An Emigrant's Farewell to Carrig and Corcamore




Scenes of my youth with a heart overflowing, I stand for the last time amid your gay flowers, To think with devotion and tender emotion, Of childhood and boyhood, those bright sunny hours, To view with affection and fond recollection, E're I'm parted forever from Erin's loved shore, The heart thrilling scenes spread in every direction Of fair verdant Carrig and sweet Corcamore.




  Ah here 'mid those scenes I have gazed with emotion, Till the soft tears of sadness bedewed my young cheek, When I thought that e're long I shall cross the broad ocean In far-off Columbia my fortune to seek. And when far from dear Erin my barge shall be steering And I shall be feeling I'll ne're see you more, I'll say with emotion and tender devotion, "Fare-you well verdant Carrig and sweet Corcamore".


 And when by Columbia's broad rivers I wander, With love for old Ireland still fresh in my heart; Of the home of my youth every hour growing fonder, Dim visions of Carrig's bright beauties still start, And if ever a fond mingled sadness steals o'er me, I'll think of my childhood 'mid valley and wildwood, And bless verdant Carrig and sweet Corcamore.




 Then farewell to your bowers happy scenes of my childhood, The land of the stranger must now be my home, Adieu to those loved haunts in valley and wildwood, Where oft my young footsteps did wantonly roam, And when neath the sod of the stranger I'm sleeping, Perhaps from dear Erin some friends may sail o'er, Who'd plant o'er my grave, amid sighing and weeping, A shamrock from Carrig or sweet Corcamore.








John W. Sexton was born in 1958 and is the author of seven poetry collections, the most recent being: The Offspring of the Moon (Salmon Poetry 2013), Futures Pass (Salmon Poetry 2018), and Visions at Templeglantine (Revival Press 2020). A chapbook of his surrealist poetry, Inverted Night, came out from SurVision in April 2019.


Tickets for the Poetry Workshops are limited, please contact ballybunionartsfestival@gmail.com to book a space, price €20






He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl was awarded the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007 for best single poem. His poem In and Out of Their Heads, from The Offspring of the Moon, was selected for The Forward Book of Poetry 2014. His poem The Snails was shortlisted for the 2018 An Post / Listowel Writers’ Week Poem of the Year Award. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.




During 2019 and 2020 he was Writer in Residence for the Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival.




Join John for a three hour poetry workshop at The Bunker.








Contented Diner




Glass House




John McGrath




I must have ordered onion rings for two.




They’re stacked above my steak like lifebelts;




Pepper sauce and wedges on the side,




salad and a subtle Chilean Red.




Beyond the glass I watch the river rise




swiftly with the tide.  Swans




feed frantically, bottoms in the air.




Mine hugs lime-green leatherette.




The waiter smiles, tops up my wine




and leaves.  I watch his bottom too,




then raise my fork and stab my plate




like a Polynesian fisherman.




Out on the river, the swans swim on,




pedalling frantically against the tide,




Diving, feeding, pedalling again.




I marvel at their weight-loss plan.




I put down my fork and sigh contentedly,




raise my feet onto the lime-green leatherette,




smile at the waiter as he takes my plate and muse




on why others choose to swim against the tide.








By John McGrath








A finch against my window.




I felt the shudder as its world met mine,




Rushed to where it fell.




Sapped of sense and movement,




Eyes glazed, grey, lifeless,




Wings splayed, stone still.




I saw its small beak quiver,




Move as if to speak.




A tiny pulse throbbed in its downy throat.




Cupping it in my palm,




I felt the soft, warm beat within,




Willed life into stillness.




Restored by simple touch




It stirred, fluttered, faltered, flew




And healed the poet too.






A Poem that will strike a Chord








by John McGrath




I wondered why the box




was so much bigger than the book;




why the book the poet sent to me




was so much smaller than the box.




Then I opened the book




that was filled with love and lore,




with longing and laughter




and weeping and rivers




and oceans and pain,




so much wisdom and wonder and joy




and so many people and stories,




that I marvelled at the miracle




of how a box so tiny




could hold so great a book.










Laborare est Orare








By John McGrath




Walking with dolphins on a summer’s day




High over Ballybunion,




Talking with ravens in Ballyegan bog,




December morning after rain,




Watching a tumbling star




In a blue-black January sky,




The moon ringed with gold




Over Cnoc An Óir,




Listening to a choir of thrushes




Or the vespers of a thousand starlings,




Turning day-old hay




Towards a sweetening July sun,




Smelling the first rose of April




Or the first turf-fire of autumn.




Incense, mystery, music, majesty




And many places,




Many ways to pray.






Elegy to Road Kill








by John McGrath




I killed a fox last night




outside the graveyard wall.




Too late to brake I caught




a flash of golden fur




in headlight’s glare,




Felt the thump and crunch




of steel on bone,




Slow-motion silence,




Disbelief and then,








that fate had mindlessly conspired




to lead us to this place,




this point in time,




this intersecting line




where two lives intertwine




with tragedy.




One of us remained




outside the graveyard wall.




One moved on




and died a little too.










Poetry Newcastle West






The Rattle Away Breed


by Paddy O’ Connor






I have written you verses full ninety five score,




On Hurling and football and fashion galore,




Camogie and racing and coursing as well,




From famous Clounanna to lovely Clonmel.






But I’m finished with hurling and football and togs,




For it’s plain to be seen that I’m going to the dogs.




Now I take up my pen with unusual speed,




For to write you a verse on the Rattle-Away Breed.






In Clonmel at the Derby we saw sixty four,




Of Ireland’s best puppies in action once more.




Each one there determined to bear home the Cup,




Though some that we saw, faith! they were hairy old pups.




Of the sixty and three there was none fit to lead,




The little red dog of the Rattle-Away Breed.






When his name was called out Dainty Man cocked his ear,




Then as fit as a fiddle we saw him appear.




