Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"A Christmas Childhood" by Patrick Kavanagh; "The Wexford Carol" (HD)

Kavanagh's great poem, "A Christmas Childhood" is read here by Brian O' Donovan of WGBH and recorded at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston Massachusetts on December the 10th 2010. The "Wexford Carol" is sung by Christy O' Leary. With thanks to youtube and "Celtic Sojourn" who loaded.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Poem for Christmas!

A Poem for Christmas!

A Day in Dublin

(From Google Images/The
Downstairs in Busaras
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
The hustle,
In the record store
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

I wrote that poem maybe ten years ago, can't remember but it was in the middle of the Celtic Tiger sometime and people were just stepping over or around the man. Homelessness where people are forced to sleep on the streets was not acceptable then and it is not acceptable now. The right to housing needs to be written into our Constitution.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Home Sweet Home - Ending Homelessness in Ireland

Interesting to see how this one goes. There are houses boarded up all over the country and left that way until the grass grows in the door. Many of them could have or should have been occupied the day the previous tenants moved out, but for whatever reason the shutters go up. Indeed in some cases they are "restored"  to something of their former glory, a state of repairs the previous tenants found unacceptable and spent no small amount bringing them to more comfortable surrounds. But then out goes the grass, the doors and the floors and anything that passes for indulgence and anyway that's best left to the next world. Which is where I'm sure some of the authoritarians wish they'd bugger off to anyway. Though to be fair some of the properties are left in a woe full condition. That said it is simply not acceptable to have "Tent Cities" in one of the richest countries in the world and if it comes to that it is not acceptable to have the health service we have either. Either of them could be solved by the stroke of a pen, but then the markets the markets, which is what they were shouting about in '47. I heard it on the news today that the Apollo building is not suitable for accommodation and not safe but I'd say it's a damn sight safer than sleeping on the street and a damn sight warmer too. Or should that be "site". I leave it to you. Have a Happy Christmas. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Navan Junior Writers/Christmas 2016!

Navan Junior Writers/ Christmas 2016!

 Peggy Murphy
(Reading some Christmas poems)
Congratulations to Edel Gillick and all the junior writers who held their Christmas get together this morning in Navan Library. Edel has been a mentor and adviser to the group since taking over from the late Tommy Murray and the confidence and maturity of those who read made for an interesting hour or so. John Doyle was there with his guitar to bring a little magic to the occasion and it ended with "Jingle Bells" and good wishes from Edel and everyone there followed by tea and coffee and snacks and safe home!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bob Dylan's Every grain of sand (Emmylou Harris' cover)

I've been meaning to put up a version of this one for a while and the trouble is just about everyone has recorded it, so difficult choice! Settle for Emmy Lou. Nice to see they gave him the Nobel Prize and should have given it to Leonard as well and Paul Simon is still out there somewhere. Must look up "A Hard Rain", weather's getting strange. With thanks to youtube and "M" for loading.   

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Meath Writers' Circle Christmas Party 2016!

The Meath Writers Circle Christmas Party 2016/Photos!

The Christmas Tree Lights
Cllr Noel French, Seanan and Kathleen Miggin
Verona Pentony and Peggy Murphy
 Patrick Nolan, Sean Kane, Eugene Kane, Claire Kane and Bride Halton
Paul Martin, Willie G. Hodgins, Gabriel McDonnell and Carmel Murray
Tom Moore, Attracta Moore and Vera Tuite
Some photos from our Christmas Party in The Trim Castle Hotel last night.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Leaving Galway and Rainy Day Recordings!

"Leaving Galway" and "Rainy Day Recordings"

Last Saturday night in Jack Quinn's of Scurlogstown Trim saw the launch of James Linnane's, "Leaving Galway" and also the launch of his CD recordings made in the Porchfields during the Haymaking Festival. The first a collection of short stories on his life and adventures and the second a collection of poetry, prose and songs. Previous CDs cover the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. A link to James's blog, "Bookchat Corner" to the right for more info on both. "Leaving Galway" is available on Amazon and Ebay and the CD from any member of The Scurlogstown Olympiad Group, or if not they should be able to source you a copy. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Meath Writers' Circle/ December Meeting 2016!

