Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do not forsake me, My Darling. (High Noon)

Indulging myself as it is the Christmas Season and knowing I've said it before but this is probably the best western ever made and and one of the best films. Shot in real time and black and white it scooped four Academy Awards including the best actor for Gary Cooper and a trailer really doesn't do it justice, or any single clip from the film. There are more than a few on youtube. The stills above go some way to capturing just what it is that makes this a great film as they are beautifully framed, but without the dialogue, I don't know? Every image was part of a much greater scene and the sum was much greater than the parts. No other film captures that lazy Sunday morning feeling where you are just waiting and here it is played out in a town that turns its back on a marshal who made it safe for them in the first place. Katy Durado almost steals it at times and some of the best lines in the film are hers. When she is on! And not forgetting the beautiful Grace Kelly.  But the image of Will Kane walking down the empty streets is a cinema classic.

"An admission paid in
As the credits begin
Will Kane walking down Hadleyville
And the train coming in"

Frank Murphy.
(From "The Hell I Will's Fine") 

With thanks to youtube and the guy for posting!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

O Holy Night - Incredible child singer 7 yrs old - plz "Share"

A song for Christmas. This girl can sing!! With thanks to youtube and Rhema.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Year That Was!

A Happy Christmas and New Year !!
Dangan Church Summerhill 

So another year draws to a close and what to make of it? Many visits to the blog to read through other sites and to see what goes out there. Got a present of Harold Bloom's "The Best Poems Of The English Language" last year or was it the year before and leafing through the pages I'm convinced that all the best poets are dead a long time now. The age of the conversation piece has arrived. A sort of looking glass world without Alice or anyone that looks that good. Sally called! Still I like poems to be short or shortish and even the old ones tended to go on a bit, the haiku being a reminder that you can take things a little too far. A contradiction in terms or an offer you couldn't refuse. Join the movement, or as Liam Clancy once remarked "Pass it around and we'll all get stoned" Austerity now! Where was I, the year? The Small Impact Writers' Group brought out a splendid calendar to end the year and not forgetting their poetry and short story competition for Valentine's Day. Boyne Berries 10 which came out in the Autumn and is the Literary Magazine of The Boyne Writers Group was a special celebratory issue and was beautifully produced. The Meath Writers' Circle has more than a few new members and we'll have to start listing the names. Issue badges! Competition wise and publishing a few things here or there and there are still a few copies of that video for those who were included and not present at the last meeting. That said time to sign off! A Happy Christmas and New Year to all!! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Book Cover

The LMFM Listeners Anthology is an eclectic mix of both short stories and poetry spread over four categories, the adult and for those who are under sixteen. Sometimes it  was difficult to tell, especially in the short story sections The winner of the under sixteens would have been a contender anywhere and in any competition and was a very harrowing tale of abuse and bullying. There is a lot of stuff in this book and it deserves more than a once through, but time as they say is short and much to read. The trouble with poetry is that you need to spend more than a few minutes with each of them and maybe one or two a week is enough. This book though would make a nice Christmas present to be read around the Christmas fire, for those who still have a fire. Published by the Universal Publishing  Group and retails at €15 Euro. 



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The War Prayer

Michael Sheils read this piece at the Armistice Day poetry reading in the Navan Library and I have to admit that I hadn't heard of it before. It was written by Mark Twain in 1904 but not published during his lifetime due to pressure from his family and friends. Sourcing from wikipedia he is said to have replied to a query as to whether it should be published, "No, I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead." Here Willie Nelson presents his own take and as they say in Ireland (No better man). Michael Sheils has other poems up from the day, just click on the link~sherriffromnavan~ over to the right. Other source is from wikipedia.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Windtalkers" War Poems (4)


Meath Writers' Circle Dec 2012
Windtalkers the 2002 film starring Nicolas Cage may or may not be an accurate portrayal of the role played by the Navajo code talkers in WW2 but it was certainly a savage reminder of the depravity of war. It featured on Channel Five last night and told the story of two Navajos who were employed by the American military to transmit messages under fire during the capture of Saipan. A film that is not for the faint hearted but worth watching in case the recruiting sergeant ever ends up on your door, the code itself though was never broken. After the marching bands and the music the whole thing is best left alone. I remember a war film (can't remember the name of it) starring Peter Falk and Robert Mitchum in which Mitchum's character is asked why do men do this and he replied because they like it! Or it was something along those lines! 


Why, but for
A few medals
And the coping stone
Of a wall surrendered
And the churchyards

And a quiet carriage
The umbrellas rolled
Drumming our fingers
In the morning

Frank Murphy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle Poetry Selection DVD.

Poetry Selection DVD.

The Meath Writers' Circle DVD is a collection of 16 tracks recorded over the year at the Castle Hotel in Trim and includes just about everyone who attended the meetings at one time or another. There are still a few copies left over from the final get together last Thursday night and if you are one of those who was recorded during the year and didn't get a copy just leave a message and I'll get back to you, or give Tommy a buzz! Alternatively see you at the next meeting! Anyway I just about made it back myself in the end (fog in channel and the lack of signposts) and in time to hear Sean read of our four legged friends! More about "Soundbites" when I've had a chance to go through it. Finally, some very good tracks on that video! 


Friday, December 2, 2011

LMFM Poetry and Short Story Awards.