He walked into slips as if he owned the park,




How he wagged his big tail at the slightest remark.






Twas no nickname at all for the dog “All Forlorn”,




His chances of victory to pieces were torn,




“Take him home”, Greaney shouted, “And give him a feed,




He’s no match for my dog of the Rattle-Away Breed”.




With our hearts stout and brave and with Pussy in view,




Sure the brindled dog there met his first Waterloo.






To slips with the dog from the Blackwaterside,




Sure a Kerryman’s courage can ne’er be denied.




Though running unsighted behind the great hare,




No one for one moment are we in despair.






The cradle of coursing it is famed Ballyduff,




In Tommyo’s kennel you’ll find the right stuff,




With that soar to sweep over the watery plains,




And the bluest of blood running right through their veins.






However, to Tommy the honour must go,




For there’s nought in the game that this genius don’t know.




Being a sportsman a thousand times over indeed,




It was famous for years in the O’Sullivan breed.






Three cheers for Tom Connor to give now we must,




That his hammer and anvil might never show rust.




That we may all in the future around Newtownsandes




See more Coneen Brosnans and more Dainty Mans.




Then our heart with emotion were ready to bleed,




When the Derby was won by the Rattle-Away Breed.










Kathleen Forrestal this is one of her happy memories of her time in Pres.




Convent Garden




I recall the convent garden


It dispelled the classroom hours:


Lovely trees, flowering shrubs and every kind of flowers.


I loved the mossy path dividing vegetables and fruit.


Here my mind remained serene even though my tongue was mute.




A pink rose shed its petals, they lay strewn upon the ground,


I stood there caressing it, waiting to be found.


I rescued one and smelled it, it's perfume was so sweet.


The others came and trampled them underneath their feet.




I cling now to the memory imprinted on my mind,


Some thoughts I’ll always treasure and some I leave behind




The History of Siamsa Tíre




How Siamsa Tíre evolved, from its beginnings under the leadership of Fr Pat Ahern to the present day




Siamsa, pronounced “Shee-am-sa”, comes from the Irish language. The word itself expresses mirth and music, Tíre means ‘of the land’. At the heart of Siamsa Tíre lies a professional core group of full-time players supported by selected artists drawn from the local community but trained in the unique Siamsa style and idiom. Full-time and community performers, who have completed the company’s training scheme, integrate and blend into a dedicated and talented team.




Following the move to its custom built premises in 1991 the company embraced the role of operating an Arts Centre. Now, in addition to its remit as the National Folk Theatre, Siamsa Tíre also hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year. Contemporary drama, dance, classical music, comedy and literary events feature on a year round programme, as well as a vibrant visual arts line-up in the dedicated gallery spaces. Siamsa Tíre also hosts activities by local groups, arts organisations, and festivals.




Fr Pat Ahern founder of Siamsa Tíre


A Brief History




The origins of Siamsa Tire date back to 1957 when a young curate, Fr Pat Ahern, was sent to Kerry to establish a new choir in St John’s church in Tralee. The success of the choir and the talents of some of the members inspired Pat Ahern to stage a Passion Play entitled, Golgotha, in 1963. This performance met with such acclaim that a celebratory night was organised to acknowledge the performers and organisers. The night concluded with a special presentation of song, dance and music by some of those involved. This too was so warmly received that Pat Ahern and a number of others decided to continue to explore further possibilities for the informal group. They decided to call themselves, Siamsóirí na Ríochta.




A core impetus for the group was the preservation of some of the traditions in music, song and dance in North Kerry that were in danger of disappearing. Chief among these was the ‘Munnix’ style of dancing as taught by the travelling dance master, Jeremiah Molyneaux, or Jerry Munnix as he was known. Many of the pieces included in the initial presentations focused on the Amhráin Saothar or work song which accompanied many of the traditional occupations and tasks in rural Ireland. Threshing, tending to animals, scything, churning, cobbling, along with festivals such as Bealtaine and Lughnasa formed the core of these productions.




During these early years, Siamsóirí na Ríochta performed in a variety of venues in Ireland (including the Abbey Theatre) and abroad and were also invited to perform on a number of Raidio Teilifís Eireann productions. In 1968, Michael Maye, a Bord Fáilte representative in Tralee, suggested that the group stage a season of productions during the summer. This was to be Siamsa Tíre’s first Summer Season.




Pat Ahern prepared a plan to foster the development of Irish folk culture in 1972 and in the ensuing years he proceeded to implement it. With the formation of Siamsa Tíre Teo in 1974, Pat Ahern was appointed Artistic Director, a position he held until his retirement in 1998.




A vital element of Pat Ahern’s plan was the fostering of traditional Irish folk culture in a series of Tithe Siamsa or Folk Academies located in strategic, tradition-rich parts of rural Ireland. The first of these was built in Finuge in North Kerry in 1974 and the second the following year in Carraig in the Chorcha Dhuibhne Gaeltacht. Here, training in music, dance, song and movement continues was delivered to selected students over a period of three years, free of charge. Those students who show significant promise then graduate to an advanced class in Siamsa Tíre in Tralee, and from there to the Community Cast of the company.  Whilst most of the training currently takes place in Tralee, the same system of training is still in place.




Martin Whelan General Manager of Siamsa Tíre up to 2002




The other key individual in the development of Siamsa Tíre was Martin Whelan. Martin initially became involved in a voluntary capacity when Teach Siamsa in Finuge was being built. His energy and commitment to this development lead him to take a more full-time role in the organisation and in 1974, he was appointed as General Manager of Siamsa Tíre, a position he retained until his untimely death in 2002. At the time of his passing, Martin Whelan had become one of the best known and best loved arts administrators in the country.




