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Archive for December 30, 2016

Culture and Folklore

December 30, 2016 1 comment

Song:   The Limerick Soviet  By Alun Parry

Sung by Members of visiting  Liverpool Choir At Commemoration of Limerick Soviet in Limerick, Sat April 6, 2019

Full Text    https://wp.me/pKzXa-LN

———————————————————————————————————-

The Bunting Harp Collection: A Digital Commission

Wednesday, 24 July 2019, 4.00pm

Music Network (MN) and The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) are offering an opportunity for a professional sound or visual artist to create an installation work, using as its inspiration the historically significant harp tunes collected in 1792 by Edward Bunting.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-1l8

Artists are invited to submit proposals outlining their creative response to a range of multimedia digital materials relating to the collection held by MN, ITMA, and Special Collections & Archives, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). Materials are comprised of digitised 18th century publication and manuscript sources, and 21st century audio-visual harp studio performances.

This is a unique opportunity for the recipient to create and present new work through the exploration, discovery and creative re-use of archival materials, and to bring this valuable collection to the attention of the wider public.

——————————————————-Rockall:While the UK is in the EU, Irish boats can fish there. But if UK leaves EU, this access will end. This is because Rockall was ‘handed over’ to UK in 2013, say Irish fishers-Irish Times June 14 https://wp.me/pKzXa-LN

Chief executive of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) Francis O’Donnell said the agreement (made by Labour Party Leader Eamonn Gilmore), effectively conceded the rock and its surrounding fisheries area in the North Atlantic to the UK in 2013

Full Article further Down

“Rock on Rockall,You’ll Never Fall”-Wolf Tones      Listen to the Song!

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=623799598140415

Full Article  Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times   Friday, June 14, 2019

Irish fisheries organisations are seeking legal advice about overturning a 2013 agreement between Ireland and the UK that includes Rockall in Britain’s exclusive economic zone.

Chief executive of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) Francis O’Donnell said the agreement effectively conceded the rock and its surrounding fisheries area in the North Atlantic to the UK.

Mr O’Donnell believes that after Brexit “we will be losing a fishing zone we have fished for the last 200 years”.

But the Department of Foreign Affairs has insisted the agreement does not affect the entitlement of the Irish fisheries sector to work at the outcrop.

The bilateral agreement established a single maritime boundary between the exclusive economic zones and continental shelves of Ireland and the UK, putting Rockall on the UK side of the boundary.

It was signed by then tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, who said at the time the agreement established “a clear framework for the government’s efforts to encourage and facilitate the sustainable development of our marine resources in the seafood, oil and gas, renewable energy and biotechnology sectors”.

Concerns about the bilateral agreement are the latest element in a dispute that flared late last week when Scotland threatened to take enforcement action against “illegal activity” by Irish vessels fishing within the 19km zone around Rockall.

EU waters

Ireland does not recognise the claim over the disputed territory 386km from the Scottish mainland but has never sought to claim sovereignty itself and, like Iceland and Denmark, considers it part of EU waters.

Contacts between Irish and Scottish officials have been stepped up to “de-escalate” the row.

A spokesman for Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said on Friday that “Rockall is in the UK economic zone, that’s not disputed. But it remains [in] EU fishing grounds”.

The spokesman stressed that “the issue with Rockall isn’t economic zones. It’s whether the Scottish can claim it as sovereign territory and draw a fishing boundary around it.”

“We say that’s not the case and a sea stack can’t be tested in this way,” he added.

But Mr O’Donnell said “it doesn’t matter how anyone dresses this up”, it is a territorial issue for Irish fisheries, and Rockall “has effectively been handed over to the UK”.

He said “if the Government was strategic it would have registered a claim for Rockall but we’ve never been strategic about natural resources”.

Reciprocal rights

Sinn Féin senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, who raised the issue in the Seanad, asked whether the threat this month from Scotland was linked to controversial legislation restoring reciprocal fishing rights to fishermen from Northern Ireland in the Republic’s waters.

He said the legislation was pushed through the Oireachtas on the basis of building good relationships between the Republic and the UK for access to fishing waters after Brexit.

