Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cork International Poetry Festival 2016!

Cork International Poetry Festival 2016!

If you happen to find yourself in the southern capital between February the 10th and 13th the above might be just the place. Now in its fifth year the Cork International Poetry Festival has a host of stars and readers, workshops and such and the programme outline includes everything from readings  and discussions to the prize giving in The Gregory Ó Donoghue International poetry Competition. Check it out at ,

Sunday, December 27, 2015

'Immigrant Eyes' ~ Guy Clark & Emmylou Harris; lyrics on screen. Fabulous.

Here's one for the refugees and great song from Guy Clark with backing vocals from the equally great Emmylou. Hard put to choose this from the version by "Girsa" and it you haven't seen that one look it up, but Guy Clark and Roger Murrah wrote this and there's a certain quality to his voice.... with thanks to youtube and Robert Ruhi who posted.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Poem for Christmas 2015!

Just Deserts!

A dash of venom
A drop of spice
Nine parts of those
Distilled from ice.

Washed down
With old preserves
From jars
Of hot minute

Bad type
A verse or two
Thin waffles
Pixelate your prose
Then chant!

A bottle of
Mulled wine

Then let it all
Slip down your throat
And feast on
Thespians and

Frank Murphy.

A Happy Christmas to everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Lambeg Drummer.m4v

Here's a great ballad sung by Mickey MacConnell and give a listen. His version of "Christmas 1914" written by his brother Cormac is the go to version but he would perhaps be best known for the song "Only Our Rivers Run Free". With thanks to youtube and Chordstrangler who uploaded.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Dubliner's Barney McKenna Remembered

Listening to the radio this morning I was reminded that it was the birthday of one Barney McKenna of The Dubliners. Born on the 16th of December 1939 he passed away on the 5th of April 2012. For those of you who are musically inclined, his tuning on the 19 fret tenor banjo was GDAE and duplicated fiddle and mandolin fingering and he is credited by many as being one of the most influential players in the world. He is buried in St Loman's Cemetery in Trim County Meath. Also back in November 2012 one of Meath's best known poets Tommy Murray passed away and listening to him reading "Hometown" you're reminded of just how good he was. The poem is on the blog for November of that year. Tommy is also buried in St Loman's in Trim. Men you don't meet every day. With thanks to youtube and RTE News Now who loaded.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Meath Writers' Circle/Christmas Dinner 2015!

The Meath Writers' Circle/Christmas Dinner 2015!

Noel French
Noel French of The Meath Heritage Centre and Meath County Council was the guest speaker last night at the annual Christmas outing of The Meath Writers' Circle in the Trim Castle Hotel. A night of poetry and song, storytelling, and where the food was excellent, an opportunity to welcome new members and indeed remember those who are no longer with us or couldn't make it for whatever reason. A special word of thanks or mention from the Chairman Willie Hodgins to the staff and management of the hotel who have facilitated or assisted us in any way over the years and indeed extended to everyone that the group has been in contact with in any way in the past year. Also of note was the contribution of both Eugene Kane and Máire Ní Mhórdha in the publication of the first annual magazine and of course Verona Pentony who came second in "Poem for the Ploughing", a competition that attracted over one thousand entries and included such luminaries as both Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney and indeed a few more. The New Year will hopefully see the publication of a book on the Centenary celebrations, though the date has yet to be set and interesting to see how it will all turn out. The night ended with some Christmas Carols, courtesy of Sean Reilly and Lori Dalton and in keeping with the Christmas spirit, backing vocals once or twice! On that note and to everyone out there a very Happy Christmas and New Year.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Life and Death of Tom Kettle

Another of the poets of 1916, though Thomas Kettle died at Ginchy on the Sommne. A close friend of Thomas MacDonagh and many others of the time, he was described by G.K. Chesterton as "perhaps the greatest example of that greatness of spirit which was so ill rewarded on both sides of the channel...". There is a memorial to him in Stephen's Green. Source Wikipedia and youtube and with thanks to CenturyIreland who loaded.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Meath Writers' Circle/December 2015!

The Meath Writers' Circle/December 2015!

From Google Images
Sally Gap Co. Wicklow
About ten people turned out for the last meeting of 2015 in the Trim Castle Hotel on Thursday night with most of the time given over to the Christmas Party and the book launch later in the New Year. No date yet for the launch but hopefully some time before Easter. The Christmas party is set for next Friday night (The 11th) and sure to be a great time if last year is anything to go by. The magazine is still selling and I believe there are hundreds of them out there by now. So great success there. Also we're hoping for some event next year that might raise some money for charity but have to see how that "plays out".  The night finished off with poetry and stories and a reminder to everyone to bring a small gift! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Filliocht agus Amhrain/Scurlogstown 2015!

Poetry and Songs CD/ Scurlogstown November 2015!

