Sunday, January 31, 2016

Seventy Years Young/Elizabeth Countess of Fingal.

Seventy Years Young/Elizabeth Countess of Fingall.

If you type Elizabeth Countess of Fingal into Google you may not get the above but rather the first Elizabeth (1604-1630) who was said to be the daughter of  Rory Ó Donnell then Earl of Tyrconnel and whose mother was given as Lady Margaret Fitzgerald, daughter of the Earl of Kildare. And maybe that sets the scene, All of the great families, both Norman and Irish were interconnected in many ways and Elizabeth Burke of Moycullen County Galway, who married Arthur Plunkett the 11th Earl of Fingal when she was only seventeen, would chronicle the end of an age. A friend of just about everyone from King to Nationalist leaders her writing of childhood days on her father's estate is often magical. She was a founder member and first President of what is now the Irish Countrywomen's Association and second President of the Camogie Association, a game she described somewhere as a gentler form for the girls, but maybe not in those exact words. She described the 1914 season as, "the gayest and most magnificent London had ever seen. To me there was something terrible about it. I felt it at the time". The gun running episode into Howth, also, where she describes Mrs Erskine Childers and Mary Rice Spring, looking charming in yachting clothes and its aftermath on Batchelor's Walk where three people died, "those three deaths in Ireland, and the assassination of the Austrian Arch-Duke, lit a torch that set fire to Europe". The books ends in the Autumn of 1923, where she waits all night in the study at Killeen for the burners to come, but they didn't, and Killeen survived, for a while. Today it is a golf course and the castle is no longer visible from the road. The history of those castles and the families that surrounded them shaped not just Ireland but the modern world. Published first in 1937 by Collins, the above is by the Lilliput Press and available on Amazon. Recommended!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2016!

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2016!

From Google Images
This one has a closing date of 12 Noon on Friday the 11th of March 2016 and is an open competition for people resident on the island of Ireland. Only short stories accepted and the word count is a max of 2000 with all entries to be typed on A4 paper. There is no entry fee and no age limit but no more than one entry should be submitted with the author's details on the official entry form which can be downloaded from Here .
A prize of €500 will be awarded to the winner at the IMMRAMA Literary Festival in Lismore, County Waterford in June 2016. Also no restrictions on subject matter. Make sure to check out the entry details and good luck!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Corries --- Ae Fond Kiss

The Meath Writers' Circle were one of a number of local groups that were represented at the celebrations of "Burns Night" at the Silver Tankard in  Navan on Friday night. January the 25th is the official night I believe, but allowing for weekend difficulties, etc. Willie G. Hodgins who is chairman of the Writers' Group is also closely involved with the above and always makes it along. Robbie wrote any number of songs and indeed it would be difficult to hold a Scottish gathering of any sort without a rendering of one of them at least. The Corries are one of Scotland's best known folk groups and I was gifted a collection of their tapes once upon a time by a MacLeod of the name. If you like the above there are plenty more on youtube and look for the opening of the Scottish Parliment. But that's not by the Corries. Anyway enjoy! With thanks to mandilanda6 for posting.   

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Eagles - Doolin Dalton (Meet The Lady)

Sad to hear that Glen Frey of the Eagles has passed away, another one gone. Always meant to put up something by the Eagles and being an old western fan it has to be this. The song is from the 1973 album Desperado and the movie clips are from "The Quick and the Dead". I believe the Doolin/Daltons were in some way connected to the James/Younger gang and that history repeated itself in Coffeyville but look it up! With thanks to Fkwk 101 who posted and to youtube. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust Annual Poetry Competition

Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust Annual Poetry Competition 2016!

The deadline for this one is the 11th of March and poems entered should be no more than 30 lines long. Must be the original work of the artist or entrant and the interesting thing is poems previously published are eligible! Multiple entries are accepted and you can enter as many poems as you wish. The winner will have his or her poem published and displayed on the arts corridor of University Hospital Galway as part of the 2015 Poems for Patience. This is a long running series and has featured poems by leading Irish and International poets. The winner will be invited to read his or her poem at the launch of the 2016 Poems for Patience at the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in April 2016 and given a copy of their poem printed as a Poem for Patience poster. Also will be asked to submit six poems for consideration to be a Featured Reader at the Over The Edge: Open Reading series in Galway City Library.

The entry fee is €10 per poem and if you enter two it is €15, three €22.50 and so on. Payment by cheque or postal order made payable to Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust.

Send to: Margaret Flannery, Arts Director, Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust, Galway University Hospital, Newcastle Road Galway. Contact details on a separate page. For further info check out at or telephone 00353 (0) 91544979 also you can check out the Poetry Ireland website. Link to the right!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Field - The Dance (American's Wake)

One of the great dance scenes of the cinema, Richard Harris was nominated for both the Oscars and the Golden Globes for his performance in this film. And a few more as well. The original play was written by John B. Keane and when drama groups were popular in every village and town this was one of the favourites. Directed for the cinema by Neil Jordan. Enjoy! With thanks to Mikosyko who loaded and to youtube.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Listowel Writers' Week Literary Festival 2016!

Listowel Writers' Week/Competitions 2016 !

The above week runs from the first of June to the fifth and includes any number of competitions with closing dates that range from early February to early March, but you need to check out the details on their website. The entry fees are usually around €10 for your first entry but are free in some cases. Listowel of course was the home town of John B. Keane whose writing and plays made it all the way from the local hall to the silver screen and if you haven't caught a round or two of "Sive" or the "The Field" then you have a treat in store. The dance scene in the latter is worth more than a minute or two and seldom better, though you could argue for a few more. Richard Harris as the Bull McCabe steals it I'd say. But then, there are any number of famous writers with Listowel connections! Check out the above competitions and other events at . Entries online or by post.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Strokestown International Poetry Festival 2016!

Strokestown Poetry Competitions 2016!

This is one of the big ones of the year and has a closing date of the 29th of January and runs from the 29th of April to the 1st of May. A number of different competitions or categories which can be checked out on their website. An entry form needs to accompany your poems and you can submit either via the web or by postal entry. The entry fee is €5 (or £5 sterling, or $5) per poem and personal cheques/postal orders/bankers' orders/international money orders should be made payable to Strokestown Poetry Festival. If entry is by post send to Strokestown Poetry Competition, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. For the main competition the prizes are (1) €1500 (2) €500 (3) €300 and three shortlisted entries. But like I said check out everything at and good luck!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year 2016!

Happy New Year 2016!

From Google Images
Well that's another year gone and while this one brings the centenary of the Easter Rising; any number of battles of the First World War and the divisions of the present day Middle East; events that would help to  shape the world we live in today, the coming year also brings an election and nothing much learned. Natural disasters may be one thing but houses that were built on flood plains and homeless people living on the streets is not something we should allow for, one hundred years on. Not forgetting the thousands who were forced to emigrate and taxes that should never have been levied simply because they are immoral! Another great problem is the houses that remain boarded up month after month when people could have been moved into them long before the grass grew in the door, but protocols I suppose to keep the rain out, the hungry fed and the children in front of a cosy fire. As for the health service..... Anyway have a happy new year and all the best.