“Everybody was puzzled as to why a usually prudent Scottish National Party government in Scotland is taking these measures. It turns out they are based on a 2013 agreement” that he said was done without Iceland’s approval.

In effect, he said, “government representatives vindicated the British claim to the fisheries around Rockall and gave the Scottish government the legal basis to threaten to remove Irish boats”.

He called on Minister for the Marine Michael Creed to come into the Seanad and clarify when that correspondence started.

However, the Department of the Marine said it was a matter for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

 

——————————————————————————————————

Tim O’Sullivan on Aubane :Let them listen to the Wolfe Tones for a few hours – that will put manners on them!  https://wp.me/pKzXa-LN
from Paddy Healy
Is that the song whose chorus begins “Rock On Rockall, You’ll never Fall” ??
Remember that my late lecturing colleague at DIT, Sean Dublin Bay Rockall Loftus, sought to lead an expedition to capture the Rock for Ireland and to plant the tricolour there!!! It is really all about oil and gas of course, not fish. So “Dublin Bay” was right after all!!!! Could we compose an extra verse of the song for him??? –Paddy

———————————————————————————————————————–            “Author of Limerick Soviet song, Alun  Parry was also the founder and organiser of the Liverpool Working Class Music Festival, supported by the TUC, which took place annually 2008-2011 with the aim of bringing the very best radical musicians to Liverpool for a celebration of working class life through music and song. It grew to be the largest festival of its kind in the world.”

Text Of Song

We are the Limerick Soviet

We answer only to the People’s Plea

We care no More for their Martial Law

Than the British Army cares for you and me

 

1919 was the year the trouble all went down

The Defence of the Realm Act was invoked by the Crown

They imposed martial law upon old Limerick town

And they made the local people foot the bill

 

The local trades and workers council met for twelve long hours

And said we will not recognise the British Army’s powers

The city is the people’s, we reclaim it now as ours

It ever was and shall be ever still

Chorus

We are the Limerick Soviet

We answer only to the People’s Plea

We care no More for their Martial Law

Than the British Army cares for you and me

 

The printing workers laboured through the darkness of the night

To urge the population to resist the army’s might

Within two hours the city walls proclaimed a general strike

And Limerick responded to the call

 

Workers in their Thousands were parading through the streets

The Irish Times was horrified and called for their defeat

Now the people were in charge not the Army or elite

They held the torch of freedom for us all

 

Chorus

We are the Limerick Soviet

We answer only to the People’s Plea

We care no More for their Martial Law

Than the British Army cares for you and me

 

The Soviet of Limerick, it lasted two weeks long

A forgotten revolution overlooked by history’s song

John Cronin and his strike committee’s beacon has not gone

It lights the path to justice for us still

 

Chorus

We are the Limerick Soviet

We answer only to the People’s Plea

We care no More for their Martial Law

Than the British Army cares for you and me

 

First four verses tenor and bass

Second four verses soprano and alto

Last verse unison

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alun_Parry

——————————————————————————————————————–

A poem on Dinny Lacey who fought in the War of Independence and the Civil War on the Anti-Treaty Republican side. He was killed in action in 1923 by Free State Troops.

Brigadier Dennis “Dinny” Lacey was killed in action against Irish Free State forces deep in the Glen of Aherlow during the Irish civil war in February 1923. Sean Treacy was killed in a gun fight with British forces during the Irish War of Independence in Talbot Street, Dublin, in October 1920. Sean Treacy introduced Dinny Lacey to the republican movement (IRB) in 1913

Verse of Popular Song

It was England gave the orders and England gave the guns
and Cosgrave dyed the khaki green to kill our gallant sons
they spilt their blood upon the grass and thought it no disgrace
when they murdered Dinny Lacey the noblest of our race

Brigadier Dennis “Dinny” Lacey was killed in action against Irish Free State forces deep in the Glens of Aherlow during the Irish civil war in February 1923. Sean Treacy was killed in a gun fight with British forces during the Irish War of Independence in Talbot Street, Dublin, in October 1920. Sean Treacy introduced Dinny Lacey to the republican movement (IRB-The Fenians) in 1913.