Martin, along with Pat Ahern and architect, Patrick (Paddy) O’Sullivan were instrumental in the building of the current theatre and arts centre in Tralee, travelling as far afield as the United States to study other arts facilities. The new theatre and arts centre was officially opened in 1991. Prior to this, Siamsa Tíre had a number of temporary homes, including the Ashe Memorial Hall and the old Theatre Royal in Tralee. The current theatre and arts centre is a testament to the vision of all three men and is still widely regarded as one of the best arts facilities in the country.




Siamsa Tíre continues to play a central role in Irish cultural life, regionally and nationally. Tours abroad over more than 40 years have also contributed to a growing international reputation for the company.  Siamsa Tíre continues to place a strong emphasis on development, working with visiting choreographers such as Mary Nunan, Cindy Cummings, Sue Ellen McCarthy, directors and more recently, writers, including Michael Harding.




“There is a sense in which we do not own our culture, we are only trustees. The treasure is only on loan and we must take it, refurbish it in the light of our experience and hand it on."




Fr Pat Ahern.










Song by John Mcgrath




 And when our streets are green again




 When metalled roads are green




And girls walk barefoot through the weeds




 Of Regent Street, Saint Martin's Lane








 And children hide in factories




Where burdock blooms and vetch and rust,




 And elms and oaks and chestnut trees




 Are tall again and hope is lost




 When up the Strand the foxes glide








And hedgehogs sniff and wildcats yells


And golden orioles come back


To flash through Barnes and Clerkenwell










When governments and industries




Lie choked by weeds in fertile rain




 For sure the few who stay alive




Will laugh and grow to love again




SEÁN Ó h-AIRTNÉIDE 1928 - 2017




I met an old friend in Mountmahon today


And he said Jackie Thady had just passed away.


The great Seán Ó h-Airtnéide has gone to his rest.


Devon Road is in mourning. He was one of the best.






DEATH of Raymond (Ray) Keane, Killarney and Carlow, died on November 30th, 2020, in the excellent care of Kerry Specialist Palliative Care, University Hospital Kerry, Tralee. Much loved father of Laura and Lydia; predeceased by his wife Bernie and father John. Sadly missed by his partner Kasia, daughters, mother Pauline, sisters Majella, Eleanor and Geraldine, brother Paul, Laura’s partner Dale, uncles, aunts-in-law, brothers-in-law, nephews, and nieces. His father a native of Lisselton, and wrote several books.






Sive Cast 1959 Dail Picture Listowel Connection


Front Row From Left:


Jeffrey O’Connnor (Cahirciveen,  Sheila Keane’s Husband)


Brendan Carroll   (Carroll Henigan, William St)


Margaret Dillon    


John B. Keane       


Cecile Cotter  (‘Tasty Cotter’s’ sister – Scully’s Corner used to be called Cotter’s Corner)


Nora Relihan


Dan Moloney T.D., (grandfather  of  Cllr.Jimmy Moloney)




Second Row Left to Right


John Cahill,  (Main St.,)


Hilary Neilsen, (Bridge Road)


Siobhan Cahill (Main St.)


Bill Kearney  (Lr. William St. – where Shebeen  is now)


Harry Geraghty  (Bank of Ireland or maybe National Bank?)


Eamon Keane


Mrs. Peggie Walsh  ( The Square)




Back Row, Left to Right


John Flaherty  (Charles St)


Margaret Moloney (Gurtinard, grandmother  Jimmy Moloney)


Kevin Donovan (Upper William St)


Seamus Ryle  (Nora Relihan’s brother)


Ina Leahy  (Leahys, Market St)


Dr. Johnny Walsh


Peg Schuster  (John B’s sister)




Anne Mulcahy












Spring smelled of Summers brink




 - dew grass, mist lying close to ditches,




covering with whispers. 




Plassey was my mothers retreat,




 filled her lungs like air, salvation, ecstasy -




An addictive helium balloon.




The smooth river winding down the canal




would beckon, and from Spring to Autumn




she was its slave, fallen yellow leaves tangled




her sandaled feet in October,




while we, bumbled behind her




Ducklings behind a swan








Summer was her Byzantium,




long bright days ate her heaviness.




We stretched on coloured towels




on thick green bank-hills -




among its natives,




the butterflies and the bees.




then sizzled under sun’s rays,




 like our frying sausages




smoking on the campfire




or twirled on the rope




looped over the trees arm.
















Firewood flames flicker the summer breeze




mingling with scents of meadow spray,




Swans nests, cut grass, cow dung –




The scent of food




bid us to rise from the river floor




where in earnest we explore




the treasure the swans guard near the rocks.




Star spread swimmers splash from the black bridge




the unorthodox diving board -




where oft a rescue is needed  -




I jumped - Laughing when I bobbed back








Ark my last jump failed me -




 the river with her whithery branch




clasped my ankle in her iron grip




–air left my tight held lips.




The sun glittered above the waters head -




I sank - a stone cradled in the arms of the river.




I left this world - 




I left Plassey and my mother,




As she sat on the river bank.








Alas, my story does not end -




Again I am reborn




air bellowed through me like a storm




 - I blinked, my world had changed ,




no longer I the young boy




Of my mothers heart




Who dared a dare  - who lived without care




Who at 10 still followed her everywhere.




No - I am a baby again




I cannot smell the riverbed,




 the meadow or the swans,




I cried for my mother – I cried loud




Knowing she would be calling too.




But the rivers magic had done its trick and here I am anew -




Stuck in this alien place  - while Plassey is my home








Through years I’ve trawled, and still explore




for the treasure beneath the worlds floor,




the re-born me has a memory




so sharp it cannot fade.




The scent of spring on Summers brink




The long hot days we played,




they call me night and day




possess my every breath -




are the source of my every pain




I am not alive in my past world




Nor in this world am I yet dead!








I’ve exhausted all there is to exhaust




and all to no avail -




A lunacy the Doctors diagnose




While Priests and Visionaries are vague.