Joan Wilson
Magdalena Greszta
Yanky Fachler
Mai Holton and Marie MacSweeney
The Moorlands CafĂ© in West Street Drogheda was the venue for last night's LMFM Poetry and Short Story awards. A creative writing competition that attracted more than 250 entries the MC for the occasion was Gerry Kelly of the lunch time radio slot, though ably assisted by Mona Daly who co-ordinated the event and Yanky Fachler of The Book Producers. The judging panel was chaired by May Toale and also included Tommy Murray of The Meath Writers' Circle though credited to the "others" on the back cover. The Anthology itself contains more than a few whose names would be familiar including Caroline Carey Fin, Sinead Mac Devitt, James Conway, Marie MacSweeney, Mai Holton , Patrick A Gavin and a few others whose names should be familiar. One of Tommy's students from the Library "Sarah Macshane" was a runner-up in the under 16 poetry section. Congratulations to all including myself! In the Francis Ledwidge another local writer who was highly commended was Mary Jo Gibbons and Peter Goulding came in second overall.  Dipping into the "Phizzfest" collection Peter has a poem in there as well. Now for the winners of the above!

Adult Short Stories: Joint Winners
Treading Water (Marie MacSweeney)
Scorned (Mai Holten)

Adult Poetry: Winner
Anubis ( Joan Wilson).

Under 16 Short Story: Winner.
A Day In My Life (Laura Bailey)

Under 16 Poetry: Winner.
Snow Man Spirit (Hannah Niciaragain)

Note: The Soundbites Anthology is available online or in the local shops! LMFM for details!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (4) November 2011

Sean Reilly

Sean Reilly here sings "The Harp that Once Through Tara's Hall" which is more than a little pertinent given the times we're in and for more than a few reasons. One of Tom Moore's "Melodies" I believe, I'm not too sure of the dates and the history of when it was written but Sean does a fine job on it and singing unaccompanied at that. Worth a visit over to wikipedia just to read up on the subject, and on someone who was said to be to Ireland what Robbie Burns was to Scotland. Sean has a number of other videos posted here and if you just "google" they should come up. Good listening! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Money" by Philip Larkin (poetry reading)

For those who were thinking of skimping on their Christmas presents this year a word or two of advice. Now would I take it myself? Anyway with thanks to youtube and "spokenverse" who has a great collection of poems out there for anyone who is interested, and not forgetting Philip Larkin whose poem it is. Give a listen!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (3) November 2011

Frank Murphy

This is a poem that I wrote a good while back and was included in a collection published by Trafford (2005) called "The Marginal Line". Things have got much worse since then and soon you will need a license just to go outdoors. Sacrifices to be made.... the markets, the markets! A curious mix of money and regulation! 

The Market Dictate

They tell you it's great
Down in sub-section four
On the set aside farms
Where they lock up
The poor.

Who'd forgotten to file in
Before it's too late
Now they're serving the needs
Of the market dictate.

As the credit runs out
On your permit to walk
Outside on the pavement
Nobody talks.

The neon reminders
Read out from the wall
That the Bicycle License
Collector will call.

And if you've done nothing
There's nothing to hide
So trade in your name
For the numbers inside.

Yeah! Trade in your name
For the numbers inside,
Put an x on the spot
Where democracy 

Frank Murphy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (2) November 2011

Carmel Murray

Carmel has been writing poetry for some time now and is a member of a number of social groups in the county. This is her second video to be uploaded here, the other one is a little further back and was dedicated to her parents. Give a listen!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Last Post

Sean Lynch here plays The Last Post at the Armistice Day poetry reading in Navan Library. Video courtesy of Michael Sheils and the "sheriff144" site on youtube. I was looking for a poem to accompany the above or suitable to the occasion and settled on an excerpt from Alan Seeger's "Rendezvous". Alan Seeger was an American poet who enlisted in the French Foriegn Legion in August 1914 and was killed at Belloy-En-Santerre on July the 4th 1916. His poem was said to be a favourite of JFK and Jackie would recite it from memory at his request. Info and with thanks to Wikipedia for the above. He was an uncle I believe of the famous American folk singer Pete Seeger. I came across this poem myself many years ago when reading a book on the French Foriegn legion and it tends to stay in the memory.

(Last Verse)

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with death
At midnight in some flaming town
When Spring trips north again this year
And I to my pledged word am true
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

Alan Seeger.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Armistice Day Poetry Reading 2011

Armistice Day/Navan Library

Tom French
Crowd Scene
Molly Kane
Willie G. Hodgins
Tom French of Meath County Library was MC at an event held in remembrance of those who perished  or served in the great war though a few poems or stories from other conflicts managed to get an airing as well. Set against a backdrop of  slides or photographs from the period a good number of those in attendance had more than a few  recollections of family members or friends who died or were in some way involved.  Interesting and of note was a poster advertising a concert to be held in the Temperance Hall in Kilmessan in 1916 to provide comforts for those serving who were from the locality, and I meant to take a photograph just to get my facts straight but forgot at the end. If I can remember right the admission charge was 2/6, which was a good sum in those days and I would imagine discouraged more than a few from attending. Given that the year had a certain other resonance I should have looked more carefully at the date. There were some great poems read or stories told and Michael Sheils over on sherifffromnavan has a video of Sean Lynch playing out on "The Last Post".