Poem

Attend ye Irish patriots with solemn sympathy,
Let mourning banners be displayed
around this country,
We mourn one alas! That is gone,
Dinny Lacey was his name
He lost his life in Aherlow a son of Granuaile.

In Tipperary they have reason
to mourn in days to come,
Their hero Dinny Lacey who was born
near Dundrum,
For Ireland’s cause he gave his life
a soldier brave and gay
To his foes he’d ne’er surrender
he was a soldier of the IRA.

Through the streets of old Tipperary
the funeral moved along,
They all passed in solemn silence
in a vast and mighty throng,
With mourning cars and carriages,
and men with down cast heads,
They marched into St. Michaels
to respect the noble dead.

His funeral in Tipperary Town
was the largest near and far,
And thousands did attend it,
Who came by train and car,
Tipperary will ever mourn
a hero true and brave,
And now this gallant Irish man
lies sleeping in his grave.

His body in St. Michaels
lies to sleep till time no more,
Amongst other gallant Irish men
who died for Erin’s shore,
Amongst the blessed may he find rest,
this gallant Irish man
A soldier of the IRA
who fought the Black and Tans.

——————————————————————-A Farewell to Mícheál Ó’ Suilleabháin From Seamus Healy TD

It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin.

Growing up together in Clonmel in the 1950’s and 1960’s we could never have known what a giant he would go on to become in the world of music.

https://wp.me/pKzXa-LN

A son of Clonmel, his influence spread far from the town where he was reared and although his time has been cut short, his legacy will live on in the music and the movement that he created.

As a composer, Mícheál was very much inspired by ancient traditions but not at all bound by them. He was a true pioneer in music fusing the new with the old and in the process creating something which was beautiful and unique. Mícheál distinguished himself, his family and our town by his pioneering work in the world of music which was outward looking while still acknowledging the wealth of the past.

https://www.youtube.com/watch…

It was my privilege to be present at the conferring of the Freedom of The Borough of Clonmel on Micheál in 2016 during the Mayoralty of my Colleague Cllr. Pat English. The highest honour his native town could bestow on him. There he joined ranks with Charles Stewart Parnell, Constance Markievicz, Mary Robinson and others who also hold that distinction. He will rightly be remembered as one of our own who went out into the world and made a real difference.

In establishing the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in the University of Limerick, Mícheál elevated the status of Irish culture to the truly global and highlighted Ireland on the world map. A legend in Irish culture, he will be greatly missed.

I extend my sincere sympathies to his wife Professor Helen Phelan and their son Luke; sons Eoin and Mícheál (Moley) their mother Dr. Noirín Ni Rian and his brother John.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.
Suaimhneas síoraí, a Mhicíl.

Seamus Healy
56 Queen Street, Clonmel
Tel 087 2802199

————————————————

IN MEMORY OF TOMMY O’BRIEN, JOURNALIST, OPERA LOVER AND BROADCASTER

 image for id 2061/024

Further Recorded Interviews with Tommy O’Brien on 30th Anniversary of his Death

(He also did his bit in achieving Irish Independence as he was a messenger scout in the old IRA and he knew Sean Treacy!)

In Memory of Tommy O’Brien-Paddy Healy With Apologies To CJ Boland (Two Travellers—Full Poem below))    https://wp.me/pKzXa-LN

I’ve heard Callas at La Scala, Pavarotti at the Met

In Prague for Giovanni, heard Mozart’s famed Duet

I’ve heard Verdi at Verona,

Quaffed Wagner by the Rhine,

Come here said the other,

Did you ever listen to Tommy O’Brien? https://wp.me/pKzXa-LN

Tommy’s Choice  LP Listen!          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6-y3_ov0ZQ

Tommy O’Brien 1905 – 1988 was a celebrated radio broadcaster and one of the Country’s greatest authorities on Classical Music and Opera.  He was educated in Clonmel followed by a Scholarship to Ring College in County Waterford.  His first job was as a junior reporter for the Clonmel Chronicle, followed by a move to the Nationalist newspaper in the 1930s.  He became Editor of the Nationalist in 1940, a position he held until 1953.