The Meath Writers' Circle/December Meeting 2016!

The theme for the night was Christmas poems and stories and about eleven members turned out on what was one of the most wintry nights of the year. Driving conditions near to impossible in what you could only describe as pea souper fog! One of the best contributions though was a song on homelessness called, "Where are you now" about a young girl sleeping in a doorway and it amazes me looking back on the history of evictions and such that our government would tolerate such a thing, but the more it changes....  The song was an original piece. Other business on the night was given over to magazine sales, which I believe are now around the three hundred mark and still selling. The Christmas Party is on this Friday coming  and hopefully the weather holds out. Bring a poem or two or story or something musical or just yourself. Start time is 8 pm.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

North West Words Poetry Competition 2016!

North West Words Poetry Competition 2016!

This one from the Poetry Ireland website (link to the right) and something to focus the mind on coming up to Christmas. The closing date is December the 31st and the prize is open to anyone over the age of 18. Entries must not have been previously published, self published, broadcast, and/or won any competition. The maximum number of poems you can enter is three and postal entries should be sent to: North West Words Poetry Prize 2016, Upper Corkey, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Send your poems along with a cover letter with name, address and phone number and /or e-mail address, and title (s) of each poem submitted. Do not put your name or personal contact details on the poems. The competition fee of €5 per entry (up to three poems) goes towards the admin fees of the competition. Payment may be made by Cheque, Postal Order, Money Order or via PayPal on the website:

The judge for this year's competition is Kate Newman from Summer Palace Press. All decisions of the judge are final and a shortlist will be published on North West Words' Facebook page and at the North West Words' January event in Florence Food Company. The winner will be announced and the prize awarded at North West Words Event in Florence Food Company, Letterkenny, on Thursday the 23rd of February 2017, with the winning poet notified on the 16th of the month. Check for further details on the Poetry Ireland website competitions' page and also check out the website above and good luck.

Online entries should be attached in one document  and copied into the body of the e-mail and sent to: 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Withnail and I - Camberwell Carrot

It seems the sixties are still coming to an end. It's amazing to read some of the newspaper reports on the death of Fidel and although the Cuban revolution was a little before that and to put it in some sort of context and giving what surrounded them and came after, it was perhaps a better place to spend the next few decades than a few others I'd care to mention. Especially if you were sick and ailing. The fourth estate has now wandered off somewhere into the fifth and balanced reporting we do not have. There are no perfect societies and all have their failings, it just depends on where you measure them from. The high moral ground is neither left or right of anything you'll read this Sunday. I remember once meeting a Polish guy who made it safely through the "war" and in the end, he said the only thing you could do was laugh at it. In the above Danny talks politics. Enjoy. With thanks to sugarplumfairiie who loaded and youtube.

"They're selling hippie wigs in Woolworth's man. The greatest decade in the history of mankind is over and as presuming Ed here has so consistently pointed out, we have failed to paint it black".
                                                                                                                              Withnail and I.

Monday, November 21, 2016

√♥ So Long Marianne √ Leonard Cohen

I know I put this one up before but this is a great take on the song. With thanks to Dimitris Tsaganos Channel and youtube.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The 2017 Gregory O' Donoghue International Poetry Competition!

The 2017 Gregory O' Donoghue International Poetry Competition!

The deadline for this one is fast approaching (30th November 2016) but still times to get your poems in. The first prize is a generous €1000 with a week's residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre and publication in  the Southward Literary Journal. The Munster Literature Centre will cover travel for the winner up to €600 and provide hotel accommodation and meals for four days during the Cork Spring Poetry Festival. Second prize is also a generous €500 with a third of €300 and ten runners-up who will have their poems published in Southward and receive a standard fee of €30. Check out for full details at : Here!
Also Poetry Ireland link to the right. And good luck! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Photos/Magazine Launch! 2016!

The Meath Writers' Circle 2nd Annual Magazine Launch/Jack Quinn's Scurlogstown/Friday 11th of November 2016.