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Homeless Hopeless by Edel Gillick.

Edel Gillick reads her poem "Homeless~Hopeless" at the launch of The Small Impact Writers' Group calendar for 2012 at the Solstice Navan. A very powerful piece it leads off for January and is complimented by an image that is all too common these days. So with thanks to Michael Sheils who has a number of these videos posted on youtube, at sheriff144, give it a listen and buy the calendar!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Small Impact Writers' Group

2012 Calendar!

The Small Impact Writers' Group from Navan have launched a calendar for 2012 the proceeds going to the Drogheda Homeless Aid Association and a very worthy cause indeed! It can be purchased in Supervalue of Johnstown Navan and much more information and indeed photos and videos can be found over on the ~SherifffromNavan~ site, link to your right! Michael Sheils has a number of videos posted of the event and well worth a look. Councillor Joe Reilly of Navan Town Council did the honours and Paul Murphy the chairperson of the Drogheda Homeless Aid Association was on hand to thank everyone who contributed in any way. (Info from the sheriff site)  The photographs that accompany each poem are credited to John Doyle Photography and the layout and design I'm too sure of but I suspect the members themselves. Anyway very professional. August and October well paired, though I might borrow a poem from another month. Get a copy if you can!

Photo: Calendar.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Writers' Circle Meeting November 2011.

November Meeting.

A crowd of about fourteen turned out last night at the Castle Hotel in Trim for the last meeting but one before the Christmas break and I took the opportunity to record a few more videos. Though looking through them the light is not good and I'm not sure I can use them at all. Maybe rescue one or two! Tommy had a copy of The Stony Thursday Book with him which includes one of his poems (Shanloth) and Orla Fay has a poem in there as well, as does Peter Goulding. Everyone at the meeting seemed to have something new to read and Sean entertained us with a fine ballad which I hope to load at a future date. Michael Sheils brought along copies of The Small Impact Group's poetry calendar. Proceeds to the Drogheda Homeless Aid Association and I'll have a read through tonight. This was launched at the Solstice in Navan and Michael recorded many of the artists attending the event, the videos posted over on the "sherifffromnavan" site. Just click on the link. That's it folks!  

Photo: An image from Google. Angels Landing. For Christmas!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (1) November 2011

Paul Martin

Paul Martin does his existential take on the nature of things and the place of the individual in the greater scheme, and not much to be desired. Other poems posted further back include "The Buddha and Me, Solace, No Redemption Here and The Literary Assassin" and well worth the read. A member of The Meath Writers' Circle for a number of years hopefully he'll publish some of those poems in the near future. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (3) October 2011

Tommy Murray

A winner of numerous awards for his poetry and short stories Tommy Murray is a founder member of The Meath Writers' Circle and has published many books over the years. This is the latest of a series of video poems uploaded here and if you scroll back you can view some of the others and well worth the trip as they say. "Counting Stained Glass Windows" which was a selection of some of his most popular poems was published by Lapwing of Belfast in 2009 and those on local history published by "Nonsuch" are well worth adding to your collection especially if you have any connection to Meath or the surrounding area. More information on the author can be had by clicking over on The Meath Books website to your right. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Poems from Phizzfest

Poems from Phizzfest

A copy of the above arrived in the post last week and it was a welcome visitor in that it included a  fee for the use of one of my poems. A good way to start the day! The Phizzfest had its inaugural outing in 2010 and this year saw the launch of their poetry award. The booklet contains the winning and runner-up poems as well as a  generous selection of some of the entries received and many of the names here would be familiar or have been guest readers at different poetry events in the county. One to watch out for next year and hopefully it goes on to bigger and better things. Continued success! 

Winner: From The Dart/ Ann Dempsey.

Runner-up: The Watch/ Maurice Devit. 

Runner-up: Out Of The Shade/ Maureen Gallagher. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Boyne Berries 10 Autumn 2011

Boyne Berries 10

Book Cover
Picked up a copy of this in Antonia's bookshop in Trim last week and it is an impressive looking collection. Beautifully produced it includes contributions that are both local and much further afield and is a special celebratory issue that includes both pictures and images as well as the usual prose, poems and drama, if I might borrow a word or three from the back cover. On a once through the stand-outs seem to be local, though I might be influenced by the familiar and the images seem to lend a certain something. On a second read, one or two of the others were coming into contention but the favourites were still the same. Worth getting for Michael Farry's "The Hawk's Rock", Brendan Carey Kinnane's "Tomorrow", Orla Fay's "O Sonho do Mar" and Susan Connolly's "At Ellie Vaughey's Grave, Hill of Slane". The image across from this is perfect and I managed to get a photograph myself once though not as well framed. Some of the other images though could have done with their own page or smaller on the page. Can be purchased at Antonia's Trim or just click over on The Boyne Writers' Site for details. Price €12 Euro and a must!  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (2) October 2011

Michael (The Sheriff) Sheils

Michael reads a poem here called "Riverdance" which is not about the dance group that has kept us entertained for years but rather about the meeting or confluence of the rivers Boyne and Blackwater in Navan Town. Michael has a number of other videos posted here and if you click over on his website you can watch some readings from the Small Impact Writers' Group at the launch of their Calendar in aid of the homeless. He also has some videos posted on youtube and was recently interviewed for Provence Five TV in Navan.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle

Willie G. Hodgins

Willie here reads a poem that was written by Louise Scott and dedicated to himself. Louise was the winner of a number of awards a while back and published a book of poems called "The Lightkeeper and other poems". Willie has a number of videos posted here including "Changing Seasons, Me and Maths, Lucy and My Schooldays" and as well his own book of poems "Sunflower" came out about a year or so back. Google for further info! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

"The Gods of the Copybook Headings" by Rudyard Kipling (poetry reading)

This is the poem I read in Trim Library for National Poetry Day and for those who asked me here it is! It was written in 1919 by Rudyard Kipling just after the great war and before the great depression, not to mention world war two and where we've ended up now. Kipling is no longer the most politically correct of poets and few people would share the sentiments, social engineering being the order of the day, and why not you may say! But maybe best to plough the middle ground. Great poem though!

With thanks to youtube and SpokenVerse!

Friday, October 7, 2011

All Ireland Poetry Day/Trim Library 2011

All Ireland Poetry Day/Trim Library 2011

Tom French
James linnane
Jimmy Peppard
Crowd Scene
Tommy Murray
A crowd of around twenty turned out last night at Trim Library to celebrate All Ireland Poetry Day in what was an interesting mix of both the modern and poetry that we should have learned when we were going to school. Or should that be remembered! Anyway there were some great poems read and Tom French handed out copies of his, which was a good idea.  Jimmy Peppard recited some from memory including poems about fishing and the battle of the Somme, and another in commemoration of 1798 which was very good indeed. Tommy recited a couple of his own and myself not being politically correct I brought along Rudyard Kipling. Good company all round. Just too many to mention and maybe next year someone will bring out a chapbook of poems read on the night, or something like that! 

Photos: Some of those attending!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Poetry Ireland/All Ireland Poetry Day Meath 2011

All Ireland Poetry Day/Meath 2011

To celebrate the above Tommy Murray of The Meath Writers' Circle is holding a poetry reading in the Trim Town library on Thursday the 6th of October at 7pm and all are invited to attend. Favourites from the old school books are the order of the day, though if you are so inclined I'm sure something a little more recent might be entertained. Tom French of The Meath County Library will host the event and it is sure to draw a large crowd so come early! If you check over on the Poetry Ireland website you can get details of other events around the country, just click on the link opposite. See you there!  

Photo: Two members of The Meath Writers' Circle~Tommy Murray and Jimmy Peppard~at The High Nellies outside Jack Quinn's Pub at Scurlogstown Trim (Year?)  

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (9) August 2011

Eileen Kavanagh

Eileen Kavanagh is a new member of The Meath Writers' Circle and here she reads of her experience of moving to the country, or maybe it's a story. Anyway the encounters that we all take for granted or that pass for some semblance of normality beyond the confines of the Dublin postal codes get a mention here. Which reminds me, we had a bus service once. It went to Dublin in the morning and returned in the evening, until they tried it the other way around, empty. Such is life! Give Eileen a listen!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

March Into Meath/Eamon Doyle

March Into Meath/Eamon Doyle

Most of the stories about "Croppy" graves and their locations have now been lost or forgotten, but not that long ago people around the  Tara area would point to the woods and remark on that "Croppies" had been buried there. It wasn't taught in the schools but Eamon Doyle's account of the Wexford men who marched into Meath in the summer of '98 is one for the shelves. The Battle of Tara itself was done and dusted by that stage having taken place on the 26th of May, though a second engagement is mentioned in John Donohoe's book "The Killeen Castle Story" for a couple of months later, and both make for interesting reading. The last of the Wexford army  that crossed into Wicklow made an ill-fated decision at Whelp Rock that would cost them, or many of them their lives, and it is hard to see the reasoning behind it. Out in the plains of Meath and Kildare the pikemen would be cut down by cavalry or canon and any natural advantage they had would be lost.

Credited with marching more than 500 miles until their final disbandment at Ballyboughill three weeks later the logistics of the operation was in itself a feat. The line of march would take them through south Meath to Garristown before turning for Slane and Rathkenny and their defeat at Knightstown bog, returning to Ballyboughill. Once they broke up as a fighting unit they were at the mercy of their opponents and their wasn't much of that. What makes this book especially interesting is in the oral accounts handed down and the inclusion of correspondence from the state archives as well as other lists with regards to medical reports. If you are interested in the history of Meath and the last fighting division of the Wexford men in the summer of '98 then this is one for your shelves. Published by The History Press Ireland.    

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (8) August 2011

Tommy Murray

A man who surely needs no introduction Tommy Murray is the winner of numerous awards for both his poetry and short stories. Counting Stained Glass Windows was published by Lapwing of Belfast in the not too distant past and there are many others on the local history of the area that are worth getting a copy of, most notably the publications by Nonsuch. This is his fifth video to be uploaded here the others being "Ode To A Bottle Of Wine, Lottery, Stone Walls and The River". This poem was published by ~Riposte~ a few years back and the videos you can watch if you scroll a bit further back or just Google! The word on the grapevine is that he's picked up another award down south! Click on the link to Meath Books for further details!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Killeen Castle Story/John Donohoe

The Killeen Castle Story.
Killeen Castle

John Donohoe

Crowd Scene

Eoin Holmes

Eoin Holmes the cathaoirleach of Meath County Council was on hand to do the honours at the launch of John Donohoe's book The Story of Killeen on Friday night. The last "open" event to be held at the Castle before the start of the Solheim Cup it drew a large attendance and many for whom the game of golf is a good walk spoiled got to enjoy the ambiance and the openness of the surroundings for the last time. Killeen was never a walled in estate, as I think was mentioned during the speeches but it is now one that is no longer visible from the road and unless you are one of those who like to swing through with a golf club the road from Dunshaughin to Dunsany is all the poorer. 