His introduction to broadcasting came in the 1940s, with a piece written by him on Clonmel.  His natural method of presentation led to more radio work, his opening line was always “Good Evening Listeners”.  His programme was called “Tommy O’Brien and his Music” until 1968 when the format was changed to half his choice and half listener requests.  This programme was called “Your Choice and Mine” and ran until the early 1980s.

Long Playing Record  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6-y3_ov0ZQ

 

John D Walsh Published on Apr 7, 2017 https://wp.me/pKzXa-LN

This is an LP, compiled in 1987 as a follow up to a previous LP produced by RTE of favourite records of Tommy O’Brien from his programme ‘Your Choice and Mine’ Tommy O’Brien 1905 – 1988 was a celebrated radio broadcaster and one of the countries’ greatest authorities on classical music and opera. He was educated in Clonmel followed by a Scholarship to the Ring College in Co. Waterford. His first job was as a junior reporter for the Clonmel Chronicle, followed by a move to the Nationalist in the 1930’s. He became Editor of the Nationalist in 1940, a position he held until 1953. His introduction to broadcasting came in the 1940’s, with a piece written by him on Clonmel. His natural method of presentation led to more radio work, his opening line was always, “Good Evening, Listeners”. His programme was called “Tommy O’Brien and his Music”, until 1968, when the format was changed to half his choice and half listeners requests. This programme was called “Your Choice and Mine” and ran until the early 1980’s. Tommy was also All Ireland billiard champion at one stage. He also did his bit in achieving Irish Independence as he was a messenger scout in the old IRA and he knew Sean Treacy!

—————————————————————————————————

Bowman on Sunday  -Listen   4 minutes in to  Tommy O’Brien http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=b9%5F10847253%5F67%5F11%2D03%2D2018%5F

Last Week Bowman on Sunday   18 minutes from the Beginning of The Recording

http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=b9%5F10843984%5F67%5F04%2D03%2D2018%5F

As a child I listened to Tommy O’Brien (Opera), Din-Joe (Traditional Music and Music Hall), Ciarán Mac Mathúna (Traditional Irish music and Sean Nós singing) on the Battery Powered Radio on the Comeraghs Over Clonmel!!!

Tommy O’Brien Bought His First Gramaphone in Clonmel and it Changed his Life!!
“Your Choice and Mine-Good Evening Listeners”
Click on the lInk Below or Post it into your Browser and listen
Bowman Sunday 8.30

IN MEMORY OF TOMMY O’BRIEN, Journalist, Opera Lover and Broadcaster

New Stanza V(a) by Paddy Healy  in The Two Travellers with Apologies to CJ BOLAND

THE TWO TRAVELLERS

CJ Boland

I

“All over the world”, the traveller said,

“In my peregrination’s I’ve been;

And there’s nothing remarkable, living or dead,

 But these eyes of mine have seen.

From the land of the ape and the marmoset,

To the tents of the Fellaheen”

Said the other, “ I’ll lay you an even bet 

You were never in Farranalleen.”

                                             II

“I’ve hunted in woods near Seringapatam,

And sailed in the Polar Seas,

I fished for a week in the Gulf of Siam

And lunched on the Chersonese.

I’ve lived in the valleys of fair Cashmere,

Under Himalay’s snowy ridge.”

Then the other impatiently said ,”See here ,

Were you ever at Laffan’s Bridge?”

                                   111

“I’ve lived in the land where tobacco is grown,

In the surburbs of Santiago;

And I spent two years in Sierra Leone,

And one in Del Fuego.

I walked across Panama all in a day,

Ah me! But the road was rocky.”

The other replied , “Will you kindly say, 

Were you ever at Horse -and – Jockey?”

