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Poet Patrick returning to his roots to launch latest book

Judy Murphy

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Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Mullagh man Patrick Deely, who has lived in Dublin for most of his life, will enjoy a celebratory homecoming to Galway on June 6, when he gives a public reading at Loughrea Library to launch his latest poetry collection.

Groundswell: New and Selected Poems has recently been published by Dedalus Press with a foreword by well-known poet and broadcaster Theo Dorgan.

Patrick was delighted by Dorgan’s observations, which singled out the Mullagh man for his “profound sense of communion with the living and the dead of his native place” while also being a “considerable poet of the city” who has retained his “sense of wonder at the world”.

“I don’t know him very well. We’d meet occasionally and when we do, we talk hurling,” says Patrick of Theo Dorgan.

Patrick was born in Mullagh outside Loughrea in 1953, to a family who were immersed in the local community.

His father set up a workshop in the mid 1930s, where he and Patrick’s uncles made hurleys, farm implements, and even branched into coffins at one stage. His father’s death in a tree-felling accident in the mid 1970s was really the spark for Patrick’s development as a poet.

“I wanted to celebrate him and people like him, who worked with their hands all their lives. A lot of people who do that are not celebrated,” says Patrick.

While both his brothers inherited their father’s skill with physical craft, Patrick found his pathway through words.

He describes writing poems as “trying to hold his ground” and says that ground is Dublin, Europe and always his own part of Galway.

He sees himself as following in the footsteps of those people who traditionally chronicled life in local areas, but in a way that lets him gives local lore and stories his own particular, poetic twist.

Although he has been happily settled in Dublin since adulthood, where he worked first as a teacher and then as a school principal in Ballyfermot, Galway still exerts a huge hold.  Largely thanks to his mother, Patrick was exposed to a wealth of nature in childhood and developed a love for it.

“I used to go the callows with my mother, who was the farmer in the family, as a child,” he recalls.

These were fields with four small rivers running into each other which flooded every autumn and spring, and later led him to write about how “Land was aspiring to be water; water wanted to be land” in the poem Keaveney’s Well.

After secondary school in St Brendan’s in Loughrea, Patrick moved to Dublin to train as a primary teacher and worked in education until taking early retirement recently.

While working, Patrick made time at night to write. He penned several children’s books which were published by O’Brien Press and won him a wide readership. The Lost Orchard, his novel for young readers won the Eilís Dillon Book of the Year Award in 2001.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Sunday evening concert offers All the Pleasures

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Sunday evening’s concert will be performed by the Resurgam Choir and Irish Baroque Orchestra (pictured), under director Peter Whelan.

Music by George Frederic Handel and Henry Purcell as well as a world premiere by Irish composer Rhona Clarke will feature in Resounding Landscapes, a concert being presented by Music for Galway in association with Galway 2020 this Sunday, November 22. It will be live-streamed from the city’s St Nicholas’ Church, starting at 7pm.

It’s the second concert in the Abendmusik (Evening Music) series of vocal and choral performances, which forms part of Music for Galway’s programme for the European Capital of Culture project.

Sunday’s event will feature Welcome to all the Pleasures by the 17th century composer, Henry Purcell with text by Cristopher Fishburn; the world premiere of Rhona Clarke’s O Vis Aeternitatis – based on writings by the 12th century mystic, Hildegard of Bingen; and Handel’s Dixit Dominus.

The programme will be performed by the Resurgam Choir and Irish Baroque Orchestra (IBO), under director Peter Whelan, who is director of the IBO.

Creator of the Abendmusik Sunday evening concert series, Mark Duley feels that “in our current circumstance, it is good to be reminded by Fishburn in his text that ‘in music, we find relief from sorrow and grief’. And we can salute the venerable building of St Nicholas’ Church where for 700 years music has resounded and prayer has been valid.”

Meanwhile, a scheduled online production of the community opera, Paper Boat, which Music for Galway commissioned to celebrate the 700th anniversary of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, has been postponed.

Paper Boat is central to Music for Galway’s programme for Galway 2020 and before Covid-19 restrictions, there had been plans for a major live production of the site-specific composition in St Nicholas’ last June.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Chance to experience Fregoli’s Cross Street as the drama unfolds

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Enid trying to make sense of her life in 'Cross Street.

Fregoli Theatre Company will present a work-in-progress performance of its forthcoming play, Cross Street, on Saturday, November 28.

This virtual reading of their new comedy, written by the company’s co-founder Jarlath Tivnan, offers hints of horror while exploring mental health issues, according to its director Eimear Finan.

The story centres on Enid who’s searching for a new home and finds a place on Cross Street, one of Galway’s most happening spots.

However, she enters a space that’s is already populated by some serious creatures of habit. When Enid’s arrival threatens to disrupt well-worn routines, a house meeting is called to re-establish order. But on this stormy night, other events take over.

Cross Street explores how mental issues can grow and manifest when left to fester, says Eimear. Each of the housemates has an issue: these range from grief, guilt, alcoholism, eating disorders, neglect, self-harm and self-doubt. And each person isolates from anyone who might either interfere or help.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Resourceful Emma gets in step with Zoom during pandemic

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Connemara's heritage features strongly in Emma's sean-nós dance classes and in her Facebook videos.

If you fancy learning sean-nós dancing, now is your chance as renowned dancer Emma O’Sullivan is using technology to put her students through their paces – at home and abroad.

In normal times, the All-Ireland champion can be seen dancing on the junction of Mainguard Street and Cross Street in Galway City.

Emma, from Derryinver, Letterfrack, is a popular figure and videos of her performances have been shared by over 20 million viewers worldwide. Her skills as a sean-nós dance teacher mean she’s in constant demand for classes among children and adults as at home and abroad.

But like so many in the performing arts sector, Emma’s livelihood has been severely affected by the pandemic.

After her regular classes were cancelled in March when lockdown began, she decided to try something new. She complied a 30-minute introductory sean-nós dancing tutorial video, which she uploaded to YouTube.  The feedback was so good, she moved on to classes via Zoom – which her students have since nicknamed ‘zoom-nós’.

This hasn’t been without its challenges, she says.

“There’s so much more to consider. Lighting and audio were a bit difficult, because while Zoom is fine for just chatting, suddenly I needed to talk and play music too.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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