The book though is a splendid production and touches lightly on the history of what it describes as a special place, From the coming of the Normans to the present day Killeen and its sister castle at Dunsany have been central to much of what makes up the history of Meath or indeed Ireland. Retailing at €10 Euro the book is sure to become a collector's item, and for many of those attending the Solheim Cup a souvenir of more than just a round of golf. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Daire Was Out!

"Memories of Other Days"

Daire Nelson of L.M.F.M. was out to record another four excerpts from Peggy's book which will be broadcast  next week on his mid-morning show from Monday the 19th to Friday the 23rd of September at approx 12.15pm each day. The book can now be purchased in Kilmessan, Trim, Dunshaughlin, Navan and not forgetting Dunsany, and of course from the author herself! Retailing at €10 Euro.  

Mia's Post Office
Centra Superstore.

Malachy's Post Office

The Pastoral Centre.
Tara News.
Jonesy's Fruit and Veg.

The Post Office
The Ramparts Coffee Shop
Antonia's Book Store.

Hartens Newsagent/Shopping Centre
Navan Bookshop/Kennedy Road.

Michael Maguire's...

Photo: Daire Nelson/Peggy Murphy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (7) August 2011

Mark Doyle

. Mark has been a member of The Meath Writers' Circle for a good number of years and this is his third video to be uploaded here, the others being " Low Horizons" and Forensic Housework". Well worth a listen if you scroll a bit further back or just Google for info. I recorded a good number of videos in August and still have one or two to load up, with September to come! Anyway enjoy! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Launch/Fergie's Kilmessan.

"Memories of Other Days"

John Donohoe of the Meath Chronicle did MC for the launch of  Peggy Murphy's book of memories and poems on Wednesday night before handing over to Michael Kenny for the launch. Michael is the chairman of the Dunshaughlin and District Historical Society and kept everyone entertained on the night. A man with a store of knowledge on Dunshaughlin and times past he was foremost in the setting up of the Heritage Trail and has contributed to many of the local journals and history compilations. In his role as the Resource Coordinator for the Parish Council he produced the "Jubilee Commemorative Booklet" in 2007 and as the book itself says,"he is much sough after for walks and talks about the history of the area". And still driving in his 1936 Austin 10.

The launch itself was a great success with a large turnout (80-100), tea and sandwiches for all laid on by Fergie himself and Michael Murphy finished off the speeches by thanking everyone who came and telling a few stories in the process. The Book will be in the local shops in the next few days retailing at €10 Euro. Details to follow on this page!

Photos! Michael Kenny, Michael Murphy, John Donohoe, Michele Murphy, Family, Peg Carty Tracey Carty Patricia Carty and Nora Carty, Tara Murphy and Peggy Murphy, Michael Kenny and Peggy Murphy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Daire Nelson Show:Interview!

The Mid Morning Show L.M.F.M.

Daire Nelson of L.M.F.M. was out to interview Peggy Murphy about the forthcoming launch of her book "Memories of Other Days" which takes place in Fergie's of Kilmessan tonight, and he also recorded a number of
other items or extracts which will be broadcast at a later date. The interview went out at 12.15pm today and Sinead who coordinated much of it was in touch afterwards to say a mini-disc would be in the post. Much appreciated! Most people who listen to radio probably do so on the old transistor or mains but for those away from home or the younger generation the internet is probably the medium of choice. L.M.F.M. have a very interesting webpage which is worth a look and includes everything from video to playback facilities and items of news, not forgetting live broadcasts.Check it out at

Photo: Peggy Murphy/Daire Nelson.      

Monday, September 5, 2011

Phizzfest Poetry Award!

Phizzfest Poetry Award

Phibsborough Church
The Phibsborough Comunity Arts Festival runs from the 8th to the 11th of September 2011 and the winner and runners-up for the poetry award have been notified, and no it wasn't me, though I believe one of my poems has been selected for publication (Distant Parts) in a pamphlet entitled "Poems  from Phizzest" which will be launched during the festival and this includes a small fee! Other journals take note! 

Anyway there will be a poetry reading in the Brian Boru pub, Cross Guns Bridge, Phibsborough Dublin on Saturday the 10th of September from 6.30pm to 8.00pm which will feature two groups as well as the prizewinners and the poems featured. So if you happen to find yourself in the vicinity of Phibsborough on the night the Brian Boru might just be the place to be. Check it out at

Photos; From Google Images.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Memories of Other Days/Book Launch!