                                 I V

“I’ve borne my part in a savage fray,

When I got this wound from a Lascar;

We were bound just then from Mandalay

For the Island of Madagascar,

Ah! The sun never tired of shining there,

And the trees canaries sang in,”

“What of that?” said the other, “sure I’ve a pair, 

And there’s lots of them in Drangan.”

                                     V

“And I’ve hunted the tigers in Turkestan,

In Australia the kangaroos;

And I lived six months as medicine man

To a tribe of the Kathmandoos.

And I’ve stood on the scene of Olympic games,

Where the Grecians showed their paces,”

The other replied, “ Now tell me, James, 

Were you ever at Fethard Races?”

                                       V(a)

( In Memory of Tommy O’Brien-Paddy Healy) 

I’ve heard Callas at La Scala, Pavarotti at the Met

In Prague for Giovanni, heard Mozart’s famed Duet

I’ve heard Verdi at Verona,

Quaffed Wagner by the Rhine,

Come here said the other,

Did you ever listen to Tommy O’Brien?

                            VI

“Don’t talk of your hunting in Yucatan,

Or your fishing off St. Helena;

I’d rather see young fellows hunting the ‘wren’

In the hedges of Tobberaheena.

No doubt the scenes of a Swiss Canton

Have a passable sort of charm

Give me a sunset on Slievnamon 

From the head at Hackett’s Farm.

                              VII

“And I’d rather be strolling along the quay,

And watching the river flow,

Than growing tea with the cute Chinee,

Or mining in Mexico.

 And I wouldn’t much care for Sierra Leone,

If I hadn’t seen Killenaule,

And the man that was never in Mullinahone

Shouldn’t say he had travelled at all”

C J Boland

ADDENDUM  :

Poem  from Commemorative Plaque to South Tipperary Poet C J Boland on the Quay near Gas House Bridge in Clonmel  about 200 yards from Hotel Minella

C J BOLAND 1892

Do the feeble still venture to toddle,

to the quay and sit down on a balk,

and  sun their old selves in the evening

with the crows cawing loud in the trees

that’s the spot, I think, outside of heaven

where a heart wearied out, would find ease

C J BOLAND

————————————————————————————————————–

A poem on Dinny Lacey who fought in the War of Independence and the Civil War on the Anti-Treaty Republican side. He was killed in action in 1923 by Free State Troops.

Brigadier Dennis “Dinny” Lacey was killed in action against Irish Free State forces deep in the Glen of Aherlow during the Irish civil war in February 1923. Sean Treacy was killed in a gun fight with British forces during the Irish War of Independence in Talbot Street, Dublin, in October 1920. Sean Treacy introduced Dinny Lacey to the republican movement (IRB) in 1913  https://wp.me/pKzXa-LN

Verse of Popular Song

It was England gave the orders and England gave the guns
and Cosgrave dyed the khaki green to kill our gallant sons
they spilt their blood upon the grass and thought it no disgrace
when they murdered Dinny Lacey the noblest of our race

Brigadier Dennis “Dinny” Lacey was killed in action against Irish Free State forces deep in the Glens of Aherlow during the Irish civil war in February 1923. Sean Treacy was killed in a gun fight with British forces during the Irish War of Independence in Talbot Street, Dublin, in October 1920. Sean Treacy introduced Dinny Lacey to the republican movement (IRB-The Fenians) in 1913.

Poem

Attend ye Irish patriots with solemn sympathy,
Let mourning banners be displayed
around this country,
We mourn one alas! That is gone,
Dinny Lacey was his name
He lost his life in Aherlow a son of Granuaile.

In Tipperary they have reason
to mourn in days to come,
Their hero Dinny Lacey who was born
near Dundrum,
For Ireland’s cause he gave his life
a soldier brave and gay
To his foes he’d ne’er surrender
he was a soldier of the IRA.

Through the streets of old Tipperary
the funeral moved along,
They all passed in solemn silence
in a vast and mighty throng,
With mourning cars and carriages,
and men with down cast heads,
They marched into St. Michaels
to respect the noble dead.

His funeral in Tipperary Town
was the largest near and far,
And thousands did attend it,
Who came by train and car,
Tipperary will ever mourn
a hero true and brave,
And now this gallant Irish man
lies sleeping in his grave.

