Seachtain na Gaeilge & 1916 Centenary Celebration in Swords Library
Seachtain na Gaeilge & 1916 Centenary Celebration in Swords Library March 18th & 19th Here in Swords Library we’ve decided to add to the many commemorative events happening in Fingal by having a Seachtain na Gaeilge weekend with an eye on the 1916 centenary. The success of our Irish language Culture Night last year made […]
Here in Swords Library we’ve decided to add to the many commemorative events happening in Fingal by having a Seachtain na Gaeilge weekend with an eye on the 1916 centenary.
The success of our Irish language Culture Night last year made us aware of how interested the community is in all things to do with traditional culture. That is not to say that the artists were so traditional they didn’t infuse their performances with modernity. Tura Aratura, for example, who dances sean nós, also raps as Gaeilge. If there’s an impression that the Irish language is keeping itself precious or looking to the past, it’s certainly not correct. The popularity of Irish language schools is an example of the revival of interest in the language in recent years, and numerous publication and performance efforts have imbued it with a new vitality.
The annual Imram festival is just one of these. All language exists in the synthesis of past, present and possibility, and the Irish language is as influenced and influencing as any other. Perhaps when Irish people encounter it as habitual English speakers, we become conscious of a possibility in ourselves that is not immediately accessible. Aside from determined study, bi-lingual, musical and other activities are a way to connect with this inalienable heredity. One of the results, as we saw at our Oíche Chultúir, is simply, joy. For some good webpages on the history of the Irish language, see Ask About Ireland.
Our events on 18th and 19th March are bi-lingual. Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill is an internationally acclaimed Irish language poet, who was Ireland Professor of Poetry 2001-2004, and the first Professor of Irish language Poetry. She has received many scholarships, prizes, and bursaries and has also won numerous international awards for works translated into French, German, Polish, Italian, Norwegian, Estonian, Turkish, Japanese and English.
Pádraig Ó Snodaigh is a writer of prose, poetry and history, and his talk promises to be extremely interesting and entertaining. As Coiscéim, he is also an uncompromising Irish language publisher. The title of his talk is taken from that of one of his books, Comhghuaillithe na Réabhlóide (Allies of the Revolution), in which he examines the parts played by the various revolutionary movements in the lead-up to the Easter Rising— the tensions and controversies, and the attitudes of the ordinary soldiers. Using the title as a generative theme, he may branch out and talk in general about his life’s work in writing and publishing.
Bernie Masterson and Máighréad Medbh collaborated on a short film called Bold Writing, on Bernie’s discovery of an old Vere Foster copybook, of the type used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in the prison where she teaches. Vere Foster was a philanthropist who aided many Irish people, especially women, to emigrate and find work. He was the founder of the INTO and helped greatly to improve educational standards. The copybook consists of moral proverbs which are to be transcribed in a careful longhand. The film takes an ironic approach, with Máighréad’s anagrams of the proverbs signalling a dialectic of privilege and aspiration, as a hand scratches out a response to each proverb.
Also on Friday evening, in view of the fact that 1916 has been referred to as a poet’s rebellion, there’s an open invitation for members of the public to come along and read a favourite poem of the rising. Pádraig Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Plunkett created a mythology that was immortalised by their deaths. Such poems as Plunkett’s ‘Of a Poet Patriot’ and MacDonagh’s ‘The Golden Joy’, exalted the role of the poet, connecting it with national history and the promulgation of joy and liberty. As we may have limited time for this Open Mic, do register at the desk when you arrive.
Although children are very welcome at Friday night’s events, Saturday morning’s bi-lingual music workshops for 4-12 year-olds promise to be engaging and instructive. The Mobile Music School is a specialist music education company that runs music projects, instrumental lessons and workshops in schools and other educational institutions, and is currently teaching in excess of 2,000 students nationwide.
And finally, we celebrate Arlen House, a small publisher based in Fingal, which has become noted for the high literary and production standards of its books. Three bi-lingual poets, published by Arlen House, will read from 2pm on Saturday. Celia de Fréine, Colette Nic Aodha and Deirdre Brennan are all well-known, acclaimed poets and you can be assured of an interesting and entertaining afternoon.
Seachtain na Gaeilge / 1916 Centenary at Swords Library
Friday 18th March:
6.30pm – 7.20pm:
Pádraig Ó Snodaigh – Talk: Comhghuaillithe Na Reabhlóide / Allies of the Revolution. Pádraig, a historian, poet and novelist, is founder of Irish language publisher, Coiscéim. He was assistant keeper of the National Museum from 1963-88 and President of the Gaelic League from 1974-78.
7.20pm – 7.45pm:
Art & Poetry Film: Bold Writing (15 mins.). A visual and verbal engagement with a Vere Foster copy book in the context of its use in schools and prisons. With introduction. Film by artist, Bernie Masterson, and poet, Máighréad Medbh. Bernie has won several awards for her work, and has paintings in many collections, at home and abroad. Máighréad Medbh is widely known as a poet-performer, in Ireland and internationally. She has six published collections, a prose work, Savage Solitude (Dedalus 2013), and a verse fantasy is to be published this year.
8.00pm – 8.40pm:
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill: Internationally acclaimed Irish language poet. Ireland Professor of Poetry 2001-2004, and the first Professor of Irish language Poetry. She has received many scholarships, prizes, and bursaries and has also won numerous international awards for works translated into French, German, Polish, Italian, Norwegian, Estonian, Turkish, Japanese and English.
8.40pm – 9.30pm:
We invite all members of the public to come along and read their own favourite poems of the 1916 rising. Please register at desk in advance.
Saturday 19th March:
Children’s Bi-lingual Music Workshops (Please register in advance)
Drumming with 4-7 year-olds, with some Irish spoken.
Singing workshop with 8-12 year-olds, working with an Irish language song. Provided by the Mobile Music School: www.mobilemusicschool.ie
Arlen House presents three bi-lingual poets:
Celia de Fréine, Deirdre Brennan and Colette Nic Aodha.
Based in Baldoyle, Arlen House is an innovative small publisher, noted for stylish, high-quality books. Its remit includes poetry, short stories, art (particularly the work of Pauline Bewick), as well as literary and political criticism. Founded in 1975 as a women’s press, it now publishes both genders, several of whom are national literary figures. This event celebrates its 40 years in publishing.
Events are free. All welcome. If possible, please let us know you’re coming.
Swords Library, Rathbeale Road, Swords, Co. Dublin: 01-8905582/5894; [email protected]
By Maighread Medbh, Swords Library