Book Launch/Fergie's Kilmessan

"Memories of Other Days" is a collection of poems, stories and photographs by Peggy Murphy about her schooldays and times spent growing up around her home place on the Derrockstown road Dunshaughlin. It is a selection of memories from the thieties and forties and later times when she moved from Dunshaughlin to Kilmessan. This is the second book Peggy has had published the first being " Dunshaughlin and Other Poems"   in 2004 and one that is still selling!
"Memories of Other Days" will be launched in Fergie's of Kilmessan on Wednesday 7th of September by Michael Kenny of Dunshaughlin and everyone is invited to attend! Refreshments will be served (some). The book retails at €10 Euro on the night and copies will be signed! All are welcome. See you there!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Al Pacino Inspirational Speech - Any Given Sunday

Since I mangled part of Al's inspirational speech here it is in its entirety. So with thanks to youtube and "kjetiljo" who posted. Enjoy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Heritage Sunday/ O' Raghallaigh's Drogheda.

All Ireland Final.
Meath Versus Armagh
Starting Fifteen
Meath Panel


Armagh Team
Didn't make it up to Tara but to the O'Raghallaigh's in Drogheda for the All Ireland Minor C Championship Final between Meath and Armagh which was quite a game and as good a way to spend Heritage Sunday as any. It was a game that Meath could have or maybe should have won but life as they say is a game of inches, a second too fast or a second too slow and you don't quite make it, if I can borrow from Al in "Any Given Sunday". It was played with a passion and an intensity that had to be seen to be believed and really was a credit to both teams. For a good part of both the first and the second half Meath seemed to have the game but it just slipped away and Armagh gave them nothing for free running out to a one point win at the end 3-5 to 1-10. Kristina Troy of Meath was player of the Match. Great game! 

Photos: From top, Starting Fifteen, Left: Panel. Right: Armagh Team accepting the Trophy 

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (6) August 2011

Willie G. Hodgins

The Meath Writers' Circle held their second meeting for the month of August last night with at least one new member in attendance, bringing the number to about ten in all. Having said that at least five others put in an appearance for a short spell, though having discovered that the restaurant was closed made their excuses and left! Good looking that they were! Not forgetting that I took the opportunity to run off a few more videos though this one is from the last meeting. Willie here delves into the intricacies of such as natural progression  and the other order but you'll have to listen for yourself. A very witty poem! A number of his other videos posted further back including "Changing Seasons" and "Lucy".  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (5) August 20011

Sean Kane

A long time member of The Meath Writers' Circle Sean Kane here reads "Dear Grandad" and I should have got a few more details off him about the story. This is his second video to be uploaded here, the first being "The Old School" by Val Ledwith and if you scroll a bit further back you can give it a listen. Google search will find! Feedback always appreciated!  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ewan MacColl - Dirty Old Town

As the blurb says, the original and the best, this ballad from Ewan MacColl (Peggy Seeger) is perhaps the most popular of all the English folk songs, at least in our lifetime, though you might argue for "The Shoals of Herring". Recorded by the Dubliners for their 1968 album "Drinkin and Courtin" it became very much a standard on this side of the Irish sea. I remember hearing a busker or pub singer doing a fine rendition of it in The Black Horse in Newmarket in the late sixties and it was one of those stand out songs. Recorded by just about everyone over the years it is well worth looking up the info about it on wikipedia. Ewan MacColl was born in Salford though his parents were Scottish and he was easily one of the best folk singers and song writers of the twentieth century. So indulging myself and taking a break from making up videos have a listen! With thanks to youtube and the person who posted!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (4) August 2011

Tommy Murray

Tommy Murray is a founder member of The Meath Writers' Circle and a man who needs no introduction. A winner of numerous awards for both his poetry and short stories he has published many books over the years including "Counting Stained Glass Windows" (Lapwing/Belfast) and two beautiful books on the  local history of Meath, which are a must for the collection. "Images of Ireland/Meath" and "Meath Voices", both by Nonsuch Publishing. More information on these and other books can be found over on The Meath Books website. Just click on the link opposite! There are a number of video poems here as well if you scroll back a bit and "Ode To A Bottle Of Wine" is well worth a listen anytime!  

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (3) August 2011

Pat Bennett

"Eerie Moor", is the second poem by Pat Bennett to be uploaded here, the first being "Singin Bush" if you scroll a bit further back on the blog. This one he informs, is both a poem and a song and comes with a certain chill! Anyway it is of the same high quality as the first and well worth a listen! Hopefully there are more to come. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (2) August 2011.

Sean Reilly

Sean Reilly demonstrates what a fine singer he is here with this his own rendition of the Percy French classic "Come Back Paddy Reilly To Ballyjamesduff". A song written about a man who acted as a jarvey or coachman for Percy French before emigrating to Scotland. Much more information over on wikipedia! Sean has a number of songs posted here, if you scroll a bit further back, "The Old House" and "My Lagan Love" and a short story/essay called "Homeless No More".  A member of both The Meath Writers' Circle and the Navan Small Impact Writers Group Sean has been writing short stories for a number of years.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (1) August 2011.

Joan Leech

The Meath Writers' Circle held their monthly meeting at the Castle Hotel in Trim last night with a good number in attendance and I took the opportunity to record some more video, add to the collection! Two new faces in the crowd, though I believe they were part of the group when it used to meet in Dunshaughlin. In this one Joan Leech reads her poem "I Drove Down To The Sea" so give it a listen and see what you think! Feedback always appreciated! For those interested in Heritage Sunday in Trim (August the 28th) be at the Castle at 2pm with poems or stories ready to read. Contact Tommy Murray or Michael Farry. Links to both sites over to the right! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Feis Teamhra 2011/Heritage Sunday .