John Donohue of The Meath Chronicle who launched the magazine.  Also Willie G. Hodgins and Michael Fahy

Michael Farry/The Boyne Writers
Some of those in the picture are, Michael Fahy, Peter Fahy, Betty Hodgins, Iris Douglas, Sean Reilly, Máire Ní Mhórdha and Willie G. Hodgins 
Some of those in picture include Louise Scott and Husband, Eugene Kane and Clair Kane, Bridie Halton, Paul Martin, James Lalor and James Linnane

 A big thank you to all those who turned out for the launch of The Meath Writers' Circle 2nd Annual Magazine in Jack Quinn's of Scurlogstown on what was a very wet night indeed, also to John Donohue of The Meath Chronicle who did the honours on the night.  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Meath's War 1914-1918!

Meath's War 1914-1918!

Tom French and Seamus Smith
An event to mark Armistice Day was held in Navan Library yesterday with poetry, songs and prose of the first world war. Organised by Tom French and others it included an act of remembrance by Ernest McBride and stories and poems from those whose relatives had fought in it or were later in the 1939-45 conflict. One interesting account was the bombing of Duleek and Julianstown around the New Year in 1941 with five bombs dropped in Duleek near the Railway Station and three in Julianstown. Also stories were told of veterans who returned to Navan that would make for good reading. A talk was given by Ethna Cantwell of The Navan & District Historical Society and copies of A. J. Horneck's Roll of Honour which lists the names, regiments and particulars of  men from County Meath who enlisted to date of publication; were freely available to everyone. The copies also included introductory notes and other statistics. Seán Lynch played the Last Post & Reveille.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Leonard Cohen - Anthem

Sad to hear of the passing of Leonard Cohen, one of the great singer songwriters and poets from the sixties. Should have given him the Nobel Prize for Literature a long time ago. Enough said. With thanks to youtube and difference 1's channel who posted.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Magazine Launch/ The Meath Writers' Circle 2016!

Magazine Launch/ The Meath Writers' Circle 2016!

Well that's it folks, hope to see you all there!! 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Meath Writers' Circle/November Meeting 2016!

Meeting and Book Launch!

The Meath Writers' Circle/2nd Annual Magazine 2016
(Jack Quinn's Scurlogstown Trim)

About fourteen people turned out for the November meeting of The Meath Writers' Circle with most of our time given over to last minute arrangements for the upcoming launch of our magazine in Jack Quinn's of Scurlogstown on Friday the 11th. The launch time is approximately 8pm and it will retail at about €5, so great value! We're hoping to have some finger food and snacks as well, with the usual mix of music, poetry and song and not forgetting the storytellers of course. All are welcome to attend and the microphone will be open to anyone who wants to recite a verse or two of poetry or song. Hoping to see you there.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Book Launch/"Leaving Galway".

Book Launch/"Leaving Galway by James Linnane"

James Linnane will launch his first book of short stories in Jack Quinn's of Scurlogstown on Saturday the 3rd of December at 8pm. James is a member of both the Boyne Writers and The Meath Writers' Circle and this is his fourth book to date. His own blog, "Bookchat Corner" link to the right, has further information on this and it should be an interesting night with plenty of music, poetry and song, and an open mic for anyone who wants to get up and recite a verse or two. His other publications are, "Never Take An Irishman Seriously Unless He's Armed, The Life And Times Of A 'Gotcha', and The Potless Generation". The short stories chronicle a life that takes him from Galway to the building sites of Dublin, through bar work, a childhood growing up in County Meath and later times in New York or Boston or the west coast of America and much more. Available over on Amazon or Ebay but Jack Quinn's on the 3rd is the place to be.   

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Volunteer of the Year/ Scurlogstown Olympiad 2016!

Volunteer of the Year/ Scurlogstown Olympiad 2016!