The above CD was recorded live at the Haymaking Festival in Trim last Summer and contains 22 tracks in all, of poetry and song and a little music as well. The production values on the CD are excellent and well worth your  while getting your hands on a copy, with the credits going to a number of people but I think Michael Durkan is the constant over the years. The launch venue was Jack Quinn's of Scurlogstown on Saturday night and almost standing room only, though it also coincided with an event that marked the resettlement of many families from the west of Ireland to counties Meath and Kildare in the past century. The CD is priced at €5 and sure to be a few still knocking about in the Trim area.   

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Scurlogstown Olympiad "Cois Tine" Night 2015!

Scurlogstown Olympiad "Cois Tine" Night 2015!

Jack Quinn's Public House in Scurlogstown was the venue last night for an event that marked the resettlement programme of many families from the West of Ireland to parts of Meath and Kildare in the years between the 1930s and the late 1970s. This was to have a major impact in terms of influence on almost every aspect of community from both cultural to sporting and social life. It was also a night  that  saw the launch of the "Filliocht agus Amhrain" a CD of poetry and song recorded live at The Haymaking Festival in 2015. More on that to come! Dessie McKay, Chairman of the Land Commission Heritage of County Meath sub-committee welcomes any material you might have that would contribute in any way with regard to info on the resettlement programme and can be contacted at 086 805 7201.

James Linnane
Michael Durkan 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Doolin Writers' Competitions!

Poetry and Short Story Prizes!

This one has a closing date of Friday the 5th of November with prizes for both poetry and short stories. The judges are Dave Lordan for the poetry prize and Anthony Glavin for the short stories. The prizes are €1000 plus the Banshee Lit Editorial will consider for publication in both cases should you be so lucky and for seconds a free pass to Doolin Writers' Weekend with two nights accommodation. Entrants must be over 18 and no poet/writer may win more than one prize. Also entries must be in English and for poetry no longer than 40 lines not including title.Must be original  work and on any theme and not previously broadcast either in print or on line. No limit to the number of poems submitted. For the short story, must be in English and between 1000-3000 words and doubled spaced. Other conditions same as above and fees €10 per poem or story & €5 thereafter. Cheque or money order: payable to Hotel Doolin and you need to download an entry form.You can also e-mail your entries in but best to check out details at: Here .

Postal entries to Doolin Short Story/Poetry Competition, Hotel Doolin, Doolin, Co. Clare.

Eight shortlisted names in each category will be announced on Doolin Writers' Facebook page at no less than 2 weeks prior to the weekend. Shortlisted authors contacted by e-mail. Poems and stories must be entered separately. Paypal options of course.

The Cliffs of Moher
From Google Images. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bulmer Hobson on 'The Volunteers'

Here's another one on the period, this time an interview with Bulmer Hobson recorded in 1963 by RTE. With thanks to youtube and centuryireland who uploaded.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Easter Rising 1916 - Fergal Keane Documentary

Continuing in the same vein, here's a good overview from Fergal Keane. With thanks to youtube and to Protestant Irish Republican who posted. Youtube is a treasure trove.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Easter 1916 | A Rebel Act: Poems That Shaped The Nation | RTÉ One

With the Centenary of the Rising fast approaching and I suspect many books on the period, I dipped into youtube for a peep at how it was viewed (or is) through the medium of poetry, prose, recollections etc, and there is an endless amount of material out there on the people involved and their interpretation of the time and very interesting too. The above is from RTE and with thanks for the share button. See if I can find a few more on the events leading up to and afterwards. The Meath Writers' Circle hope to launch a book on the period in the New Year and I see the Boyne Writers now have a call out for submissions. Sure to be many others.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Meath Writers' Circle/Magazine!

The Meath Writers' Circle/Magazine 2015!

Front Cover

The Meath Writers' Circle first annual magazine was launched last Thursday night in the Trim Castle Hotel with contributions from members both old and new. Printed on glossy paper A4 size, the magazine is a mixture of poetry and prose touching on a wide variety of subjects and with other items included such as a crossword on the poetry of W.B. Yeats. This input from Verona Pentony who designed its format. The credit and the hard work on the design of the magazine though must go to Eugene Kane who brought the project in ahead of time and to Máire Ní Mhórdha who gathered the material and files for publication. Also a special mention to Clare Kane for her assistance on this and other projects in the past. The price of the magazine is €5 and copies may still be available though I believe most of them sold out on the night. Congratulations to all involved.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Meath Writers' Circle/ November Meeting 2015!

The Meath Writers' Circle/November Meeting 2015!

About sixteen people turned out last Thursday night for the November meeting in The Trim Castle Hotel including one new member. Much was discussed including the Christmas party and also the book launch for the Centenary celebrations next year. The night also saw the introduction of the Writers Group new magazine which was down to the hard work of Eugene Kane and not forgetting Máire Ní Mhórdha who kindly offered her assistance in collating the material and getting it ready for print.   Eugene also designed both the back and front covers and with a deadline of the Christmas party managed to bring it in with more than a little time to spare. Well done to everyone there! More on that to come. The night finished with poems and stories and Sean entertained with one of his fine songs. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2015/16!

Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2015/16!

The above has a deadline of the 30th of March 2016 so plenty of time to get your submissions in, or poem ready for such. The first prize is €1000 plus publication in in the summer 2016 issue of The Caterpillar and is for a single unpublished poem written for children aged 7-11 years. The entry fee is €12 and you can read about the inaugural winner, Louise Greig, in the Irish Times. The method of payment is cheque, cash, money or postal order or you may pay by credit or debit card via PayPal. Read the rules before entering and you'll need to download an entry form from the site and if by post send your entries to:

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2015
C/O The Moth
Ardan Grange
Co. Cavan

Main Street Belturbet Co. Cavan
From Google Images.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bruce Springsteen w.Tom Morello - Ghost of Tom Joad - Madison Square Gar...

Had a version of this up before but it got taken down. The above is slightly different but still excellent. Enjoy. Posted by Zarastro 1040 on youtube. With thanks, great stuff!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

North West Words - Poetry Competition 2015!

North West Words - English Language and Irish Language adult Poetry Competition 2015!

This one has a closing date of the 27th of November 2015 so still plenty of time to get your entries in. The competition is now in its fourth year and is open to original and previously unpublished poems. The prize is €250 and a perpetual cup. This year's competition sees the introduction of a new category for best Irish Language poem which will have the same format as it's English counterpart with a prize of €250 to be awarded to the entrant who composes the best poem in Gaeilge. The entry fee is €5 and to find out more about the rules and such, best visit their website at and check out entry details. Good luck! Sponsored by Donegal Creameries!

From Google Images

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ballivor Community Library Co. Meath!

Ballivor Community Library.

Michael (The Sheriff) Sheils and James Linnane
Thursday night last saw the official opening of Ballivor Community Library in the local community centre, a project that owes much to the endeavours of a few, including James Linnane who is  pictured above. Manned by local volunteers it opens all day on Thursdays and there are other times as well when you can drop in and browse or borrow something to read. A number of local dignitaries attended including Noel French who chaired the event, Ray Butler and of course Caroline Lynch who contributed an allocation of €2,500 from her discretionary council budget. (The Meath Chronicle - Noelle Finegan) Also many well known writers attended including Jax Miller whose book "Freedom's Child" was recently published, Brid Hiney, Michael Farry, Michael Sheils, James Linnane, Willie G. Hodgins and Ronan Moore, whose book "Irishology" was launched in Navan last week by Colm Ó Rourke. The speech by Brid Hiney was impressive I thought and there were others there whose names I'm sure to have missed. Road works delayed me,but such is life! Brid Hiney and M.J. McGearty's book on the history of Ballivor Parish which was published in 2014 is a must have for anyone interested in the history of Meath. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Limerick Writers' Anthology 1916!

An Anthology of Reactions.

The Limerick Writers' Centre is seeking submissions for 1916 Today: an Anthology of Reactions  to be published in the Spring of 2016 to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising. This is material that reflects reactions to the rising and what it means for us today. The material may be historical, or of a contemporary nature and word count is limited to 1500/2000, poetry and graphics can also be submitted and is limited to three poems/graphs per submission. submission is by E-mail only and must be submitted in one attached Word document. The above info is from the Poetry Ireland website; link to the right. Find out more at: 

From Google Images.

Deadline: 31 December 2015. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Muhammad Ali recites a poem during a interview in Ireland AMAZING

Here's one I came across on youtube. Perhaps the greatest sportsman of them all, and certainly the best entertainer, though Joe Frazier would have argued the point, or George himself, who went on to other things and great wealth. As someone remarked, they were giants. With thanks to Dividehistory's channel who loaded. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Gregory Ó Donoghue International Poetry Competition!

The Gregory Ó Donoghue International Poetry Competition!

The closing date for this one is the 30th on November 2015 and with a first prize of €1000 and travel grant of €600, reading spot, meals and accommodation at the Cork International Poetry Festival, why not give it a go! The second prize is €500 with a third of €250 and ten runners-up prizes of €30 and publication in Southward. This year's judge is Patrick Cotter and the entry fee is €5 per poem or five poems for €20. Check out for further details on rules and such and good luck!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Boyne Berries 18 Autumn 2015!

Boyne Berries 18 Autumn 2015!

The eighteen issue of Boyne Berries is a collection of poems and stories from as far away as New York and California as well as those more local and well worth getting your hands on a copy. On a once through, "The one she never found" by Frank McGivney and "Salma" by Maeve Ó Sullivan make for an interesting read as does "Humility at Last" by Wiltrud Dull, though time and place I'd say! The short story, "The Playlist", is perhaps the best since "Jimmy" in the very first issue back in 2007 and worth buying for that one alone. Though there's one or two you'd like to add to that playlist, (Slipping through the backwoods quiet as a mouse") and where's LaVern Baker ~ Soul on Fire ~, for those long American roads, but it's more than just a fine story by Dawn Fuller. Didn't quite get the, "Just the two of us," at the end of "My cat, my bad , my lot" by Donal Moloney but very entertaining. To purchase a copy of this go to Here .
Or click on the links to Michael Farry or Orla Fay over to the right. Or if you happen to be in a bookshop in Trim County Meath why not!  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Respond - Human Rights Poetry Awards 2015/2016!