I’ve tried retrospective Hypnosis,




Even the seven son of a seven son,




I told him my disarray.




He read my palm and slumbered deep




woke with a piercing scream -




you are a dead man alive again




His yellow teeth screamed at me!








I waste my life in chase of the other




travel sea and air, to be with my mother ,




to scratch this memory from my head




If you go to Plassey - tell her the door home has closed.




She waits by the big rocks where the swans guard,




 watches the black bridge through frowned eyes,




 scoures the river bed for our bobbing crowns,




while the suns glare glistens in her eyes.




Alas, I am doomed -a man between two worlds




Considered a lunatic or a fool -




No one believes my words




No one believes my memories are not dreams




No one believes the dead are alive!














Ballydonoghue Festival 2020






Robert Leslie Bowland Award






Freedom Fighter by Margaret Sheehan








When they were finished with you




there was skin on the road.




There’s a man who says




that you are living still




chained to the memory.




All those years ago




you could not have known




you’d be held so long.




I would sprinkle water




on the four corners




of your house




to set you free.




That would be my






Ballydonoghue Bardic Festival- Results




LOVE: Think of someone you truly love or have loved. What is the power of that love that draws you to that person? Do you love that person because you have to or because you want to? Does the attraction of love with that person draw you beyond yourself in such a way that if you stopped loving that person, something real and tangible would die, perhaps the spiritual bond of love between you? If you have had an experience of love, then you have had some insight into the Trinity of love. In fact, by loving another person you have been—yes, believe it or not—caught up in the Trinity of love. The Trinity is not three men at a tea party. It is a mystery of relationships—giving, receiving and sharing love. When we say “God is love” we are saying that God is a mystery of persons-in-love. The mystery of God’s love is like ever-deepening love. Within that loving embrace of God, our lives are brought into being and sustained in being. As we have been loved into birth, so, too, we are called to mirror God’s love for others so as to birth God anew in creation. For that is how God, the tremendous lover of life, delights in his creation.




—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF










Love, John Lyons


The art of love




Two figures


           drained of colour


sepia with just a hint


           of blue




Sometimes more


           is less


sometimes less


           is more




Art is evocation


           it suggests :


when it seeks to impose


           it overpowers




in that way


           art resembles




           and love




in which




and gentleness


           are its strengths




John Lyons






Remembering Tralee




My mother was born


           in the shadow of mountains


her old bones long since


           laid to rest


I know the place


           the house the houses


where she was a girl


           I know the school


I know the shoreline


           where she would go


in the summer to bathe


           and walk along the beach




My bones


           out of her bones


have grown old too


           but my muscles retain


their youthful vigour


           I know many things


and yet am ignorant


           of so much more




Perhaps I long to return


           to that place


in the shadow of mountains


           where calm waters


run down to the sea


           Perhaps is a word


I have used too often


           in my life perhaps




John Lyons






Your final resting




Half-moon over November night:


      snow on the ground and icy dusting


of snow in the boughs of trees


      in the ancient woodlands by your last bed.


A barn owl sits motionless in the darkness,


      in the half-light of the half-moon.


A lone cry in the woodlands,


      the lone cry of the November owl


under the half-moon. And then silence.


      And then peace. A final flurry of snow.




That you should love and be loved.


      nothing more. That you should love


and be lived by that love. The two-way gift,


      the life-gift and the love-gift,


and not the one without the other.


      All life is two-way just as all love


is all life


      in the giving and receiving.


And so Divina asks me where was she


      before she was born,


because living and loving cannot understand


      the state of non-being.


And I say to her:


      You were there in our love


where you will always be,




            in our love.




And you, my mother—


      I gave birth to you


just as you brought me out of yourself


      and into the light,


barely a half-moon from now,


      barely three and forty years from here.


You born again in the moment of my birth


      into that deep love-gift of motherhood;


And I have loved you


      as the father of your motherhood of me,


son and father to you


      as the mother and daughter of my love.




And your dying — this two-way sadness


      which we call your death


is also a kind of lying in,


      is also a kind of new maternity,


a fresh maternity as you lie here now


      in peace and at peace,


nurturing us into that new life,


      that life with and without you,


that never-losing-you life of your death.


      Your six children


around your last bed,


      at the breast of your love.




November sun — and magpies soaring


      in the chill air,


seen through the window of your last resting


      A sadness yes, a grief


undeniably. And yet an overwhelming


      sense of love undying.


Not of ashes to ashes


      but of life to life


             through love.




23 November 1993


From John Joseph Lyons


The poem below was written immediately after visiting her one day in the hospital when I, like all her children, had been stunned by her sudden decline. The accompanying photo was taken two years earlier, around the time of her seventieth birthday and that is how I like to remember her. She was born in Tralee, Co. Kerry in 1922, and her family emigrated to Welling in 1937




A Poem from Noel Roche of Chicago and Listowel


In Loving Memory of my sister, “ Jack’




I wonder if you’re up there


Irish dancing on a cloud.


I know that when you sing


You’re surrounded by a crowd.


Mam and Dad and Dick and Jim,


And all who passed are there.


I wonder what God’s thinking


Every time he hears you swear.




I know in my heart


There is one thing you will do.


I know you’ll ask Elvis


To sing The Wonder of You.


I know there’s angels laughing,


They all think you’re great.


Heaven has not been the same


Since you walked through the gate.




You left behind a lot of stuff


Clothes, jewellery and rings.


Your daughter got the promise


That you’re the wind beneath her wings.


I know your friends are sad


I know they’re feeling blue.


But I also know they’re grateful


That they had a friend like you.




Your brothers and your sisters


Are going day by day


And trying to accept the fact


That you have gone away.


Your nephews and your nieces


Every single one,


Are struggling with the fact


That their favourite Aunty’s gone.




I’m here in Chicago


Many miles away.


I’ve got a hole in my heart


That will not go away.