His body in St. Michaels
lies to sleep till time no more,
Amongst other gallant Irish men
who died for Erin’s shore,
Amongst the blessed may he find rest,
this gallant Irish man
A soldier of the IRA
who fought the Black and Tans.

——————————————————————–

Kevin Higgins For President

Put a real Poet in the Park!

Kevins Tribute to Michael Dee

Early Birthday Poem For President Higgins

After The Abuse Hurled At Him By Gurriers

after Oliver Goldsmith and Marilyn Monroe

You stand stall, your integrity so vast

you need help from an army officer

dragging it up the steps of aircraft.

Your intellect a Gillette disposable

razor, and matched only

by your ability to make

a simple idea sound complex.

Why evade the issue,

when one can instead engage

in circumlocution?

v

You’re bigger to us than Thor,

or Apollo, only with a slightly

different hairstyle. Times

when our thoughts were stuck

on bread and butter, for lack of either;

we’d turn to you for inspiration,

the ripple moving across your

enormous forehead signifying either

impending flatulence or thoughts

on the situation in Nicaragua.

v

The insult thrown at you last week

the worst a head of state has suffered

since Charles the First lost out

to an axe of questionable parentage.

Though rest assured, all

about Galway, men and women

of consequence are having

heart attacks on your behalf,

and raising glasses

to the man we know

never called anyone

a wanker(1).

v

KEVIN HIGGINS

(1)  Mar 3, 2012 When as President of Ireland he called Michael Graham a wanker

Michael D, despite his small stature and soft spoken mannerisms, let rip on Graham, who would be seen as part of the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement in US politics, and called him out as “a wanker whipping up fear” on George Hook’s Newstalk Radio show.

—————————————————————-

DUP CREATES DELIBERATE PROVOCATION

Irish Gaeltacht scheme for young ‘cut by £50,000’

By Robbie Meredith    BBC News NI Education Correspondent  23 December 2016

The Department for Communities (DfC) has withdrawn funding for an Irish language bursary scheme.

The Líofa Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme enabled at least 100 people a year to attend summer Irish language classes in the Donegal Gaeltacht.

The Líofa programme was set up by former culture minister, Carál Ní Chuilín.

The DfC announced the cut in an email from the Líofa office.

It was sent to the boards of the gaeltacht colleges on 23 December.

It reads: “Mar gheall ar choigilteas éifeachtúlachta ní bheidh an Roinn ag soláthar Scéim Sparánachtaí Líofa i 2017. Nollaig mhaith agus bliain úr faoi mhaise daoibh.”

This translates as: “Because of efficiency savings, the department will not be providing the Líofa bursary scheme in 2017. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.”

‘Blatant discrimination’

Representatives from the gaeltacht colleges said that the bursary funding was worth about £50,000 per year, and enabled those unable to afford to meet the cost themselves to spend time at colleges in the gaeltacht.

The president of Comhaltas Uladh, Dr Niall Comer called the move a “blatant act of discrimination.”

“Comhaltas Uladh of Conradh na Gaeilge considers this to be quite simply a deliberate and cynical attack on the Irish language, without any justification nor reason,” he said.

“Our summer colleges are cross-community and disadvantaged children from both sides of the community have availed of this scholarship scheme.

“This decision will directly impact on hundreds of Irish language learners, from disadvantaged families across the north.

“The minister’s decision must be contextualised in terms of recent political events, where we have, this week, seen almost half a billion pound of public money squandered.”

“Cutting successful schemes aimed at disadvantaged children from both communities is not the answer.”

The department for communities confirmed that the programme would not run in 2017 due to the need to find efficiency savings

 

———-

IN MEMORY OF TOMMY O’BRIEN, Journalist, Opera Lover and Broadcaster

New Stanza V(a) by Paddy Healy  in The Two Travellers with Apologies to CJ BOLAND

THE TWO TRAVELLERS

CJ Boland

 

I

“All over the world”, the traveller said,

“In my peregrination’s I’ve been;

And there’s nothing remarkable, living or dead,

 But these eyes of mine have seen.

