Each year the Taste of Cavan grows just that little bit tastier; filling three indoor arenas at the Cavan Equestrian Centre just off the N3.
But come early, the huge free carpark fills quickly and with enough to interest the whole family for a full day, very few cars leave before late afternoon.
Taste of Cavan, 12th & 13th August 2016.
Brendan J Byrne’s latest film, 66 Days, is a documentary about the hunger-striker, Bobby Sands. HD images of marching bands and garish seventies dance clips, juxtaposed with shaky archive footage and interviews create the narrative while haunting animations illustrate Bobby’s words from his diary;
“I had a visit this morning with two reporters, David Beresford of The Guardian and Brendan Ó Cathaoir of The Irish Times. Couldn’t quite get my flow of thoughts together. I could have said more in a better fashion”. Bobby Sands, 3rd March 1981.
Ó Cathaoir is interviewed for the film. As a journalist, he laments, he always endeavoured to aggrieve the comfortable while comforting the aggrieved.
Fintan O’Toole’s distinctive voice also adds a liberal credence to the film;
“It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can suffer the most that will win” Fintan O’Toole paraphrasing Cork Mayor, Terence MacSwiney, who died on hunger strike in 1920.
As the film presents testimonies from both sides of the conflict, the narrative regularly refers back to MacSwiney’s observations on suffering as if to ask the audience; who is suffering here? Who is doing the inflicting?
Over the course of the film we learn that the act of hunger-striking dates back in Irish culture over a thousand years, designed to empower the oppressed by shaming the oppressor. Along with exploring the physical effects of starvation on the human body, we learn, through Bobby’s own words, the mental suffering also endured;
“The body fights back sure enough, but at the end of the day everything returns to the primary consideration, that is, the mind. The mind is the most important”. Bobby Sands, 17th March 1981.
This documentary is very well put together and though I know Brendan, the director, was disappointed he didn’t get a chance to feature more of the women in Bobby’s life, it’s understandable seeing as the events are still controversial and painful for many people involved (two middle-aged men either side of me were in tears at the Guth Gafa screening I attended).
Having said that, 66 Days is an absorbing, intense film that I hope many audiences of all ages (not just in Ireland), will get a chance to see.
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.
“…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.
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.
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.
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.
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.