Writers’ Week and The Seanchaí do Cruiniú na Cásca 2017
Monday April 17 2017 and we, in Listowel, were privileged to make a piece of history. We took part in the first annual Easter Monday 1916 commemorative event.
Photo: Eilish Stack
In the town park another piece of history was being made. The politicians were attending the official opening of the 1916 commemorative garden. I would have loved to be there as I have watched this beautiful space develop week by week and I really love it.
I chose instead to go the literary route and take a walk by the river with Gabriel Fitzmaurice and other poets, singers and thespians.
We started at The Seanchaí. When I arrived at 10.45 the early birds were already arriving.
I was greeted at the door by Liz Dunne, chair of Listowel Writers’ Week and Máire Logue
Gabriel Fitzmaurice, our guide, was ready to start.
We started with a dramatic interlude from Vincent and Evangeline, two of the best interpreters of the work of John B. Keane, even though they are Limerick rather than Kerry actors. They are more Kerry than the Kerry people themselves.
There was a large and very appreciative attendance.
Owen MacMahon had the audience in the palm of his hand as we paused for a while on the bank go The Feale.
David Browne gave a spine chilling rendition of the songs of Carthalawn from John B.’s Sive.
Even the younger members of the audience were enthralled.
We walked along the river walk and under the big bridge to where Mickey McConnell and Billy Keane were waiting to entertain us.
Then it was on to the Garden of Europe and more songs and drama. Evangeline and Vincent had us in stitches with a scene from Big Maggie. Owen sang a song of peace from Gary MacMahon.
At the graveyard, Claire Keane sang, Paddy MacElligott performed and a trio of singers and dancers entertained us.
On to the 1916 commemorative garden with its newly unveiled plaque.
Then back to The Seanchaí. Job done.