Joe Conlon / Noel Fitzsimmons
A night of music, poetry and song was held in Jack Quinn's of Scurlogstown last night to honour Noel Fitzsimmons who picked up the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Trim Municipal District Awards, which were held on Thursday the 6th of October last in the Johnstown House Hotel Enfield, County Meath. Joe Conlon presented him with a plaque in recognition of his contribution to the Scurlogstown Olympiad group. Another prize winner there on the night was James Linnane of Ballivor who is launching his collection of short stories, "Leaving Galway" in Jack Quinn's on Saturday the 3rd of December but more on that to follow. Our own magazine will be launched there on Friday the 11th of November and hope to have further details on that shortly. Two of the highlights on the night though were the talks given by Cynthia Simonet and Dr. Noel Clancy on the history of the locality, in particular the coming of the Normans and the battle of Dungan's Hill, which Dr. Clancy covered in great detail. Although I suspect little is known of the event at least one of descriptive term on some of those who took part in the battle has come down to the present day, though whether it's complementary or not I don't know.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Strokestown International Poetry Competition 2017!

Strokestown International Poetry Competition 2017!

From Google Images

The Strokestown Poetry Competition for 2017 has a closing date of December the 2nd and a number of different categories of entry. The fee is €5 per entry for each poem and you may submit an unlimited number in any of the categories of your choice. For every five poems entered, a bonus poem may be entered free. Payment to be made in Euros and personal cheques, postal orders, bank drafts and international money orders are acceptable. No more than one poem from any entrant will appear on the shortlist. The judges' shortlist will appear at the end of February in 2017 and all entries will be read by the judges. Short-listed poets will receive a generous reading fee and the prize-winners for each category will be announced and awarded during the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, Strokestown County Roscommon, Ireland  which runs from the 27th to the 30th of April 2017. Competitors may also enter online and best to check out the full details at: . And good luck!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Centenary In Reflection/SiarScéal Anthology 2016!

Centenary In Reflection/SiarScéal Anthology 2016!

Many of the contributions here have something of a personal feel to them whether it is in remembrance of times past or of the events that shaped us as a nation and perhaps it is that absence of comment that was noted in our own anthology on the part played by women throughout the Rising, or afterwards, that is more than redressed here, that lends something towards that. The new state though was not kind to women. The "Letter of Comfort" by Mary Higgins towards the end of the book and other pieces tell their own story. There are contributions here as well from participating Rocommon schools both Secondary and National that draw something from the Hanna Greally experience and noted now in relation to where she was incarcerated, it is a story that just won't go away. Some of Ireland's best known poets and writers are included here as well and maybe George Walker's poem, "Reflections in a Glass Darkly" on the centenary of Einstein's General Theory of Relatively says it all. The Book is published by The Manuscript Press.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Joan Baez - Diamonds and Rust (With Lyrics)

So Bob wins the Nobel Prize for Literature and those early protest songs... he wasn't afraid. And then he went off and did something different. Now who says poets don't make a difference? Nice one. This is a tribute from Joan Baez. With thanks to Dave Bing who posted and youtube.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Centenary In Reflection/SiarScéal Anthology!

Centenary In Reflection/SiarScéal Anthology

Kieran Furey. Poet
Victor Feldman, Actor, Director and Play-right

Carmel Kelly Palmer (Centre) and family

A few photos from the launch of "Centenary in Reflection" an anthology  inspired by events from the past hundred years through two world wars, emigration, 1916, and much more. The anthology includes contributions from writers and students both local and international and was launched in Roscommon County Library on Saturday last. Check out the link below for loads of info!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Boyne Berries 20/Launch!

Boyne Berries 20/Launch!

Ken Davis the former editor of The Meath Chronicle launched the above on Thursday the 29th of September in the Castle Arch in Trim and on a once through there's some very interesting material here. Sinéad Mac Devitt in her poem, "Colooney Street, 1904" remembers the boycott of the Jewish community in Limerick and reflects on the change of name and perhaps the irony of that, though I'll have to read up some I think. There is also a fine "Road Poem" here from P.D. Lyons, "Full Moon Not Since Ohio" and there's been one or two of them in former issues if I remember correctly. By some coincidence I was reading Brian Kirk's, "In My Day" while Sandy Dennis was playing on the radio, "Who Knows Where The Time Goes", and there's a  fine poem here by a Carl Boon who lives and works in Turkey called, "Thames". Have to be added to those river poems I guess. In the prose section, "The Stolen Child" by Stephen Wade reflects on what was held in some truth by country folk not so very long ago and perhaps still is and he reminds us that "anything is possible" - in every sense. And that's just some of what's between the pages. The magazine also includes contributions from The Boyne Writers and the meticulous attention to craft and detail is there as usual. The art work on the cover is by Rory O' Sullivan. To purchase a copy link to the right: Boyne Berries.     