I’m trying to get over this


And make a brand new start


I know that I am not alone


You are always in my heart.


Kerryman of the Year




 by Noel Roche of Chicago and Listowel




To my brother, Tom, who makes me proud




He was born in 1945 on the third day of July


Another child for Dick and Madge, a little baby boy.


Rumour has it he was late, they thought he wouldn’t come at all.


When he finally did come out, he was soloing a ball.


Just like all the other boys, he always loved to play.


It seemed he was a natural when it came to GAA.


His heroes were the Kerry teams, those men so big and bold.


His dreams were that someday he would wear the green and gold.


And wear the green and gold he did in 1963.


He won an All Ireland medal and became a hero to me.


Soon he moved to England and left Kerry behind.


“Twas his body that left Kerry, Kerry would not leave his mind.


Tom can talk of anything under the heavenly sky


But when he talks of Kerry he has a twinkle in his eye.


If you want Tom to help, all you have to do


Is throw in the word Kerry and he will be there for you.


How much does he love Kerry?  To him its not a game


Tom has got a daughter and Kerry is her name.


And now I’m here tonight to cheer


As they name my brother Tom, Kerryman of the Year.


Theer is no better man and I will tell you why


When it comes to Kerry, Tom is do or die.


And if you cut him open this sight you would behold


There is no red inside his veins. His blood runs green and gold.


Literacy Awakening”: The Role of Study Abroad and International Service Learning for Preservice Teachers’ Literacy Engagement


Kristie O'Donnell Lussier, Lori Czop Assaf, Meagan Hoff




The purpose of this study was to explore how preservice teachers (PST) became aware of literacies in global and local contexts and to understand how PST conceive of literacy after experiencing an international service learning (ISL) study abroad program in rural South Africa. For this qualitative grounded theory study, we used critical literacy and humanizing pedagogy as theoretical frames for designing the program and analyzing data. Findings show PST experienced a “literacy awakening.” They became more aware of nuanced and complex ways literacies function in a community and imagined how their understandings would shape future teaching.




study abroad; international education; critical literacy; teacher education; humanizing pedagogy


Full Text:




DOI: https://doi.org/10.32865/fire201952163     




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Copyright (c) 2019 Kristie O'Donnell Lussier, Lori Czop Assaf, Meagan Hoff


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.




The Ó Longáin Family


From the 18th century to the late 19th century the surname ‘Ó Longáin’ was synonymous with ‘scribes.’  Working as a scribe meant copying stories, poetry, histories and religious texts from manuscripts and printed works for patrons. Working as a scribe also involved translating texts from Irish to English.  Frequently their patrons were from Cork merchant families, were Cork scholars themselves such as John Windele or from Cork clergy such as Bishop John Murphy. Working as a scribe had previously been a position of privilege but as the Gaelic order disintegrated following the Flight of the Earls in 1607, scribes found their living situation growing perilous and frequently lived in poverty. Micheál mac Peattair, his son Micheál Óg and his grandson Peadar were based in Carrignavar, Cork. Grandsons Pól and Seosamh were primarily based in Dublin.






Doors to the future


Written by Róisin Curtin 6thYear


We left the doors of the hospital,


Small and pink,


With loved ones gathered round.


Cute as buttons, innocent as day,


Our parents soothed by our sound.




We walked through the doors of education,


And finally here we stand.


A long way from A,B,C’s


We have learned to hold our own hand.




From doors to sports clubs,


 To halls, filled with music and dance.


The things that make us who we are,


We can look back on in a glance.




There was and will be doors,


 Where tough challenges lay behind.


Yet hope and joy will find us,


And we pray that life will be kind.




Now a knocking is loud in our ears,


 The opportunities are endless from here.


However far from home you may wander,


Open each door without fear.




Adventure, Friendship and Fun are out there,


 Let’s jump in and not be afraid,


It’s time to turn the handle now,


 The door to the future awaits


Observing the Pieties


Garry MacMahon




I confess I’m a creature of habit, as down life’s road I go


Observing annual rituals is a must for me, and so


Before the crib at Christmas Eve I kneel with all the clan


And on the feast of Stephen go to Dingle for the wran.


Then for sweet St. Brigid’s Day a straw cross I have made


To hang upon the threshold whereon it will be laid.


In the house of my Redeemer I chant a hymn of praise


My throat criss crossed with candles on the feast day of St. Blaise.


Shrove Tuesday I eat pancakes dipped in honey from the hive


And thank the Lord that yet I live and another year survived,


And when the long gospel is read before the end of Lent


Home I take the blessed palm and breathe its sacred scent.


On Good Friday I buy hot cross buns and before the day is past


Gather cockles from the sea shore and keep the old black fast


And then on Easter morn I rise to see the dancing sun come forth


Not forgetting Patrick’s Day between, as the shamrock I still sport.


The coming of the swallow, the awakening of the earth


The promise of a primrose I await with bated breath,


And lest ill luck should follow me and give me cause to grieve


I never bring whitethorn to the house upon May Eve.


June bonfires once I lighted on the feastday of St. John


A custom all but vanished as relentless time moves on.


July sees me hit for Milltown and Willie Clancy in the County Clare


In Marrinan’s pub I pay my sub and a song or two sing there.


And then its Munster Final time and the piper must be paid


To Thurles, Cork, Killarney the pilgrimage is made.


Again I fetch my fishing rod before the season’s out


Take the time to wet a line and coax elusive trout.


To the Pattern of the Virgin, from thence on to Puck Fair


The Races of Listowel come next and I’m certain to be there.


Dew drenched fields provide me with mushrooms gleaming white


While plump and juicy blackberries for my sore eyes are a sight.


When comes November of the souls and all the leaves are shed


Will you light a candle then for me as I do for the dead?




You’ve heard an old man’s story, each word I swear is true,


Be blessed thrice, take this advice I now implore of you


Don’t turn your back on dúchas or on history’s learned lore




And pass it on before it’s gone and lost forever more.