From the land of the ape and the marmoset,

To the tents of the Fellaheen”

Said the other, “ I’ll lay you an even bet 

You were never in Farranalleen.”

                                             II

“I’ve hunted in woods near Seringapatam,

And sailed in the Polar Seas,

I fished for a week in the Gulf of Siam

And lunched on the Chersonese.

I’ve lived in the valleys of fair Cashmere,

Under Himalay’s snowy ridge.”

Then the other impatiently said ,”See here ,

Were you ever at Laffan’s Bridge?”

                                   111

“I’ve lived in the land where tobacco is grown,

In the surburbs of Santiago;

And I spent two years in Sierra Leone,

And one in Del Fuego.

I walked across Panama all in a day,

Ah me! But the road was rocky.”

The other replied , “Will you kindly say, 

Were you ever at Horse -and – Jockey?”

                                 I V

“I’ve borne my part in a savage fray,

When I got this wound from a Lascar;

We were bound just then from Mandalay

For the Island of Madagascar,

Ah! The sun never tired of shining there,

And the trees canaries sang in,”

“What of that?” said the other, “sure I’ve a pair, 

And there’s lots of them in Drangan.”

                                     V

“And I’ve hunted the tigers in Turkestan,

In Australia the kangaroos;

And I lived six months as medicine man

To a tribe of the Kathmandoos.

And I’ve stood on the scene of Olympic games,

Where the Grecians showed their paces,”

The other replied, “ Now tell me, James, 

Were you ever at Fethard Races?”

                                       V(a)

( In Memory of Tommy O’Brien-Paddy Healy) 

I’ve heard Callas at La Scala, Pavarotti at the Met

In Prague for Giovanni, heard Mozart’s famed Duet

I’ve heard Verdi at Verona,

Quaffed Wagner by the Rhine,

Come here said the other,

Did you ever listen to Tommy O’Brien?

                            VI

“Don’t talk of your hunting in Yucatan,

Or your fishing off St. Helena;

I’d rather see young fellows hunting the ‘wren’

In the hedges of Tobberaheena.

No doubt the scenes of a Swiss Canton

Have a passable sort of charm

Give me a sunset on Slievnamon 

From the head at Hackett’s Farm.

                              VII

“And I’d rather be strolling along the quay,

And watching the river flow,

Than growing tea with the cute Chinee,

Or mining in Mexico.

 And I wouldn’t much care for Sierra Leone,

If I hadn’t seen Killenaule,

And the man that was never in Mullinahone

Shouldn’t say he had travelled at all”


“Kelly”, A POEM by Kevin(Put a real Poet in the Park) Higgins

 Any resemblance to a Former Minister for the Environment is entirely coincidental .

“He has balls”, a Labour Party source

The clasp of his handshake once reassured
prospective mothers-in-law
he’d not disappoint their daughters.
And though his infrastructure’s
in desperate need of an upgrade,
he’s confident he can get his
waterworks fit for purpose,
ladies and gentlemen, here tonight,
and those at home
watching on TV, sometime
within the next twenty
five years. And if doing so

involves flogging
every last rain drop,
from Bellmullet to Garryduff,
at a savage discount, to the guy
who despite his wallet’s ongoing
morbid obesity, has hair
that looks like it’s been stuck
to the skull with Evo-stick,
then Kelly’s the kind of pragmatist
who’ll make shit like that happen,
whether anyone asked
it to or not.

His tongue rough
as the carpet in a room
where Stevie Coughlan
once talked against the Jews.
For the past six months,
every erection he’s had
has been a member
of the Heavy Gang
about to throw a Provo
onto the railings
from a Garda Station
second storey window.

According to recent polls,
in certain areas of Tipperary,
he’s only slightly less popular
than Richard the Third. At least
half a percent less hated
than this time last week.
Of unequivocal victory,
he has no alternative
but to be certain.

 

Kevin’s fourth collection of poems is out now and called The Ghost In The Lobby. His blog can be read here.

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