Susan McKeown and Daughter and Aidan Brennan
Heritage Sunday/Tara 2010.
A Turn at Tara 2011.

The line up for the fourth annual "Feis Teamhra: A Turn at Tara", on August the 28th makes for impressive reading with some of the best known names on the Irish and international music scene in attendance. The MC for this year's event is Paul Muldoon, and a host of stars include Susan Mckeown, Aidan Brennan, Peter Fallon, Laoise Kelly, Paul Murray and a surprise musical guest who happens to be one of Ireland's best known singer songwriters. I wonder who that can be? Info from The Meath Chronicle! Last year's event hosted some of the best known  writers and poets  in the country and provided some great entertainment on the day. Admission is free but it might be wise to come early if you want to get parking close to the Hill. Susan McKeown is a Grammy-Award winning songwriter and her album "Singing in the Dark" was released in October 2010 and you can check out some of her material over on youtube. Probably some of the others as well!  If the weather holds this could be the place to be! More info in this week's "Chronicle". 

Heritage Sunday/Trim Co. Meath

Another place where there will be poetry readings on August the 28th is Trim County Meath, Tommy Murray of the Meath Writers' Circle and Michael Farry of The Boyne Writers Group are arranging something for the day, but exact details not to hand at the moment! Will post as I get them.

Info: From The Meath Chronicle. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Glen Hansard: Raglan Road Patrick Kavanagh The Frames Swell Seasons Once...

Looking up the the ranking of favourite Irish Poems on the Irish Culture and Customs Website which was taken from a survey of Irish Times readers, I noticed that this comes in at number five with W.B. Yeats holding the number one and two spots. Of course there's nothing out there really comes close to this and there are more versions than there are stars in the sky. Luke Kelly who to the best of my knowledge recorded it first and whose version most people would identify with has almost one million hits to it on youtube. There are many others as well. It was written by Patrick Kavanagh about his then girlfriend Hilda Moriarty and first published in The Irish Press on the 3rd of October 1946. Teasing him about only writing poems of rural things he wrote this. She brought him down to Dunsany once looking for patronage and while I don't think they were successful he wrote a poem about it called "Bluebells for Love". I went for Glen Hansard singing the song, just liked the sound. So with thanks to youtube and "Stephen James Smith" for posting. Other sources Wikipedia.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ireland Is ... (response to the bailout, recession and where Ireland's g...

Colm Keegan is a poet that shows up regularly on the RTE Arts and Culture show Arena on Radio 1 and once heard you tend to remember! There are a number of his poems listed on youtube including a reading at The White House in Limerick, and though I went for the one above the others are equally as good. Give it a listen and then give the others a listen! With thanks to youtube and the person who posted.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Graveyard Shift

Nothing Changes.

Watching the program on the Magdalene Laundries and listening to Joe Duffy last week you can only wonder about it all and just when does the "News" become the news. Probably at some distance that is safely removed. This all went on up to very recent times and yet hardly merited a mention in the press, or on radio or television at the time. The norm can be a dangerous place. And yet nothing much has changed, it just shape-shifts to "virtual wards" and waiting lists and block booking appointments, and you just wonder who will write it all up at some future date and apologize to those who didn't quite make it. I wrote this poem when the Celtic Tiger was on the prowl, and before the "Clamper-Vans" moved into the Public Hospitals. Easy pickings!

The Graveyard Shift.

The remains
Moulding away.
Like a passing fancy
On some convenience.
Hadn't a prayer.
And poor enough service
In the end.
Drifting in and out.
Dying for a smoke.
Getting their fix
From some box in a corner
Plastered with exhortations
To eat more fruit
Cake while you're waiting
Hollowed eyed
Behind frosted glass
Filling in details.
Have you had an accident?
Is your visit really necessary?
Killing time!
To degrees of indifference,

Frank Murphy.

Photo: Tricolour at Scurlogstown. 


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

O' Sullivan Beare/ Great Speeches

Great Speeches.   

Listening to Aidan Dooley on the RTE Arts and Culture show last night talking about his new one man show on O' Sullivan Beare reminded me of a book I read a number of years ago, and of a conversation we were having around the camp fires during the long wait for the "off" prior to a battle I won't mention again for a while! Anyway the talk got around to Aughrim in 1691 and the number of casualties there (don't ask!), but there was another Battle of Aughrim on the 10th of January 1603 which brings me to the above. Following the defeat at Kinsale in 1601 O' Sullivan held out until New Year's Eve 1602 when he set out on an epic journey north to join Hugh O' Neill. To do so he would have to traverse most of Ireland and of the 1000 who set out on the journey with him only 35 made it into O' Rourke's Castle at Leitrim Fort. And to the speech! Written down later by his nephew Phillip who was in Spain at the time, is it word for word, who knows! Anyway caught at Aughrim with forces on both sides he addressed his followers.

O' Sullivan Beare. From "Endurance" by Dermot Sommers.