Proud to be Irish


By Domhnall de Barra




A very happy St. Patrick’s Weekend to all. Yes, it is a time for people all over the world to join with us in celebrating our national feast day. It is hard to believe that a little country like Ireland, that could be lost into one of the states in America, can have such a high profile throughout the world at this time. To understand it we have to look back at our history and the fact that, due to oppression, famine and poverty, we had no option but to take to the emigrant trail and go to countries overseas to try and make a living. We are not unique in that of course as many other nations had similar experiences but there is something about the Irish spirit that drives us to success. The first emigrants did not have it easy. Most of them were uneducated and had to accept menial jobs and suffer prejudice to feed their families. Other nations looked down on them, especially in England where they were regarded as illiterate bog people who were only one step up from animals. Even up to the middle of the last century it was not uncommon to see notices in the windows of boarding houses that read: “No dogs, no blacks, no Irish”.  Anything that did not make sense or was thought to be stupid was referred to as being “a bit Irish”. They had a mountain to climb but they were determined to do so and the first thing they did was ensure that their children got a good education. Through their hard work and diligence they gradually gained respect and got involved in their communities. As time went by they entered business and politics and became pillars of their communities. Through all this time they maintained a link with the homeland and created “homes from home” by having their own social clubs where they gathered every weekend to meet and immerse themselves in the culture they were raised with through music, song,  dance and drama. They also played hurling and football and were proud of who they were and where they came from. Through all this they never forgot the families they had left behind and regularly sent parcels home with clothes and other items to help them out. There are many, still living today. who will remember the “parcel from America” and the excitement of ripping away the cord held together with wax and the brown paper to reveal the goodies within. They also sent money, something that helped the country get off its knees and become the vibrant place we have today.




In general the Irish had large families so, over the years, the numbers grew and the Irish influence became much stronger. In America, in particular, they took up office in the administration of towns and cities all the way up to when John F. Kennedy, whose people came from Wexford, was elected President of the USA. St. Patrick’s Day always played a big part in the lives of the Irish who created festivals around the event and paraded through the streets of their towns and cities dressed in the national colours and displaying Irish emblems. This caught the imagination of the general public and soon the Irish were joined in their celebrations by friends and admirers who had no contact with Ireland but wanted to become honorary citizens for the day. The custom has grown to such an extent that there is hardly a major city in the world that will not have an Irish parade next Sunday. Rivers will even be turned green and green beer will be drank in pubs to celebrate the occasion. Perhaps their is a little too much drink involved in the festivities but in general people are just out for a good time so, what harm!.




What are we celebrating anyway?  Is it about St. Patrick anymore, I wonder. St. Patrick is attributed with bringing the Catholic Faith to Ireland and is our national Saint. The celebrations should then be of  a religious nature but I am afraid that day is well and truly gone. Next Sunday we will see parades featuring everything but religious themes but it has become a symbol in itself of Irishness and a sense of pride for us all.




This week we are also celebrating “Seachtain na Gaeilge” when our native tongue will be to the fore on many programmes and papers. Some people will question having anything to do with the language saying it is a dead language and should be dropped in schools in favour of other foreign languages that may be more beneficial when abroad. Well, for a start, it is far from being a dead language as it is spoken daily in many parts of our Island called the Gaeltacht. There is also a big increase in attendances in gaelscoileanna, especially in urban areas, where all subjects, except English, are taught through Irish which is also the only medium of communication in the schools. My own grandchildren attended the gaelscoil in Newcastle West and they had no problem using the language from the word go. Unfortunately, outside of the gaelscoileanna, the teaching of Irish leaves a lot to be desired. It is treated merely as an exam subject and it is safe to say that it is hated by many of the pupils who are “forced” to learn it. We must be realistic and understand that Irish will never again be the spoken language in our country but that should not stop us having a knowledge of a beautiful language that was spoken by every Irish citizen up to the beginning of the last century.  It is part of what we are and we should all try and use whatever “cúpla focail” we have whenever the opportunity arises.




So, enjoy the rest of the week, wear your badges and emblems with pride and don’t forget the shamrock, the plant St. Patrick used to explain the Blessed Trinity.






As I sit beside the fireside,


My day’s work it being through


My memories do wander back


When I was a lad like you


My poor old heart it skips a beat


When I think of the thrill


Of those happy days


When a youth like you


I spent round sweet Old Mill




The above lines were written by Tony Geoghegan of Glensharrold in 1989 describing the happy times he spent around Sweet Old Mill





Loughill/Ballyhahill Parish Drama; By Peg Prendeville




There’s drama in the parish




Is the whisper on the ground




It seems that “Sive” is being produced




So spread the word around.




The Parish Hall is where it’s at




On the 30th of November




As well as the 1st, and 7th and 8th




Of Christmassy December.




This team of local actors




Has been busy all the year




Learning lines and acting out




The aim it is quite clear.




It’s to bring a spark of levity




Into our winter season




So be sure that you support them




As it is their only reason




They’re from all parts of the parish




From very young to “getting old”




They have so much fun together




As their lines they try to hold.




Remember they are amateurs




Some have never been on stage




So do not be too critical




If their words fall off the page.




And though there is sadness in the play




There is laughter too you’ll see




For the witty lines contained within




We sincerely thank the late John B.




So be sure to book your tickets




-To be got in Paddy’s store




You will definitely not regret it




And will be coming back for more.


William Upton 1845








William Upton, carpenter, Fenian, novelist, poet and rural labourers' leader was born on 27 August 1845 in the village of Ardagh, Co. Limerick, one of eight children born to Frank Upton (1799-1881) and Catherine Nolan (1800?-1854). Frank, a carpenter, and his Catherine had married locally in 1829.




