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.

1916 Battlefields Saved

Fianna Eireann

Image copyright Julie Corcoran Photography, 2016.

Today, in the Irish High Court, Mr Justice Max Barrett passed judgement in favour of the case made by the 1916 Relatives Association with support from a new generation of Irish volunteers.  This judgement, against the position of the government, will protect important 1916 battle sites beside the GPO around Moore Street from demolition.

Sadly a proportion of 1916 battlefield sites were deemed unimportant by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphries and her government. Now the High Court has ordered that she must reconsider her position.

You can read the full story here from the Irish Times including a synopsis of the 400 page judgement by Mr Justice Max Barrett.

Respecting the architects of 1916 – updated


Archive image of P. H. Pearse in 1916. Inspiration for the street art on Moore Street.

In the centenary year of the 1916 Rising, a piece of street art has appeared on plywood hoarding surrounding a terrace of red brick buildings used by rebels during the rising on Moore Street, just around the corner from Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

Some of the houses are in immediate danger of demolition and a Save Moore Street campaign was born out of the government’s lack of vision in preserving such a historically significant landmark in its entirety.

The piece is a re-imagining a famous photograph from the era. It depicts Patrick Pearse surrendering to two figures (originally British soldiers) dressed in high viz jackets and hard hats (now representing developers). It is a clever concept with a strong message and up to this point I like it.

But, and here’s the thing, look to the right of the image and it is signed Banksy. It is not a Banksy (I contacted his PR agent Jo Brooks who confirmed this to me categorically), therefore, with the Banksy tag the image becomes a forgery. It immediately disappoints. I love and have a reverence for the arts on par with the love I have for my culture.

Without the Banksy tag, the piece would simply be regarded as ‘in the style of’ Banksy. Therefore respecting Banksy and his amazing body of work and also respecting the actual artist of the piece.

But would the media have picked up on it? Probably not.

The Save Moore Street campaign is getting attention in the media today (with the ‘is it or is it not a Banksy’ narrative).

But I believe, long term, it is to the detriment of the artists involved; who I believe, deserve a little bit more respect.

Save Moore Street Campaign  1

Artists                                            0


Irish Times article with Jo Brooks confirmation that the piece is NOT by Banksy. 

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.

City Hall roof

Halla na Cathrach (City Hall). Image credit Julie Corcoran ©2015

And so ends a week of photographs inspired by one day in Dublin.

It began with feeding the birds in St. Stephen’s Green Park,

listening to a band a the top of Grafton Street,

visiting a shrine outside St. Teresa’s Church,

bearing witness to silent chatter on Clarendon Street,

capturing an elephant above a sports store on Suffolk Street and

snapping some pretty young things outside Brown Thomas.

To see the whole collection in one place check out my Flickr album; ‘A Day in Dublin‘.

Go raibh maith agat.

A Day in Dublin.

Street statues

‘Where old ghosts meet’, Grafton Street, Dublin. Image credit Julie Corcoran ©2015

A group of human street statues striking a pose outside Brown Thomas on Grafton Street, Dublin.

‘A Day in Dublin’ is a series of photographs all taken on the same day around Grafton street in Dublin, Ireland.

The collection includes;

Feeding the birds in St. Stephen’s Green Park,

Listening to a band at the top of Grafton Street,

Visting a shrine at St. Teresa’s Church,

Passer’s-by on Clarendon Street,

and the elephant above Elvery’s sports shop on Suffolk Street.

A Day in Dublin.

Elvery's elephant

Elvery’s Elephant, Suffolk Street, Dublin. Picture credit Julie Corcoran ©2015.

On leaving a cafe replenished and revived on Suffolk Street, I looked up and spotted this snazzy elephant above a sport’s store.

A Day in Dublin is a series of photographs all taken on the same day in the capital featuring;

Feeding of the birds in St. Stephen’s Green Park,

A band playing on Grafton Street,

A shrine outside St. Teresa’s Church and 

Passers-by on Clarendon Street