Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year 2015!

from Google Images
Well that was the year of the water charges or was it? If they'd given everyone an adequate allowance to begin with it would probably have passed off without too much fuss but in what can only be described as a mad attack of greed and incompetence they managed to hole the thing below the waterline and if you'll pardon the pun or whatever, it's shipping water fast A letter to the Meath Chronicle a while back said it was a mathematical certainty it would sink and hard to disagree. Listening to a bit of the Pat Kenny show this morning somebody mentioned the Merrion Square set and you could probably add to that their friends in the media. It's hard to switch on the radio or television or pick up a newspaper without tripping across them and the problem is they reflect back to the powers that be an ideal or image that is as far removed from reality as you can get. Perhaps it suits their paymasters but this time they managed to get one hundred thousand people out on the streets on a number of occasions. No mean feat. Wishful thinking is all to the good but not if you're a politician and want to get reelected. The above followed on from the medical card fiasco and the so called property or household tax and if one more of them tells me it's how they do things elsewhere... Well if you don't own what you pay for what does that make you? As the Americans say go figure it out! That aside, have a happy and prosperous New Year!! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Base Details!

Base Details!

In keeping with the previous post and the anniversary of the truce on the front lines here's a video of Sean Reilly reading of life in the trenches and life not in the trenches. Give a listen.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WW1 Christmas Day 1914

A song about the truce on the front lines on Christmas Day 1914. Written by Cormac MacConnell and sung by his brother Mickey, this while not the more popular version or the best known is the one that gets the date right and is a beautiful rendition. With thanks to Listowel Arcade who posted, the singer and songwriter and the old share button on youtube. And a Happy Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015

Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015

Ireland's largest poetry festival runs from February the 11th to the 14th and promises to be something of a stellar affair with some of the country's best known poets and writers in attendances. The programme outline is a feast of workshops, readings, book launches, prize givings, magazine presentations, anthologies etc. You name it. Of local interest are the poets Tom French whose latest collection "Midnightstown" was published in 2014~and yet to read~ and of course Peter Fallon of the Gallery Press whose own collection "Strong, My Love" was also published this year. So if you should find yourself in that neck of the woods or just fancy a little break after the Christmas, or from the humdrum of the everyday, or whatever, this might be the thing. A couple of links to check out on the above are                   

Well worth a look!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Among The Breffni Hills/Felix Halton

Among The Breffni Hills/Felix Halton

This is a beautifully produced book and contains some of the many fine poems, tributes and narratives composed by Felix in his lifetime. A native of Drumgore, County Cavan, Felix was a gifted traditional poet who recorded in rhyme both the issues and incidents of the everyday and his genuine affection and love of both people and animals shines through. Compiled by Bridie Halton the above is something of a must have for those with connections to the Cavan/Longford area. Copies sure to be had in that region and will be available in the post office in Trim in the near future, or I'm sure any member of The Meath Writers' Circle can source you one. Priced at €15 and published by . 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Navan Junior Writers' Group Christmas Readings!

Navan Junior Writers' Group Christmas Readings!

Made into the Library in Navan for the Christmas readings and prize givings by the Navan group. Facilitated by Edel Gillick, who has taken over from Tommy Murray, the junior writers entertained with stories and songs and Christmas carols and just about everyone read a poem or two. A writing competition is to be sponsored by the Meath Writers' Circle sometime in the new year and was announced by Willie Hodgins. This should take place perhaps around Easter. Sean Reilly was his usual peerless self and gave a lovely rendition of Silent Night while one the Junior Writers read the words in both German and Irish. Edel remarked upon the importance of creative space and just what happens when you allow children (or indeed anyone) a little time and encouragement. A nice lead into Christmas. 

Sean Reilly

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Songs & Poems!

"More Songs & Poems" CD.

Jimmy Peppard and Michael Sheils

Last Saturday night saw the launch of the above CD in Jack Quinn's of Scurlogstown. Recorded live at The Haymaking Festival in the Porchfields during the Summer it features a number of local poets and artists some of whom performed on the night. But it was also a night of story telling and song and Christmas Carols from Margaret and Ciara Geraghty also one from Brendan Cummins. Tales from Dunsany Castle and Swainstown House livened up the night though most of the staff who worked on these estates have long passed on. The mikes gave more than a little trouble but James Linnane came to the rescue and read a poem or two himself. A copy of the recording can be had for the princely sum of €5 and sure to be available around Trim or from any member of the committee. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Meath Writers' Circle/Christmas Party!

Christmas Party Photos/ The Meath Writers' Circle

Just some of the photos taken at the party in the Trim Castle Hotel. And a Happy Christmas to all!!

Christmas Tree.
Noel French and Willie G. Hodgins
Sean Kane and Eugene Kane
James Linnane
Claire Kane and Bridie Halton
Attracta Moore and Husband
Michael Sheils and Peggy Murphy
Tess Ryan and Husband
Paul Martin

Sean Reilly and Verona Pentony
Eugene Kane and Claire Kane

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"A day in Dublin" Poem.

"A day in Dublin" Poem.

I paid a visit to Dublin a number of years back around this time of year or just coming up to Christmas and it was really cold. Anyway down around Stephen's Green the shoppers were stepping over a man lying on the street and I gave him a few coins before some young guy tried to help him to his feet. It was in the middle of the Celtic tiger and there was enough money to solve the homeless crisis then and then some! Likewise the problems in the hospitals. A few days ago a man died on the street within fifty metres of the Dail and they're still talking trickle down....

A day in Dublin

Downstairs in Busaras
From Google Images
They fumble for change
Mad concourse.
Halogen yellow signs
Blurring the announcements.
Outside the Luas
Glides quietly by.
Urban chic.
Baltic blondes crossing
Against the lights
And the noise on
O' Connell Street,
The Spire
A blind eye.
Blending to indifference
The word on the street
Prada, Gucci and
Jimmy Choo,
The hustle,
In the record stores
They're playing Dylan
And damien O
Do you hear what I hear
Christmas Carols.
On Stephen's Green
A man lies...

On a piece of cardboard
On the coldest day.

Frank Murphy.