The Upton’s were artisans and Roman Catholic but their forebears, just a few generations back, had been Protestant landholders. It is unclear precisely why or how William Upton's line became tradesmen but it is probable that the marriage of his Protestant grandfather, Edward (born 1742), to a Catholic named Mary Dunworthy (or Dunworth) led to a familial exclusion.




William became a carpenter and cabinetmaker, and in common with many young nationalist artisans he joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood during the mid-1860's. On March 5th 1867,as part of the ill-fated rising, he joined Limerick Fenians in an attack on Ardagh police barracks. Police reports identified him as one of the leaders and as having organised efforts to burn out the barracks when the frontal assault failed.


Richard James Hayes born 1902, died 1976; Born at Abbeyfeale.




During wartime Europe, Dr Hayes and Colonel Dan Bryan, the head of Ireland's intelligence service G2, led the secret Irish counter intelligence group to decode wireless messages being transmitted through Morse code from a house owned by the German Embassy.


“He masterminded the counter-intelligence program. He ensured Germany felt they could not certainly directly invade Ireland,” said Mr Hull.


Hayes has been referred to by MI5 as Ireland’s “greatest unsung hero” and the American Office of Strategic Services as “a colossus of a man”.


“The heroic thing about this, with both Dan Bryan and Dr Hayes, is they are doing this in some measure without their own government’s approval or knowledge,” said Mr Hull.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




Richard James Hayes (born 1902, died 1976)[1] was a code-breaker during World War II and was Director of the National Library of Ireland.[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_J._Hayes




Irish Press 1931-1995, Wednesday, May 01, 1940; Page: 6


A DOZEN YEARS ago, or so, Dr. R, J. Hayes of the National Library published a fascinating book on this subject— "Comparative ldiom: " (Hodges, Figgis)—from which I have drawn my examples.


He takes most of the great languages of Europe, and; traces resemblances and contrasts, in matters like this; for, as he says, one of the most interesting things about national languages is the light, that (see paper for more)








Irish Independent 1905-current, Saturday, November 30, 1940; Page: 5




Dr. Richard J. Hayes, Thornfield, Sandymount. Dublin, has been appointed Director of the National Library in succession to Dr. R. I. Best, who has been appointed to the Institute of Advanced Studies.


Dr. Hayes, who was born in Abbeyfeale, was educated at Clongowes Wood College and Trinity College. He was the first student of Trinity to take three Moderator ships in one year when in 1924 he took Modern Literature, Celtic Languages, and Philosophy in that year he entered the National Library as Assistant Librarian, and four years later took his LL.D. degree.


He has had several works published, including three volumes in Irish by An Gum.






Evening Herald 1891-current, Tuesday, April 01, 1941; Section: Front page, Page: 1


Copy of Newspaper on Silk


A copy of the “Bendigo Advertiser " printed on silk, published in Sandhurst. Australia, containing  an account of the arrival of William Smith O'Brien in the city, was shown to members of the Bibliographical Society of Ireland by Dr.R . Hayes, National Library, at, a meeting in Dublin. Dr Hayes spoke on recent, acquisitions by the Library, including a manuscript translation of Giraldus Cambrensis by Richard Robinson.1575, earlier than the printed copy; relies of the Edgeworth family. Including manuscript poems, dated 1819 never printed.


Mr. B. F.Bowen read a paper on the " Comet" newspaper, published in 1831 by the Comet Club. Dublin. It ceased publication in 1883




Irish Press 1931-1995, Thursday, July 31, 1941; Page: 2




The romantic discovery by Dr. Hayes, Director of the National library, of two folios from the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick—lost for some three hundred- years—is one that will interest more than scholars and bibliophiles. Anything, however small, that is added to the scanty biographical material relating to Ireland's patron saint, will be welcomed.


The Tripartite life, which is the foundation of all Patrician lore, was compiled before the end of the ninth century. It consisted, as its name implies, of three dissertations on the Saint's life and death, which were intended to be recited at the annual three day festival held in his honour.


The missing leaves, long given up for lost, were found in an old book in a house near Dublin.




Irish Press 1931-1995, Saturday, May 29, 1943; Page: 3


Flew To Lisbon For Irish Books]


Dr. Richard Hayes, of the National Library, returned last night from Lisbon, where he attended the six-day auction of the library of Jorge O'Neill, of the family of the Counts de Tyrone, descendants of the O'Neills of Ulster. Dr. Hayes was sent by the Government to search for Irish books and manuscripts, and travelled by air from and to Foynes. Interviewed by an IRISH PRESS reporter, he said that the library included an enormous collection of books, most of them relating to Ireland and the Irish abroad. He had to face keen, opposition from Portuguese booksellers, whose interest in Irish books amazed him. Prices went high, but he secured over 100 rare volumes for the National Library. While in Lisbon Dr. Hayes searched the libraries and archives. In the National Library of Lisbon and in the Archives he discovered documents, hitherto unknown, and arranged to have them photographed. In the Bibliotecha d'Ajuda, in one of the Royal Palaces, he made friends  with the librarian, a grandson of " Miss Murphy, of Cork." In order to attend the auction Dr. Hayes had to leave Ireland -without seeing the catalogue. There was the likelihood that this branch of the O'Neill family, which settled in Portugal in the 18th century, might have carried ancient manuscripts, or documents, of intense interest to Irish historians. As it turned out, the only manuscript sold was a copy of Keating's Foras Feasa, of which there are many texts here already.




Henry D. Farquharson, 59 Whitworth Road,  Dublin, was sentenced to 18 months by the Special Criminal Court for selling petrol coupons during 1942.


The Court ordered that he be released after 12 months if he entered into bail to keep the peace for two years.






Irish Press 1931-1995, Thursday, October 07, 1943; Page: 2


Dr. R. J. Hayes, Director of the National Library of Ireland, has been appointed by the Government as a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission.