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Meath Writers' Circle/ Meeting October 2016

The Meath Writers' Circle/ Meeting October 2016!

Poster from Dunshaughlin Harvest Festival
About eleven members turned out last Thursday evening for the October meeting and planning for our Christmas party and the launch of our second annual magazine was the order of the day, though we read some poems and short stories as well. The magazine should be ready by early November though the launch date is yet to be confirmed. Should be an interesting night as there is some great variety in there. Hopefully all goes well. All are requested to be there if possible on the first Thursday of November to finalize details and any other business as they say.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Boyne Berries 20 Launch/Photos!

Boyne Berries 20 Launch/Photos!

Anne Crinnion and Ken Davis
Orla Fay and P.D. Lyons
Stephen Wade and James Linnane
Michael Farry and Siobhan Daffy

Some photos taken at the launch of the Boyne Berries literary magazine. Hope I got the names right. Will have a read through and get back to later.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Dunshaughlin Harvest Festival 2016!

Dunshaughlin and District Historical Society.
Sunday 25th September.

Frank Murphy and Sean Boylan

As part of the Harvest Festival there were any number of interesting talks and exhibitions in the Pastoral Centre including presentations by guest speakers Noel French and Sean Boylan, who talked of his grandfather's involvement in the 1916 Rising and after-wards. Padraig Pearse appointed him as O/C for the Meath area and he later became one of Michael Collins most important associates. He was the Brigade Commanding Officer of The Meath Brigade, IRA in 1920 and he later became Commandant General. There were many interesting stories told and and some of them relating to the present day but it was only by accident I happened along. Sean above was the "Meath County Football Manager" in the glory days when you could walk around a corner in some distant place to be met by a tee-shirt that said "Meath are Magic".  There were copies of Noel French's book on 1916 for those who were early enough but that wasn't me so I'll have to pick up a copy next time I'm in Trim. Also of interest was a map of the Village back then and the backdrop of Jo Stanley's involvement in the Rising. The girl doing the presentation was very good indeed. An exhibition of 1916 memorabilia and crafts was in the Main Hall and David Murnane talked of his grandfather and of his father  who was Dr Murnane and who had a dispensary at Belper. In the Coffee Dock there were Teas and "war" fare such as Trench Cake which was sent to Irish soldiers in the trenches during WW1. Anything I tried tasted fine! Other speakers included Tola Collier on The Battle of Ashbourne and Cecily Murray on The Gaelic League in Meath and that was just a small part of The Harvest Festival in Dunshaughlin which is huge. Finally congratulations to Linda Reid of Kilmessan who was the Dunshaughlin  Harvest Queen 2016.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

National Ploughing Championships 2016!

Poetry Readings.

Anna May McHugh, Verona Pentony and Maura Allen

Verona Pentony who was invited to read at this year's National Ploughing Championships holding copies of her recent publications, "Reflections of Time and Reflections from the Heart" with Anna May McHugh of the NPA and Maura Allen, President of Offaly ICA. Verona was secretary of The Meath Writers' Circle for a number of years and can be contacted at her website if you wish to purchase a copy of her poetry.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"Leaving Galway" James Linnane.

"Leaving Galway" James Linnane.

This is the fourth book to date by James Linnane and his first book of short stories. Other books were titled, "Never take an Irishman seriously unless he's armed, The Life and Times of a Gotcha, and The Potless Generation" which was a book of poetry. What they all have in common is their irreverence and humour and often downright honesty whatever the situation and he will take you to places often you'd rather not go. And sometimes places you wish you could. No account of life in Dublin of the eighties would be complete without some reference to McDaids and he was there when anyone who was just about anyone graced its doors. His stories of Boston or New York or of growing up in Meath or Galway make for easy reading and his writing of the West Coast around San Diego is as good as it gets. The Book retails at €14 or $ 19.95 over on Amazon and there is an eBook version as well. Also available on eBay. The link to his website "Bookchat Corner" is over to the right if you wish to purchase a signed copy. James lives in Ballivor County Meath with his wife Karen and daughters Amber and Stephanie.    