Respond - Human Rights Poetry Awards 2015/2016!

Here's an interesting one with a deadline of 20th November 2015. The Universal Human Rights Student Network (UHRSN) is organizing its very first human rights poetry contest and this year's theme is "Refugees and their message to Europe". The above info is on the Poetry Ireland website and you need to enter through the poetry submission form on the website: 

The poems must be in English and cannot be longer than 200 words. While everyone is permitted to participate, students, migrants and refugees are especially encouraged to enter this competition. The first prize is - €300 and a certificate, second prize is - €200 and a certificate and third prize is - €100 and a certificate. There is no entry fee but check out details from websites.  

Photo from Google Images.
Taken northern Syria near Turkish border.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Meath Writers' Circle/October Meeting 2015!

The Meath Writers' Circle/October Meeting 2015!

Killeen Castle Co. Meath
About eleven people turned out for the meeting in the Trim Castle Hotel last Thursday night with about seven  members absent or unable to make it for whatever reason. The magazine should be out by Christmas and a proof copy of the book on the centenary of 1916 should hopefully be ready by the next meeting. If you haven't submitted anything, as of yet for the magazine, better get it in ASAP. I think two pieces are what was agreed and Máire or Eugene are your contacts on that. Apart from the above, poems and stories were read and the Christmas party is probably the next item on the agenda. I forgot the camera so you'll have to do with a different castle! 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015



The last poetry broadsheet from Riposte has dropped through the letterbox (about a week ago) and sad to say it has ceased publication. Having survived for twenty years without support or financial assistance from any institution or other body it managed to feature two hundred and forty seven poets from eleven countries through one hundred and ninety issues and quite a feat. It gives an honourable mention to Joe Duffy of Liveline whose program featured a number of its poets back in 2012 but also mentions the ones that didn't and you can only wonder. Many of Ireland's best known poets contributed poems here and many had their first poems published in Riposte. It will be missed. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Poem For The Ploughing/ Results

Poem For The Ploughing/Results! 








‘Bulbs’ a poem by Tipperary born teacher, Paddy Moran, voted as the favourite poem of the farming community with ‘The Farmer’ close second by Verona Pentony, Head of Training QSHE Momentum Support Group UK & Ireland at the Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois ahead of works by both Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney. Verona is a published Poet, Reflections from the Heart and Reflections of Time. She is secretary of the Meath Writers’ Circle with an open door policy during meetings the first Thursday of each month in Trim Castle commencing 7.30 pm.
For several months’ people from all over the country had been invited to enter their favourite work of poetry about ploughing and the land into a competition organised by Kildare and Leighlin Diocese. Over a thousand entries were submitted and these were short listed before the Ploughing Championships. The six most nominated poems were placed on display at the Kildare & Leighlin Diocesan Stand where visitors were asked to vote for their favourite. Over three thousand people cast their votes over the three days of the Championships.
Bishop Denis Nulty announced the winner at 2:30 on the 24th September 2015. He said ‘I am bowled over at the response to this competition and by the amount of entries received. I am surprised that a living poet was the people’s favourite and the runner up was also a living poet, the only woman in the competition, Verona Pentony from Co Dublin whose poem, The Farmer, came a very close second.’
Verona Pentony, daughter of the late Paddy Pentony, Swords and Ballyboughal Co Dublin, a farm machinery Importer ‘P A Pentony’, A farmer, breeder of Simmental and Charlet Cattle. Her mother Betty now retired living in Applewood Swords.
The other poems short listed were Digging and The Follower by Seamus Heaney; I will go with my Father a Ploughing by Joseph Campbell and The Man after the Harrow by Patrick Kavanagh.
Verona said, “I am honoured and feel a deep gratitude for receiving such recognition. I am very thankful to the people worldwide and from all counties of Ireland especially Ballyboughal, Fingal who nominated The Farmer. ‘The Farmer was inspired through my background in Farming in Ballyboughal and Nichols Cross in Cloone Leitrim. Verona expressed thanks to Sean O Grady, The Ward, St Margaret’s, recently 85 and still passionate about farming to this day. Inspiring Verona through many conversations on farming, health & safety and politics. Sean is a man who leads by example through his faith and commitment to Marriage.


