Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An Tobar/Poetry for Pleasure!

An Tobar/Poetry for Pleasure!

An Tobar/Google Images
Last night's meeting of the Poetry for Pleasure group was chaired by Danny Cusack and included readings of some fine poems by authors such as W.B.Yeats, Austin Clarke, Patrick Pearse, Wendel Berry, Longfellow, Arthur Symons, Matthias Claudius and one or two local poets. The theme was on nature and sowing and opened with a poem by Thomas Hardy called "The Darkling Thrush" which was written on the last day of the nineteenth century. I remember reading it many years ago in a book by Karen Armstrong (A History of God) where she remarked on, " the growing blankness where God once existed in the human consciousness" and noted that, "one of the first people to express this dry desolation - quite different from the heroic atheism of Neitzsche - was Thomas Hardy", in his poem The Darkling Thrush. Another highlight of the night was Sean Reilly's reading of Myra Lalor's poem "Do You Remember". Myra was a member of both The Meath Writers Circle and the Navan Writers and her poetry was published in several journals including Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Times and The New York Times. The theme of next month's meeting is "Easter" and the meeting is on Tuesday the 18th of April at 7.30 pm.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

St Patrick's Day Trim 2017!

The Tenants of Rathcore!

From Google Images
The theme of this year's Scurlogstown entry in the Trim parade was an event that occurred in the Spring of 1865, or on the 27th of January of that year to be exact and hopefully the date is correct, when John Dyas the local landlord evicted 13 families from their homes in the small village of Rathcore County Meath. A special constabulary force of 140 police officers removed 87 men, women and children from their homes though some were allowed back under certain conditions. Questions were raised in the Dail following the creation of the new state as to the rights of these tenants though given the evictions that are taking place today it seems we have gone full circle.

 Dyas purchased part of the estate from absentee landlord George Knox and acting on an agreement made and following the murder of his agent Thomas Reynolds in December 1864 sent the crowbar brigade in. The aftermath of the '98 Rebellion, the Act of Union, the Famine and the repeal of the corn laws would have disastrous consequence for dwellers in rural Ireland and eventually almost for England itself. A country that cannot feed itself is in peril. Meath would become what has been best described as a "Bullock Walk" where cattle were fattened up before export to England.

William Bulfin looking back from Tara in 1902 described Meath as a vast tenant less landscape from which man had absented himself and only the county towns would have had any sizable population. The 1865 Rathcore evictions are the subject of a book written by Colm Eugene Rayfus and the book should be available on amazon. Yet to read myself but will try to source a copy.

The Scurlogstown Olympiad Group are presenting a pageant in 13 scenes on the evictions at this year's Haymaking Festival (Written by John Daly)and would welcome your participation in any way. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Ledwidge 1917-2017

Ledwidge 1917-2017

Noel French, James Linnane,
Gemma Macey and Carmel Murray
Thursday night last saw an evening of music, poetry, story and song at St. Mary's Church of Ireland in Navan with MC for the night Noel French introducing a number of guests ending with an ecumenical and inter-faith service of prayer and the playing of the Last Post followed by one minutes silence and Reveille. There was also a welcome to members of ONE, chairperson of  Navan Shamrock Festival, Mayor Francis Deane and local attendees. 

(1) Sean Lynch - Last Post - Minute Silence - Reveille
(2) Welcome to members of ONE, Chairperson of Navan Shamrock Festival, Mayor Francis Deane and local attendees.
(3) John Donoghue - "Francis Ledwidge"
(4) Colm Yore - The House of Gold
(5) Gary O' Hare - The Blackbird of Slane
(6) Bob Lee - The Dead Kings
(7) Comhaltas Musicians - Two Airs/Marches
(8) Paul Murphy - Soliloquy
(9) John Doyle - Passchendaele
(10) Tony Brady - Down by a lone long river
(11) Michael Connaughton - The Maid of Rosnaree
(12) Danny Cusack - Seamús Heaney's - In Memoriam Francis Ledwidge
(13) Paddy Pryle - The Green Fields of France
(14) Bill Slattery - June followed by a short air
(15) Conclusion - Musicians and singers. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Francis Ledwidge: War Poet

Dr Lucy Collins Of UCD discusses the poetry of  War Poet Francis Ledwidge. An event remembering Ledwidge will be held tonight in St Mary's Church of Ireland in Navan at 8 pm. Organised by the Navan Shamrock Festival and The Navan Singing Circle. With thanks to youtube and Century Ireland who posted.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2017!

Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2017!

Here's one with a closing date that is approaching really fast with a deadline for submissions of Friday the 17th of March. There are two adult categories of published and unpublished and post-primary and primary categories for schoolchildren. The theme of this year's competition is, "Before the Storm" which explores how people prepare for extreme weather events caused by climate change. The judges for this year's competition are poet and former competition-winner Jane Clark, Aidan Cliffford, the former director of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board's Curriculum Development Unit, and Trócaire's Trish Groves.

You can enter by post or online and forms can be downloaded from the site. For postal entries send to: Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition, Poetry Ireland, 11 Parnell Square Dublin 1.
This competition is free to enter so if you have anything that you think might be suitable, why not! The winning poems are published in booklet form and distributed to arts festivals and community events, and through schools and poetry readings. Winners and runners up are invited to read at the lunchtime awards ceremony at the National Library of Ireland.

The prizes are interesting in that they include a two-week stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig OR a Tablet OR time in a recording studio to the value of €300, plus subscription to Poetry Ireland Review for one year OR assessment of work through Poetry Ireland's Assessment Service. Runners up get tickets to a literary festival to the value of €250, OR the subscription service or assessment above. In the schools categories the winner gets a Kindle Fire plus a visit by an author to the school with the runners up getting a book token and also a visit by an author. The winners will be notified  not later than the 8th of May 2017 with the awards ceremony in late May at the National Library of Ireland

From Google Images

* Be sure to check out all the details on the Poetry Ireland website. Link to the right!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Came across this on The Late Late Show on Friday last. Quite an impressive piece of performance poetry. With thanks to youtude and davetynan who loaded. Other clips of Emmet Kirwan from the same show. I believe it has gone viral on Facebook and it's up near two hundred thousand on youtube.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Meath Writers' Circle/March 2017!

The Meath Writers' Circle/March 2017!

About ten people turned out on what was a very rainy night for the monthly meeting of The Meath Writers' Circle with one new member in attendance though it was mostly a night of poems and short stories with some planning for the year ahead. There are a number of events coming up for March though more on that to come or already mentioned. The last five copies of our Christmas magazine were sold on the night and I think they're all gone at this stage. The total sold now must be well over three hundred and fifty though not too sure and congratulations to Eugene on that. Also other events coming up for April but more details on those events to follow.