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Here's one from RTE which was broadcast on Thursday the 15th of September and is still available over on the Player. It tells the story of  English artist Neal MacGregor who lived alone on a remote Irish island and died when he was only 44 in what was really only a small croft or a stone shed, where he lived without water, electricity or heating. It's from the Irish filmmaker Neasa Ní Chianáin and had its international premier in the Semaine de la Critique Competition at the 67th Locano Film Festival in August 2014. Info from both RTE and youtube.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Poetry Reading/National Ploughing Championships!

Poetry Reading/Verona Pentony!

Verona Pentony

Verona, whose poem, "The Farmer" came second in last year's competition at the National Ploughing Championship has been invited by Maura Allen, ICA Offaly President to recite some of her favourite poems  including, "The Farmer" and "A Single Black Cross" which was written in memory of Michael Mallin (1916) and was published in a recent anthology by The Meath Writers' Circle, "Centenary in Poetry and Prose", on Stand 278 from 12.30 pm -1 pm on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of September.

Anna May McHugh, National Ploughing Championship, was delighted with Verona's news and remembered with gratitude the support received from Bishop Denis Nulty, Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin who spearheaded the Poetry competition last year. She recommended Verona should include, "Leaving Boleybreen 1940"  which reflects on, or highlights the plight of those who swapped their holdings in the west of Ireland for Land Commission farms in Meath, also her poem, "Oh Mother Dear" due to current concerns of suicide in rural areas and how important a role we all have to promote awareness. Verona has published a number of books and has participated in many literary festivals throughout Ireland. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The National Poetry Competition!

The National Poetry Competition!

From Google Images

The closing date for this one is the 31st of October 2016 and the entry fees are £6.50 for your first poem and £3.50 thereafter. This is one of the world's biggest competitions of its kind and you can enter either online or by post. Details are on their website so check out to make sure that your poems are eligible. Information also available on the Poetry Ireland website competitions page. Link to the right.

Details Here! And the prizes are excellent, £5000 for first £2000 for second and £1000 for third and there are seven commendations of £200. Go for it and good luck!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Boyne Berries/Literary Magazine!

Boyne Berries Literary Magazine, Issue 20/September 2016!

Kites by the Abbey, Rory O' Sullivan
Front Cover
The Boyne Writers invite you to the launch of their literary magazine, Boyne Berries (Issue 20) at The Castle Arch Hotel, Trim on Thursday the 29th of September at 8 pm. Sure to be an interesting and entertaining evening. Boyne Berries have more than established itself on the literary scene and attract submissions from all over the world. Orla Fay now edits and links to her blogsite and to Boyne Berries are over to the right. They also have a Facebook page.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award 2016!

18th Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award!

Francis Ledwidge
The 1st prize in this competition is the Ledwidge plaque (a keepsake) inscribed with the winner's name plus a cash prize. There are also cash prizes and books for the second and third places with merit certificates for finalists. The first three poems will be entered in the Forward Prize UK. In addition the winner will be invited to read at the annual Francis Ledwidge Commemoration at the National War Memorial Gardens in July 2017.

Poems must be the competitors own work and not previously published or broadcast and not exceed 40 lines. The entry fees are €4 per poem or three for €10 with a maximum of six poems (€20) payable to the Inchicore Ledwidge Society.

Name and address and telephone number on a separate sheet. Stamped addressed envelope or e-mail address for winners list. Poems will not be returned. All entries must be submitted before the 5th of November 2016 to: The Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2016, C/O 20, Emmet Crescent, Inchicore, Dublin 8. 

Winners will be notified and results will be announced at our annual awards night. Enquiries to 085 849 7531. Also check out Facebook page: Inchicore Ledwidge Society. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Meath Writers' Circle/ September 1916!