The lonely wood pigeon perched, echoes, sounds of joy – ‘the morning has risen’. The farmer stirs from a deep slumber as a beam of sunshine escapes through the curtain, reaching his furrowed, leathered, weather-beaten brow. He places one foot on the wooden floor, his lips part as the second foot completes the pair. Whispering, “Thank you;” he feels a deep gratitude for having awakened to this new day. He scratches his head in anxiety, with a hand that has worked the farm, wondering if the area aid from the EU will keep him afloat. He understands his maker has determined this day, yet the weather elements will dictate the farmer’s way.
He glimpses through the window to see what is yet to come and sights a congregation of birds on the electricity cables above - a sure sign of rain on the way!
In the kitchen, he listens for a weather update. Warming himself near the Aga cooker while making a brew. He looks to the Sacred Heart picture and the hanging family rosary beads. To understand the farmer, one must understand the traditions of the land. The land has a holden-fist on the heart of the farmer, as many farmers well know. It has caused bitterness and disputes in generations past. The farmer must feel a love for the land and a passion for what he does best. The land holds high expectations and demands dedication from him.
From the first leaves falling in autumn, to the nurturing of crops through understanding of spraying techniques. In winter, hearing the cows crave for hay, and repairing machines during the low times. Springtime brings cattle and sheep grazing pastures new; and seagulls landing on freshly ploughed fields. Grass whirling in the wind, then corn ears blowing side by side. The warm glow of the valley in summer brings the harvesting of ripe golden corn. Haymaking sees farm picnics, ready made tea in old lemonade bottles, poured into mugs and stirred by straw, with the smell too of homemade bread and curney cake. The farmer, seeing birds migrate in a ‘V’ pattern, feels an anxiety for the year-end accounts yet to come. Feathers are scattered outside the chicken coup - the fox has been and gone!
The farmer leaves the doorway in silence and walks out to the fields to assess his crop. The early morning dew dampening the ends of his trousers as he walks. A slight smile parts his lips as he listens to insects galore. He bends down and reaches with a strong, hard-skinned, glove less hand, grasping his crop and pulling from the root. He sees what he needs to know. In that moment he is complete; he is a Farmer! He turns and strokes his dog, which had been lagging behind.
He understands his fate. One day he will leave the land behind – he will be gone, but the land will remain forever!

Verona at the Ploughing Championships.
Congratulations to Verona; see press release above!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Behind The Closed Eye - Francis Ledwidge - Anúna

Here's a beautiful one though I may have posted before. With thanks to Merhlins Place who loaded and youtube.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Poem for The Ploughing!

Poem for The Ploughing!!

From Google Images

The 84th National Ploughing Championships are in Ratheniska, Stradbally Co. Laois between the dates 22nd to 24th of September and the top six poems for the "Poem for the Ploughing" have been announced and include Verona Pentony for her entry "The Farmer". I should hasten to add that she is the only female and indeed the only living poet to make the shortlist, the others being some of Ireland's better known writers so congratulations to Verona on that. The poems will be on display in the Kildare & Leighlin tent (R 26 - 444) at the Championships and visitors will have the chance to vote for their favourite. Verona will be reading her poem at 3pm on the 23rd and looks forward to saying hello. So if you're visiting or know someone who is why not drop in and giver her a vote. The peoples' choice of "Poem for the Ploughing" will be announced at 2.30pm on the final day of the championships. And the shortlist!! The top six poems are --

I Will Go With My Father A-Ploughing by Joseph Cambell
Digging by Seamus Heany
The Follower by Seamus Heaney
To the Man after the Harrow by Patrick Kavanagh
Bulbs by Patrick Moran
The Farmer by Verona Pentony.

If you scroll down the page you can listen to Verona read her poem and a video as well. Also on youtube. Best of luck Verona! Visit at Here .


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Leonard Cohen - The Partisan

There's quite a bit of history to this one and worth looking up and given the refugees pouring into Europe at the moment perhaps pertinent in some way, though, I believe it's about the French resistance in the second world war. Another good poem from Leonard! With thanks to youtube and the person who posted.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2015!

The 17th Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award!

The closing date for this one is the 5th of November so plenty of time to get your entries in. A number of local writers have featured here going back to Tommy Murray and some the Boyne Writers have picked up awards as well, including winning it outright a number of years back. The first prize is the Ledwidge plaque inscribed with the winner's name and a cash prize as well. Cash prizes and books for second and third places with merit certificates for all finalists. The certificates are always beautifully done and well worth having. The first three poems will be entered in the Forward Prize UK and in addition the winner will be invited to read at the annual Francis Ledwidge Commemoration at the National War Memorial Gardens in July 2016.

The poems must be the competitor's own work and not previously published or broadcast and must not exceed 40 lines of type with a max of six poems entered. The entry fess are €4 per poem or three for €10 and six will cost you €20. Put your name and address on a separate sheet and send your entries to:

The Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2015,
C/o 20, Emmet Crescent.
Inchicore, Dublin 8.

S.A.E. or E-mail address for winners' list, and poems will not be returned. Winners will be notified and results announced at the annual awards night. Info at 085 849 7531. Facebook page: Inchicore Ledwidge Society. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Meath Writers' Circle/September Meeting 2015!

