks and what you define to be 'Favourite'.  

Friday, April 19, 2019

An Tobar/Poetry for Pleasure ~ April 2019!

An Tobar/Poetry for Pleasure ~ April 2019!

The theme for last Tuesday night's meeting was on the subject of dreams, as was suggested by Carol Owens and whose own contribution was very interesting indeed. Though there was a very wide interpretation with regard to the subject matter, whether conscious or otherwise. Some to wishful thinking in whatever sense and others to a little more philosophical and some on the subject matter itself. The night started off with a poem by Helen Waddell, "I Shall not go to Heaven when I Die" followed by "Country Child in Spring" by Myra Lalor. Eugene Kane read "My Dream" and Levis Kapchanga from Kenya read his own poem "Mind this Day". Eugene Field's "Dutch Lullaby" was next followed by Maureen Kerrigan reading her own piece "Fox". Willie G. Hodgins also read one on his own poems called "An Aged Man's Dream" and I myself read not one but two which could have slipped in under another heading but however! "In Some Divide" and " The Companion Set". Carol Owen's poem "A Dream" really kept to the script and a lot of depth there. An extract from "The Village Schoolmaster" by Oliver Goldsmith was next followed by "Lullaby" by Francis Ledwidge which also got a reading. Hope the notes held out! The night finished off with "Best Romance" by Willie and then out to tea and refreshments. Jim Owens was chairperson on the night.

The theme for next month is: "Schooldays". All welcome!  

Monday, April 15, 2019

Boyne Berries 25!

Boyne Berries 25!

With the rain coming down outside, a good time for a read through on what is an excellent production with some of the best known writers in Ireland here and more than a few from much further afield. It really is quite a collection and their twenty fifth in all so congratulations all round. On a once through and you read till you stop the first poem to make me pull over * was, "To my sister" by Meadhbh MacCarthy which has more than a little charm and a lovely surprise. "Still Life with Morning" by Orla Fay is one of the finest descriptive poems I've read  and would or should be a prize winner anywhere. "I never learned to stay" by Susan Millar DuMars is more than a fine piece of work and that's how the light gets in as they say. Who said that? Staying on the same theme almost, "A Butterfly's Blind Spot" comes with a little insight and certain observation and is an excellent piece though I'd question the double spacing. Original and good. As is the one that follows by Kate Dempsey, "As They Left the Moon at Taurus-Littrow". "O Sacrament Most Holy" by Anne Tannam is another charming piece and "Rose of my Heart" by Ron Whitehead is a piece of fine writing. I really enjoyed, "Mabel in St. John's Harbour" by Carolyne Van Der Meer and if I had to cherry pick it was that or the editor. Finally the last poem by Frances Browne, " Silver" required reading. More sense than I... Who said that? And one for those who can't stop! Great piece also in the Prose section, "Empty Frames" by Olivia Fitzsimons. Now the rain has eased off and I must go! To purchase a copy, link to the right: Boyne Berries. And you should and perhaps if I'd read on another day...