The Meath Writers' Circle/ September 1916

The Meath Writers' Circle
About 14 people turned out for the September meeting of the Writers' Circle and with a theme following on from the talk in Ballivor on the subject of trees it proved to be an interesting hour or so. I never knew there were so many poems (or prose) on our leafy friends and though the option of writing something on the nature of sport was there for anyone who wished to avail of it, nobody did. The "final" closing date for the Christmas magazine is September the 10th so everything has to be in by then or that's it. To myself or Máire Ni Mhórdha. The theme is culture/heritage, people or place, particularly in relation to County Meath though it's not a hard or fast rule and if you have an interesting piece on some other aspect of the same why not send it in. The theme for next month's meeting is "change" in whatever way you want to interpret it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Scurlogstown/Heritage Sunday 2016!

Scurlogstown/Heritage Sunday 2016!

Tossie Harrington, Willie G. Hodgins and Pat Farrelly

Heritage Sunday in Scurlogstown was an event that marked the centenary of 1916 Rising with readings by Pat Farrelly on the setting up of the Scurlogstown Olympiad in 1969 and its development over the years, also mentioning the importance of culture and heritage and items of local history. The connection between the Tailteann Games at Teltown and how Greek merchants who came to trade in Meath brought the idea back with them was also noted and it would seem that the sporting excellence we witnessed only a few weeks ago owes much to a small Townland between Navan and Kells. Jimmy Peppard read the Proclamation and his sister Cynthia gave a very interesting talk on the meeting between Dermot Mac Murrogh and Dervorgilla (O') Rourke. The rest as they say is history. There were other readings as well and music and games. The beautiful vintage Peugeot belongs to Tossie Harrington. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Trees of Ballivor!

The Trees of Ballivor!

Noel French and Kieran Cummins
Made it down to Ballivor for an event that was part of National Heritage Week and organised or co-ordinated by Noel French and other members of the Ballivor Community Centre. The speaker was Kieran Cummins on the subject of trees and especially those that are native to the parish or the surrounding environs. Kieran is also a musician and photographer of note and his website has some interesting material if you click on the link below. The talk was followed by poetry readings from The Meath Writers' Circle on  the subject of trees and of course the conversation that followed and the tea and the hospitality was superb. With thanks to all there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Westport Arts Festival/Poetry Competition 2016!

Westport Arts Festival/Poetry Festival 2016!

This one has a closing date that is very close, (September the 2nd) and no categories or themes. Came across it on the Poetry Ireland website competitions page and you can also check out full details of it on the Westport Arts Festival Facebook page. Entries online or by post but check out the details before sending. The first prize is €1000 with second and third prizes of €200 and €100 respectively. The entry fees are €5 for the first poem and €10 for three. Send your postal entries to the address below. Short listed entrants notified one week in advance. Winners during festival.

Postal Address: Westport Arts Festival Poetry Competition, C/O Westport Chamber of Commerce,
                        The Fairgreen, Westport County Mayo, Ireland.

From Google Images.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bective Abbey/ County Meath.

Bective Abbey!

Bective Abbey /County Meath

Passing Bective Abbey yesterday I stopped to take a photograph and not a very good one perhaps but if you're ever in the vicinity it's always worth a visit. The history of it goes back before the Normans and it's an important landmark, for those who are interested. The River Boyne runs close beside it and it's open for anyone who wants to visit. But as they say heed the signs! Below is a verse from a poem I came across in the "Kilmessan and Dunsany Yearbook 1993".  

"A peasant passing through Louvain
With dew-dimmed eyes would sadly see
The shattered shrines and fallen fane
And every field a cemetery
Place him on Tara's Hill
The same sad sights 
The landscape fill!

Philip. E. Daly 
(Late of Bective)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Poetry and Song/St Elizabeth's, Athboy!

Poetry and Song/St Elizabeth's Athboy!

Sean Reilly
A big thank you to the members of The Meath Writers' Circle who turned out for what was an afternoon of music, poetry and song in St Elizabeth's on Monday afternoon. Also to the residents there who read poems or participated in any way, especially the fine singers. To our own Sean Reilly and Lori Dalton for their contributions, not forgetting Willie G. Hodgins who arranged the event and Peggy Murphy and of course the staff there who facilitated everything and kept us supplied with refreshments and such on what was a very entertaining afternoon. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

So Long Marianne by Leonard Cohen

This is Leonard Cohen's tribute to Marianne Jensen (Marianne Ihlen) a girl he met on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. She died on the 29th of July and his final letter to her was in Friday's Daily Mail and today's Sunday Times. Somebody gave me a copy of an LP of his back in the sixties and I think this was the lead track. Must look it up. There are other arrangements and recordings he made over the years but there's something about this one. With thanks to Song Lyrics Today who loaded and youtube. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Bailieborough Poetry Prize/2016!