The Meath Writers' Circle/September Meeting 2015!

The monthly meeting on last Thursday night covered a multitude of different things with some fine poems and stories read but mostly concerned the material for the magazine due out around Christmas. If you haven't sent something in then it's needed by the next meeting at the beginning of October. The material for the book on 1916 has been gathered and it's just a question of putting it all together and getting it to the printers. Many thanks to everyone who submitted a poem or an article and hopefully it all comes together in time. Should be interesting! I believe Edel Gillick of the Navan Writers Group has something planned in the near future but awaiting more details. Keep writing!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Farmer by Verona Pentony (Poem for the Ploughing)

Verona Pentony is a member of The Meath Writers' Circle and for this poem to win The Poem for the Ploughing Championship send an e-mail to

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Heritage Sunday Scurlogstown!

Scurlogstown Heritage Park

Jack Quinn's Public House
One of the many events last Sunday to mark Heritage Week was in Scurlogstown, Co. Meath where musicians, poets  and especially children gathered in the local heritage park for an enjoyable day out. The park itself is located close to Jack Quinn's famous public house, so those who were so inclined could drift across to watch the encounter between Dublin and Mayo in the All Ireland Semi Final. A game which ended in a draw and is to be replayed this Saturday. Also on last Sunday was the gathering in Tara but having to choose opted for the game instead. There seems to be no shortage of events to mark Heritage week these days and all to the good as very little of it seems to be taught in the schools anymore, but maybe I'm mistaken and will pass on that. Anyway mostly not a topic for conversation and the preserve of the few. Tara itself is still not a world heritage site and you can only wonder why. 

Willie G. Hodgins and Eugene Kane

Sunday, August 30, 2015

David Mc Williams - Days of pearly spencer ( Rare Original Footage Proba...

Here's one from the sixties and probably the best tune to come out of Ireland at that time. And damn fine poem too! Loaded by Exclusivevids1000 and with thanks to youtube. Always meant to put this one up. I read somewhere "once upon a time" that he phoned the talk-in from a public phone. But probably just a myth. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Caterpillar Short Story Prize 2015!

Inaugural Short Story Prize for Children!

The above are inviting submissions of maximum 2000 words for their short story prize for 2015. The entry fee is €12 and you can enter online or by post. This is a story written by an adult for children and the age range is 7-11. The closing date for the above is Wednesday the 30th of September and you are advised to read the rules before submitting. The prize is €1000 for the winner and you can download an entry form at here. Postal order made payable to "The Moth Magazine Ltd". Send your postal entries to---

The Caterpillar Short Prize 2015
C/O The Moth
Ardan Grange
Co. Cavan

Be sure to check out the site and rules!!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards 2015!

Saggart Heritage and Arts Centre!

The above awards are inviting submissions for their annual competitions in poetry and prose and have a cover charge of €4 per poem, or 3 poems for €10, with a max of 6 poems. €5 for prose entry made payable to Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards. Ms Maria Wallace, Award Winning Catalan/Tallagh Author and Poet will judge the competition. Winners will be notified seven days in advance and must be prepared to read their work if possible on the awards night at the Heritage Centre in Saggart Co. Dublin at the end of November 2015. 
A closing date for entries of Friday the 30th of October, so a bit of time there to get your entries in. The work should be the author's original work and not have been published or broadcast previously. Poems not to exceed 45 lines and typed in plain font Times Roman point 12 single spacing on plain white A4 sheet, without decoration or illustration. Entries may be in Irish or English and entrants name must not appear on the typescript but only on the entry form.
Send your entries to: Margaret Ennis "Teach Giuise" Boherboy, Saggart, Co. Dublin, and I would say the same address to obtain an entry form. And good luck!

Maria Wallace and Mervyn Ennis.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize 2015!

The Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize 2015!

The closing date for the above is the 31st of December 2015 and while that is a while away I'd imagine you'd need a pretty good poem to win it as the prize is sure to attract a number of entries from the four corners. Not a requirement as they say but they strongly advise you purchase of a copy of the above magazine before submitting your entries. The prize is open to anyone and is no less than €10,000 for the winner with 3 runner up prizes of €1000 and you can enter as many poems as you like, though the entry fee is €12 per poem. Shortlisted winners will be notified by the end of February 2016 and their poems published in the March 2016 issue of The Moth. You can enter online or by the postal route but check out the details on their site at Here and good luck! Plenty of time for inspiration to strike, or the muse return!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Popular Irish Poetry/Louis Bell

Popular Irish Poetry/Louis Bell

What to write about on a Sunday? The above came as a gift and I'm sure there are many fine anthologies of Irish poetry but this book  is a selection of some of the most popular. From the traditional ballads of Thomas Moore and Aubrey de Vere through no less that W.B Yeats to Seamus Heaney, just about everyone is here. One I hadn't come across before and worth a read was Austin Clarke's "Burial of an Irish President", while Louis MacNeice gets a page for "The Sunlight on the Garden" and you could argue for a great poem like "Dublin" which doesn't. Published by Gill & Macmillan, a small book and one for the car maybe and dipping into. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Saskia Trilogy!

