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Nice feeling to feature in ‘notable essays’…

21/09/2017 2 comments

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Manic Scrubbers in Sunflower Yellow

22/04/2012 Comments off

I recently sat mesmerised while viewing the art film Yellow by performance artist Amanda Coogan and film maker Paddy Cahill at the recently refurbished Limerick City Gallery of Art.

Peering At Their Majesties Through An Irish Mist

20/05/2011 Comments off

 

I caught a glimpse of  Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip this week on O’Connell Bridge. Like many others I was a captive in Dublin’s south side, unable to cross the Liffey and pestering the Gardai about when the bridge would be reopening. Then Their Majesties just passed by in an armoured car, waving through the dark glass at the bystanders. The iPhone cameras went into over-drive. There were excited gasps: ‘I saw the Queen. I saw the Queen.’

The royalists were not so lucky in Achill in 1903 when Queen Elizabeth’s great-grandfather Edward VII visited. I came across this little story recently. Seemingly there was great disappointment that Edward and Queen Alexandra would not take in a visit to the island on their way from Donegal. So His Majesty acceded to a late request that the royal yacht Victoria and Albert should steam slowly between Clare Island and Achill to receive the greetings of the islanders on their way to Killary Bay.

The papers reported that large numbers gathered in the early July morning at Achillbeg. They came by boat and cart from miles around and waited in expectation for the royal yacht until noon. But the sea was running high, a thick mist prevailed, and the yacht could not approach the island shores. When all hope of was given up of seeing the yacht, a bonfire was lit and ‘God Save The King’ was sung with gusto.

I was more lucky. I saw the Queen – while a captive on Dublin’s south side. It was indeed a week of deep symbolism and great hope.

Happy Easter!

21/04/2011 Comments off

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Hope at a Moment of Social and Psychological Chaos

22/03/2011 Comments off

I was one of those who was deeply moved by the words of Bill Clinton to a New York audience over the St Patrick’s weekend. It was not just the words he spoke, but the tone of his remarks. It seems to me that he has a deep understanding of  the psychic trauma we are going through in Ireland.

He asked the question that people are asking all over the country. How to respond at ‘this moment of economic calamity and social and psychological chaos’?

We need, he said, to keep our heads straight while recovering from this ‘impacted sense of shame’ and not forget what we are at the core. ‘Scrape away the barnacles that have clouded the vision of the place we love.’

I, for one, was uplifted by Bill Clinton’s words.

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