Since our desperate fortunes have left us here without means or country, wives or children to fight for, the struggle with our enemies before us now is for our bare lives;  we have nothing else that we can lose... In God's eternal name I ask you, men, will you not rather fall gloriously in battle, avenging your blood, than die like brute cattle in a cowardly fight? Our ancestors would never seek to avoid an honourable death. Let us follow in the footsteps of our sires: there is no other salvation. See around you the country is bare of woods or bog; there is no concealment; the people of these parts offer us no aid. Roads and passes are blocked, even if we had the strength to fly. Our only hope is in our own courage, and the strength of our own arms.... Remember that everywhere hitherto, enemies who attacked us were routed by the Divine Mercy. Victory is the gift of God... Fear not this worthless mob:  they are not men of such fame as we, nor used to fight as we are...

Quoting from "Endurance" the Battle of Aughrim 1603 was a stunning victory for O' Sullivan.

The above was sourced from "Endurance" by Dermot Sommers./ The O' Brien Press Dublin.
Photo: Book Cover.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

On Matters Of Jurisprudence

A Treatise Upon Discernment                                           

Wanted Judges!
Patrician types for small fringe festival.
No experience necessary as training will be given though willingness to suspend critical faculties while taking cognizance of social mores and the need to trim down accordingly a must!

Some knowledge of parlour music essential and while one might encounter the odd malign influence the opportunity to dine out should provide ample reward. Though grapes are to be avoided.

Reading material may be provided by the Board and while we would have no wish to influence any decision made please be advised that "It was only a whimsical notion" has been over subscribed and that you may wish to provide your own copy.

Reading backwards can be difficult at first but this is easily mastered and in order to enjoy the full majesty we suggest that you leave the light on!

Colloquial reference and items of or pertaining to the vernacular can be trying, but these can be alleviated by the partaking of the balm and listening to a little light music, the machinations and turnover positions on the enigma variations might provide for easy listening if I can borrow from another source but we leave this to your discretion! Weighed under and with the onerous and often unenviable task of discriminating in this regard one wonders how you will sleep at night. The party hat though is to be obligatory. In matters of jurisprudence it is best to know what side your bread is buttered on!

Finally, and while the gentle reminder that the judge's decision is final will often suffice one is cautioned that in this neck of the woods it often!

                                                                                                                                 Jay Swift

Translations available 
Beer Cans and Coffee Cups
Tee-Shirts and Knick Knacks.
Copywright on the above! 


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Bonfire Of The Quangos?

A Bonfire Of The Quangos?

Reading through The Sunday Times (I know it's Tuesday!) I came across an article by Michael Clifford on the governments plan to abolish quangos, or to be more accurate its pre-election promise to do so. And of the one hundred and forty five that were to be abolished the National Consumer Agency was to be the first to go. Except according to the article it's off to hide within the Competition Authority. So much for that! Anyway, and ahead of the posse I worked out a possible solution a little while back that might satisfy all concerned! A Eureka moment! 


Had to rummage
Around a bit.
Find the parts.
All that calculus
And the mad geometry
That couldn't be done
They said,
Rome wasn't built in a day
The smirks....

About the midnight oil,
And the loophole detectors 
Wouldn't take it
The begrudgers!

Beavering away
On how many knots
In a guideline,
Or who wants to be
A millionaire.

Just watch the crank
They said.
The little cogs,
The exhibits!

Well I'll show 'em
A museum piece.
The Quango Hammer!

Frank Murphy. 

Photo: Girls just wanna have fun! 
          Scurlogstown Haymaking Festival 2011.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Fourth Estate

The Fourth Estate                                                              

Sourcing from Wikipedia on the above, Thomas Carlyle attributed the remark to Edmund Burke who used it in a Parliamentary debate in 1787 at the opening of press reporting on the House of Commons though there is much more information as to its origin if you care to look it up. Oscar Wilde, and quoting from the same source remarked that "In the old days men had the rack now they have the Press!" and of the other three estates The Lords Spiritual says nothing, The Lords Temporal have nothing to say and The Commons has nothing to say and says it! But then Oscar would wouldn't he. Much more fun if you look it up on Wikipedia and much more accurate too. In a week when a major newspaper has "failed" the estate described by Burke as the most important of them all seems to have gone to seed! Anyway a chance to use a poem from a few years ago.

The Fourth Estate

Embedded in such legalese
As please M' Lords
A little wheeze
Could show good cause
To such respect
When body politic

That every class
Of hound or hack
Was safely muzzled
Round the back.

Or carcass nailed
In some debate
That prowled about
The Fourth Estate.

Frank Murphy.

Photo: Trim Castle/Scurlogstown Haymaking Festival.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Battle of the Books 2011

Presentation: Battle of the Books 2011

Michael Farry put in a great performance to win this year's Battle of the Books at the Castle Hotel in Trim on Sunday last. Ably assisted by Bill Comerford, James linnane, and Caroline Finn who put in a great performance herself the trophy was presented afterwards by Noel Dempsey.

Early favourites and odds on to win the event The Meath Writers ran out seconds on an afternoon hampered out to bad ground and the over reliance on a timepiece purloined off on an away leg out to the Stretford End. Coupled with the long "wait" of expectation and the low blood sugar levels, the failure to secure an inside line mitigated heavily against when the match officials lined out on the other side, but gracious to the end the Meath Writers offered the heartiest of congratulations and departed for lunch, in Dunshaughlin!

Photo: Noel Dempsey presenting Trophy to Michael Farry and other members of team.
          From left/Caroline Finn, Bill Comerford, Noel Dempsey, Michael Farry
          And James Linnane,