Eden Forest!

Eden Forest is the first in a series of novels by Meath Writer, Aoife Marie Sheridan, a parallel world where everyone has magical abilities or affinities and is the story of a girl who is the only person who can save it. The above novel taking first place in "Writers Got Talent" in 2013. A writer of poetry she won first place for two of her poems and had them published when she was just nineteen. She studied accountancy and worked in that field for many years until her passion for reading returned when she discovered Maria V Synder. Not too familiar with fantasy or magical stories although in truth we're surrounded by them and there was a time when almost every fireside gathering had  more than its fair share of stories of other worlds. This trilogy I'm sure adds to that and the Meath landscape has hardly a turn in the road without a story or ghostly tale.  I remember reading some of Lord Dunsany's a while back, of another world you could almost touch. Aoife Marie Sheridan has a number of other books published including parts two and three of the above and you can find out more about them at Here , or contact her at .

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Meath Writers' Circle August Meeting 2015!

The Meath Writers' Circle August Meeting 2015!

About sixteen turned out for the above and what was a lively meeting, with one new member and a few returns! We're hoping to get a magazine out for the Christmas period so material needed for that the next meeting.
. Also a big thank you for those who brought in material for the 1916 book. "Only" a few left now to come in and it should be ready to roll but never there till it's there. Poems were read and stories were told and if you've got something you'd like to contribute to either; better get it in now guys!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Allingham Festival!

Flash Fiction/Poetry Competition!

The closing date for the above competitions is September the 15th with a flash fiction limit of 800 words and your poetry entries not to exceed 40 lines. Winners and runners up will be invited to read their work at the Festival on Saturday the the 7th of November and will be informed of the Judges' decision by October the 23rd. All details at and there is a songwriting contest as well. Visit site for further info on events. You can enter by post or online with entry fees set at €5 for one poem or story, €8 for two and increasing to €12 and €16 etc. Download an entry form and mail to:
Allingham Festival, C/O A Novel Idea, Main Street, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal

From Google Images


Sunday, August 2, 2015


Matt Leavy was in great form on Friday night in Teach Na Teamhrach in Navan for the fundraising night. This one was recorded in Nashville I believe and is an old George Gones classic. But Matt's take is as good as it gets.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ray and Colin Murtagh

Here's a snatch of Ray singing "Mustang Sally" and "Sweet Home Alabama" Catch him on Friday night in the Balreask. with thanks to youtube and guy who posted.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fundraising Party Night!/Last Hope/Paws!

Fund Raising Party Night!

If you have an hour or two to spare next Friday night why not drop into Teach Na Teamhrach in Navan for an evening of entertainment and song. It is Peggy Murphy's 86th Birthday Party and instead of pressies there is €5 charge on the door. All proceeds will go to the charities above. Some of Ireland's best known artists will be there and hopefully a number of local ones as well. There will be a raffle for a Holiday Break on the night and lots of other prizes as well. Admission includes food and all are welcome! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hannah Greally Literary Awards 2015!

Theme: Centenary in Reflection.

Submissions of poetry, prose and short stories on the theme above are invited for this year's competition. The overall winner will receive a cash prize of €200 with runners-up prizes awarded in categories that include International Poetry, Prose/Short Stories, National Prose/Short-Story, Local Winner in both Poetry and Prose/Short Stories categories, prizes for Highly Commended and National Schools. The Ger Hanily Memorial Cup will also be awarded from the entries submitted. There are rules of course and a competition entry fee of €5 per entry; €10 for three entries and cheques and postal orders made payable to SiarScéal Festival Group. Send to: SiarScéal Festival, c/o Richie Farrell, County Librarian, Roscommon County Council Library Services, Abbey Street, Roscommon. You can also enter online and for all details visit:

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday the 23rd of October 2015.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dromineer Literary Festival/Competitions!

Poetry and Flash Fiction Competitions!

From Google Images
The closing date for entries in this is August the 25th so plenty of time to get your entries in. Managed a second in it once and I believe Michael Farry was the outright winner last year. The judges for the above competitions are Thomas McCarthy for poetry and Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen (Tramp Press) for flash fiction. You can enter either by post or e-mail and the entry fee is €5 per poem and €10 per entry in the flash fiction.section. The prizes are very generous with €500 to the winner and second and third prizes of €350 and €150 respectively in both sections. Listen go off and check out the details and competition rules at Here and good luck with your entry.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Swords Heritage Week 2015!

Swords Heritage Week 2015!

