The Art of Thatching in Kilmore Quay.

In the fishing village of Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford you’ll find the most beautiful collection of traditionally thatched cottages.

I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of how this village maintains its crowning glory as local thatcher, Vinny, set to work on replacing a thatch ridge ahead of the Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival. 

There is a Go Fund Me campaign set up to fund a documentary on thatching in the area, click here for details.

Kells Hay Festival

Replacing a thatch ridge using traditional methods. Image ©Julie Corcoran 2016.

Hay Festival – Kells 2016

Hay Festival Kells.

I’m betting you’ve heard of the book of Kells housed in Trinity College Dublin. A mecca for tourists for decades, but I wonder how many have ever made the pilgrimage to the County Meath town of Kells itself?

Well can I recommend wholeheartedly that you visit Kells during its annual June festival for all things literary, The Hay Festival.

The four day programme has over eighty events (closer to one hundred I’m guessing) spread over half a dozen venues around the town. Empty shops are turned into rare book emporiums and you get the distinct impression that there are book deals being done over scones and pots of Barry’s tea in the numerous independently run coffee shops.

Be warned, this is not a ‘Temple Bar’ type booze fest, this gathering, according to the brochure, throws its doors open to ‘writers, readers, to thinkers and dreamers, to the open minded and big hearted lovers of stories and ideas‘.

Kells Hay Festival

International best selling author, Zlata Filipović signing copies of her book with renowned American playwright, Matthew Spangler in the background on Saturday 25th June 2016. Image ©JulieCorcoran.

Kells Hay Festival

Michael Carroll, author of the Young Heroes series and successful scriptwriter for comics and graphic novels photographed before his talk on Saturday 25th June 2016. Image ©JulieCorcoran.


Paul Bolger

Kells Hay Festival

Paul Bolger has worked on classic animated films in the past. His current project Hound co-written with Barry Devlin involves a trilogy of graphic novels with plans for a film. Photographed at his talk on Saturday 25th June, image ©JulieCorcoran.

If you have ever been, or if you ever go to the Hay Festival in Kells you will undoubtedly have your eyes opened to something new (with such a varied programme of events it is inevitable).  Mixed in with American playwrights and award winning novelists you’ll find young adult writers, animators, illustrators and graphic novel scriptwriters.

Enter Paul Bolger and Barry Devlin with their graphic novel trilogy, Hound.

With decades of experience behind them and similar ambitions to bring the story of Cú Chulainn to a mass audience, Paul and Barry struck up a creative partnership that has grown into the team behind Hound.

Paul explained that initially Kickstarter was used to fund the first book in the series. He shared a video made for the project’s investors which very aptly listed all the things Hound is not; it is not about castles, dragons or leprechauns…definitely not leprechauns, which met with laughter from the audience. He then went on to describe what Hound is; Apocalypto meets Last of the Mohicans, meets House of Flying Daggers.

Kells Hay Festival

Barry Devlin. Image ©JulieCorcoran.

One element of this project that really struck me as refreshing was Paul’s attention to detail when it came creating the world of the Ulster Cycle. All his designs for objects like drinking vessels, jewellery and weaponry for the characters are based on real museum pieces from around 2,000 years ago (think Newgrange era).

So the big question is, will Paul, Barry and the team succeed where others have failed?

or will the Irish Film Board’s shelf labelled dog boy finally collapse under the weight of another parked Cú Chulainn project?

I sincerely hope not. To see the story of Cú Chulainn on the big screen would vindicate every small production company here in Ireland that dared to dream big.

In conclusion

For me, the Hay Festival Kells is a must attend event. I can’t put it any clearer than that.

Poet Valentine Neary #rip


“…as the lank ferns congregating on verges

to make of my passing a tendril instant all their own,

draping me in meshes of green nerved light

– vestments for the journey, this parting now

of leaves wide on sensation, brimming with

a marvellous forever and sudden as sunlight on still lake water.”

‘Song for the Moment’, by Valentine Neary. Taken from his 2001 collection entitled ‘Easy Among Drumlins and other poems.’

Born in Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, Valentine Neary abandoned ‘a life of idiot urgency for the hills, the grass and small skies of Monaghan’ where he passed from this life on the 7th April 2016. Condolences to his family and friends.

North East,Easter 1916 Commemorations


Easter 1916 Commemoration, Market Square, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan.

The South Monaghan Easter 1916 Commemoration Committee, with support from Monaghan County Council, unveiled a 1916 Easter Rising monument on the Market Square following a parade through the town on Easter Monday 2016.


M.A.D Youth Theatre Easter 1916 Performance, Courthouse, Dundalk, Co. Louth.

As part of the nationwide re-imagining the Easter Rising events, members of M.A.D Youth Theatre Dundalk gave a very well received public performance at midday outside the courthouse on Easter Monday.

Dundalk warms to International Women’s Day 


image copyright Julie Corcoran photography.

Driving through Dundalk tonight I spotted this multicoloured ‘yarnbomb’in the town centre.  I had to pullover to grab a few shots. 
Amongst the little pink bollard hats,  pompom-adorned trees, woolly daffodil benches and patchwork litter bin covers were warm messages of support from the responsible parties; members of the ICA Louth Federation to celebrate  International Women’s Day. 

The Bright Stick Trapped


Patrick Kavanagh Memorial by artist John Coll, Grand Canal (north bank), Dublin, Image credit Julie Corcoran ©2015

On this, the anniversary of the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh’s death (1904-1967), I thought I’d share a photograph I took a couple of weeks ago at one of the memorial pieces dedicated to his memory.

My Leaving Cert English teacher’s much loved Kavanagh quote; ‘The bright stick trapped’ from his poem, Canal Bank Walk, was an image, she explained, that conveyed the beauty in the mundane; the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Her enlightening words stuck in my mind, like the bright stick trapped in Kavanagh’s redemptive canal waters.

For that reason, ‘Canal Bank Walk’ has to be one of my favourite Kavanagh poems.

Canal Bank Walk

Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal

Pouring redemption for me, that I do

The will of God, wallow in the habitual, the banal,

Grow with nature again as before I grew.

The bright stick trapped, the breeze adding a third

Party to the couple kissing on an old seat,

And a bird gathering materials for the nest for the Word,

Eloquently new and abandoned to its delirious beat.

O unworn world enrapture me, enrapture me in a web

Of fabulous grass and eternal voices by a beech,

Feed the gaping need of my senses, give me ad lib

To pray unselfconsciously with overflowing speech,

For this soul needs to be honoured with a new dress woven

From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven. 

A Day in Dublin.


Keywest playing an impromptu gig at the top of Grafton Street. Image credit Julie Corcoran ©2015.

After leaving St. Stephen’s Green park our ears led us to the top of Grafton street where Keywest, a band that cut its teeth busking on the very same street, were promoting their new album, Joyland.

Needless to say we picked up a signed copy, watch this space, they’re really very good.