Evening Herald 1891-current, Saturday, December 09, 1944; Page: 2




Professor F. E. Hackett  was re-elected President, and Dr. E. J. Hayes, National Library of Ireland, and Mr. James Wilkie, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, Vice-President, at the annual general meeting of the Library Association of Ireland, held at the Country , Shop, St. Stephon's Green, yesterday.




Irish Independent 1905-current, Saturday, November 12, 1949; Page: 7




Dr. R. J. Hayes, Director of the National Library, by an arrangement with the Rockefeller Foundation, has left for the U-S. to study libraries and library methods there. Among the centres he intends to visit are New York, Princeton, Washington, Boston, Providence, New Haven, Michigan, and Chicago.


The National Library has already recorded on microfilm over a million pages of documents of Irish historical interest in England and the Continent, but so far the vast quantity of material in America has been untapped.


During his ten weeks visit to the States. Dr. Hayes will found the Friends of the National Library of Ireland, a society which, it is hoped, will help to collect and microfilm documents in America for the archives of the National Library.




Irish Examiner 1841-current, Thursday, April 12, 1951; Page: 7




Mr. Eugene Carberry, Librarian, Cork City, was re-elected president of the Library Association of Ireland at the annual general meeting in Dublin. Other Executive Board Officers elected were: Dr. R. J. Hayes, Director, National Library.; and Mr. James Barry, Vice-Presidents; Mr. G. Byrne . Dublin Municipal Service. Hon. Auditor; Mrs. M. K. McGurl, M.A., Librarian, Co. Meath, representative to An Chomhairle Leabharlann. Members elected by postal ballot were, (see paper for list)




Irish Press 1931-1995, Friday, April 17, 1959; Page: 2


Dr. R. J. Hayes, Director of the National Library (left), examines one of a six-volume edition of the works of Handel presented to the library yesterday by the German Minister,  Dr. F Prill (right), on behalf of his Government. The composer's bicentenary is being celebrated this year.




Irish Press 1931-1995, Tuesday, March 19, 1963; Page: 8




The office of the Director of the National Library, Dr. Richard Hayes, is not spared from the crowding of books and documents and records.


"A library's business", he told me is not just with books. It's job is to collect information. It only has books because there is information in them and also because they provide guides to other forms of information."


The core of the National Library's collection of over 500,000 books was the collection of the Royal Dublin Society which was taken into state care in 1877. The books were then housed in the R.D.S. premises at Leinster House. The new building to house the Library was completed in 1890.


As the largest public library in Ireland it aims to provide a general survey of all branches of knowledge but its specific interest is in Irish books, books about Ireland and Irish manuscripts and records. Information, as Dr. Hayes suggested, is no longer confined within the covers of books. There are, for example, in the library over 200,000 photographic plates including the famous collections of Poole, mainly pictures of people, and Lawrence, chiefly pictures of places.




Irish Independent 1905-current, Tuesday, November 15, 1966; Page: 11


DR. RICHARD J. HAYES, Director of the National Library, and a member of An Chomhairle Ealaion (the Arts Council) for many years, has not sought reappointment to the Council for a further term of office. The Government has appointed Mr. James J. Sweeney, Curator of the Houston Art Gallery in Texas, to replace Dr. Hayes on the Arts Council. Mr. Sweeney, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, lives for part of each year in Co. Mayo. Five of the six outgoing Ordinary Members of the Council have been reappointed for a term of five years in accordance with the Arts Act, 1951.






Irish Press 1931-1995, Monday, August 07, 1967; Page: 3


DR. Richard James Hayes, director of the National Library of Ireland, has retired after 44 year service. Dr. Hayes joined the staff as an assistant librarian in 1923. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he had a distinguished academic record and became a specialist in comparative Linguistics


His knowledge of European languages is immense and he wrote a book on the subject and also a French-Irish dictionary.


In 1929 he was promoted senior assistant librarian, and in 1940 he succeeded Dr. Richard Irvine Best as director.


His principal publication up to recently was his three-volume bibliography of modern Irish literature, " Clar Litriocht na Nua-Gaeilge," a massive work which includes not alone books published in Irish, but also prose and poetry which appeared in periodicals since the beginning of the language revival movement.




Within the last year or so he was responsible for yet another major work, an eleven-volume catalogue of manuscripts relating to Irish history in Irish and foreign libraries. It will remain as a monument to his scholarship for many generations.








Kerryman 1904-current, Saturday, September 10, 1927; Page: 5


A factory where ready-made concrete houses are made. Specially designed motor trucks deliver them to their destination. They are built on the unit or one-storey plan, and it’s claimed for them that they are permanent, damp-proof, vermin proof, very nearly heat-proof and cold-proof, as they are constructed of monolithic reinforced concrete. A house costing approximately £300 of our money contains a combination living and dining room  12 by 12 ft, a kitchen 8 by 5 ft., a bedroom 12 by 8 ft , a bath 5 by 4 ft., and a sun parlour, dressing rooms, etc. The houses have been designed to avoid waste of space. Thus, when mealtime comes a mirror is let down from the living-room wall, and forms a comfortable table for six. A revolving service connects the table with the kitchen and brings in the dinner; when the meal is finished, it takes the empty dishes back. Beside the window of the retiring room hangs a pulley that lets down a bed from a panelled space in the ceiling. A similar bed is on the sun-porch. The houses are constructed of the commonest of materials, sand and gravel, cast over galvanised steel reinforcements. The house is poured in one solid concrete unit, and is virtually indestructible. After the concrete gets its initial "set" air heated to 130 degrees is circulated through the cores that render the walls hollow to facilitate their removal, and then the house is left standing for two weeks to permit the cement to harden. In the interval the roof, the plumbing, the electric wiring, and all the other interior fittings have been added. The originator—bearing the Hibernian cognomen of Lafferty—asserts that these houses will last for ever, with almost no upkeep expenses.