Tommy and myself, Swords 2012!
Short Story Competition:
The 20th Short Story Competition is now accepting entries from individuals or members of writing groups with a story to tell. It may be fact, fiction or what ever takes your fancy. The best story will receive The Tom Ó Shea Perpetual Trophy, plus a cash prize and also there are prizes for the runners up. the winning story will be published in the annual "Swords Voices" series.

Poet of Fingal Contest:
Now in its ninth year the prize winner in this will receive The McDonagh Perpetual Trophy and cash prize and there will be cash prizes for the runners up.

Send your entries to (Two copies please) to Short Story/Poetry Competition Swords Pride of Place Committee, Carnegie Library, North Street, Swords, Co. Dublin. Phone 01 8400080 or e-mail at and not later than August the 14th 2015.

Rules: Short Story/ Poem, Must be a maximum of 1500 words. Be typed on one side of the paper only. You must submit two copies of your work. It must be your own work and should not have been published before. One entry per person (In each category) and you must be over 16 years of age. Do not write your name on story or poem. 

Entry fee: €5 to cover all entries with cheques made out to Swords Pride of Place. The winners will be announced during heritage week August 30th to September the 6th. Call above for entry details and form and good luck! 


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Navan Junior Writers/Prize Giving Awards!

Navan Junior Writers/Prize Giving Awards.

Paddy Smith
Paddy Smith of the Boyne Writers was on hand last Thursday night in the County Library and entertained all with his comments on both the entries in the short story and poetry competitions although as he hastened to add he was judge only in the former. The prizes were sponsored by The Meath Writers' Circle and selected by none other than Willie G. Hodgins and Paul Martin with Edel Gillick making the presentations. Edel has taken over the group since the death of its founder the late Tommy Murray and they meet every Saturday morning in the local library and have a writing page in the North Meath Herald. Check out for details at the desk. Winners below.

First Prize/Short Story: Abigail Irwin
Second Prize/                 Sharon Murphy

First Prize/Poetry:        Sarah McShane
Second Prize/                Niall Dineen

Most Original Story:   Ian McDonagh
Best Contribution/       Brian Bourke

Prize Winners/Navan Junior Writers Group

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Remembrance Evening/An Tobar Navan.

Remembrance Evening/An Tobar Navan.

Willie G. Hodgins, John Doyle and Edel Gillick

A remembrance evening for the Irish students who died in Berkeley California and for all those who died in the Tunisian tragedy was held in An Tobar, Ardbraccan Navan last Thursday night. Arranged by Edel Gillick and Jimmy Byrne of The Navan Writers' Group, musical entertainment was provided by a number of artists with poetry readings by members of the Junior Writers, the Navan Writers and members of The Meath Writers' Circle. Sean Reilly also sang and refreshments were served afterwards with John Doyle closing off the evening with a few songs.  

Bill Slattery, Mick Landers and John Doyle

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Meath Writers' Circle July Meeting 2015!

The Meath Writers' Circle July Meeting 2015!

About fourteen or fifteen turned out for last Thursday's meeting of The Meath Writers' Circle in the Castle Hotel Trim with poems and stories and a verse or two in song. Still trying to get the material in for the book on 1916 and the year runs on. Will it happen? Trophies are ready for the young writers' competition in Navan Library and I think that event is on at 6.30 pm next Thursday night. More on that to come. Deadline for material in next meeting in August!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Dermot Healy International Poetry Competition 2015!

The Dermot Healy International Poetry Competition 2015!

Here's an interesting one in that poems may have been previously published and there is no restriction in length. You need to download an entry form and you have options of payment by either Paypal or you can submit by postal entry. Details at Here and good luck with entry. Peter Fallon to judge.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Scurlogstown Olympiad Haymaking Photos 2015!

Scurlogstown Olympiad Hay Making Photos! 2015
Just the directions?
Trim Castle
Vintage stuff!
A scene in the small field?
A re-enactment of Pearse's oration at the graveside of Ó Donovan Rossa
Matt Leavy
Set Dancers
Some young musical talent.

James Linnane and friend?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Scurlogstown Olympiad Hay-Making Sunday 2015!

Scurlogstown Olympiad Hay-Making Sunday 2015!

Sean Kane, Michael Fahy, Verona Pentony and Eugene Kane
The Olympiad or Haymaking Festival in the Porchfields drew a large crowd on a day of competing interests in the county. The Meath Writers' Circle were out in attendance and a number of people dropped in for a chat as the day progressed. Michael Durkan was recording close by and his CD of local singers and poets should be out by August or September of this year. But it's a great place for vintage cars and tractors and sheaf tossing and just about everything else you can imagine with stalls and amusements and swinging boats and a roll in the hay if you're so inclined or diverted. I managed to catch some of the pageant on the way out and very powerful oration it was and done from memory if I recall. A re-enactment of Pearse at the graveside of Ó Donovan Rossa. Also some great singing and dancing down at the main stage with Matt Leavy there as well, further up. One of the best country and western singers in Ireland you should look him up on youtube sometime. Other musicians there as well and something for every one's interest.