Bailieborough Poetry Prize/2016!

From Bailieborough Poetry/Google Images.
The closing date for this competition is the 31st of August 2016 and it comes with a first prize of €300 for the winning poem and €50 for the second. There will also be a special prize for a local entrant domiciled in Cavan or Meath. Poems are not to exceed 50 lines and should be typed and single spaced with the competition open to anybody who has reached their 18th birthday. Up to three poems may be submitted per entry and you can submit as many entries as you wish. A fee of €5 per poem or three poems for €10 and you can enter online or by post. The postal address is: Bailieborough Poetry Competition, Litlab- c/o Bailieborough Library, Market Square, Bailieborough, Co Cavan and the judges for this year's competition are Michael Farry and Mairead Donnellan. But check out full details on their website! All shortlisted poems will be featured at a reading at Bailieborough Poetry Festival in October 2016.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Meath Writers' Circle/August Meeting 2016!

The Meath Writers' Circle/August Meeting 2016!

About fifteen people turned out for the August meeting of the Writers' Circle and with a theme on Romance ~ whatever you conceive it to be ~ it made for some interesting accounts! Readings are coming up in Ballivor and Athboy in the next few weeks but more on that to come. Members are reminded that submissions for the Christmas magazine are overdue and need to be in before the next meeting.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Byron ~ She Walks In Beauty ~ poem with text

And still on the theme of romance what better than Lord Byron. What was it Lady Caroline Lamb said? With thanks to Audio Productions and youtube.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Little Jimmy Dickens -- Shopping For Dresses

The theme of our next meeting is something on "Romance" and I could have selected a poem by Shakespeare or Rumi or Andrew Marvell, or countless others, or even something more modern but here's a singer/songwriter from the great age of country and western and with a voice and delivery that our modern friends can only dream of. Not well known in Ireland and there are many versions of this, great ones by Merle Haggard and Randy Travis, but Jimmy wrote it! With thanks to J.W. Gauntt who posted and youtube.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Dermot Healy International Poetry Competition 2016!

The Dermot Healy International Poetry Competition 2016!

Here's one to send an entry to and with the closing date fast approaching. As you can see from the above poster there's a fair old prize to be won but for the full details check out on site. Competition rules and entry form to be downloaded from site:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tim Minchin - Hallelujah

I came across this guy a few years back on the "Emerging Writer" Blog, doing "Storm" and just browsing, here he is with Geraldine Quinn at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival back in 2005. Great version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". Loaded by Sean Joseph and with thanks to youtube. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards!

Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards!
Saggart Heritage & Arts Centre.

The closing date for the above is the 31st of August so plenty of time to get the pen out. Poems must not exceed 45 lines and entries to be typed in plain font Times New Roman point 12 single spacing on plain white A4 sheet, without decoration or illustration. Entries in either Irish or English and submissions will not be returned. The entrant's name must not appear on the typescript and only on the entry form. 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. Judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Winners will be notified seven days in advance and must be prepared to read their work if possible at the awards night at the Heritage Centre in Saggart County Dublin on the 15th of October 2016.

Entries to: Margaret Ennis "Teach Giuise", Boherboy, Saggart, County Dublin.

Maria Wallace and Mervyn Ennis

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dromineer Literary Festival 2016/Competitions!

Dromineer Literary Festival 2016/Competitions!

From Google Images
The closing date for the above competitions, both poetry and flash fiction is the 22nd of August and entrants must be over 18 years of age. The number of entries you can send in is unlimited and the entry fees are €5 per poem and €10 for flash fiction. The prizes are very generous with €500, €350 and €150 in that order for first, second and third respectively so well worth getting the pen out. The judges for this year's competitions are Colette Bryce for poetry and Anthony Galvin for flash fiction. You may enter by post or by e-mail and download an entry form and details of the competitions from their website.