ÁRAS AN UACHTARÁIN reflection on visit.

ÁRAS AN UACHTARÁIN

Seeping historic vapours suffuse

Corridors of transient power,

Shadows emerge rendering

Observers  speechless.

 

Past Presidents majestically watch over

Friends, foes and guests

Present parlance, treaties and consensus.

Secrets smattered into layers

Of hidden promises and betrayals.

 

Fading mint fabric wall linings

Insulate and forever capture

Scenes of consent and discontent

Infused in every thread.

 

Opulent woven Phoenix  pile

Relinquishes underfoot

Welcoming your serene presence to survey

Surroundings below and above.

 

The President of Ireland’s house awaits.

What it means to be Irish.

Irish Beings

Defining what it means to be Irish is a tale in itself as to be Irish has different interpretations according to who you are.

To be considered an Irish citizen you don’t actually have to be born here if your father or mother was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth. If your grandfather or grandmother was born in Ireland you may become an Irish citizen by registering in the Foreign Births Register at an Irish Embassy or Consular office or at the Department of Foreign affairs. You could also become Irish if your parents are non-Irish nationals and have been resident in the island of Ireland for three years prior to your birth according to the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2004 which commenced on January 1st, 2005.

So now that we’ve established that anyone of sound character can be Irish, let’s consider a few traits of being Irish.

Rain

You are not Irish if you do not mention the weather at least once in the day and weather always refers to rain. It’s a ‘soft’ day means a gentle, light misty rain (the type of romantic film weather as in Pride and Prejudice ) that is welcome. When it’s ‘lashing’ means the heavens have opened up and you must be mad to be out in it.

Guinness and Taytos

The black stuff or ‘genius’ beer is mainly drunk for medicinal purposes as it practically builds up your immune system to any possible attack and if you consume enough of it usually you won’t remember the ‘attack’ be it violent, verbal or just plain embarrassing. Taytos are crisps to non- Irish speakers…be warned if you ask for a packet of plain crisps you will invariably be given cheese and onion flavoured ones.

The Angelus

At 12pm and 6pm the church bell chimes for a minute whereupon you are supposed to stop what you are doing and contemplate the spiritual side of life. RTE, the national State broadcaster began this in 1950 and you can be sure you know exactly what time of day it is wherever you are on the island.

St. Patrick’s Day

The 17th March is indelibly printed in an Irish person’s DNA as it is a national holiday and everything turns green! Celebrations galore and the time when all the Irish jokes are retold reflecting the sense of humour that the people can laugh at their parodied selves and not take offence leading to race relations fall out as with some ethnic minorities.

Literature

Much of ‘English’ literature is in fact Irish. Heard of Yeats? Wilde? Beckett?  On a serious note all you have to do is read Translations by Brian Friel to see how the English language was imposed on the Irish. Nonetheless Irish as of 2010 was recognised as a European language of member states.

Being Irish to me means having been brought up in an Irish household overseas with all its nuance, knowing ‘home’ was Ireland to my parents and that they would return to their roots before the ‘closing of the day’ and home being where the heart is, is my home.

26th September 2011

Webliography:

http://beingirishwhatarewelike.wordpress.com/

http://www.inis.gov.ie

My Other Self

My Other Self
By John Kelly

I talk to myself more often I shout
But it’s all among friends and we never fall out
It may be myself, but it’s only me
‘Tis’ the man that I am and the man I should be

That proud, thoughtful man gives a hand at the delph
In scheme operated as two of myself
And people who think such a system is ‘quare’
Would talk a lot more if I wasn’t all there

That shrewd, hard taskmaster, my good other self
Plays many a part besides washing the delph
My secret shortcomings are ever portrayed
‘Though he helps me a lot when I’m far beyond aid

A whole box of woodbines to pieces he tore
I only had bought them five minutes before
I knew he was right-but you what I’d say
If anyone else had behaved in that way

A poem I had written and deemed to be good
Was soon written off in more critical mood
With a pair of us in it, I couldn’t complain
So we put all the pieces together again

But there’s no-one on earth like that good other John
Who else would put up with my ‘quare carry on’
Not many I ween, though he thinks that I should
And tells me they should all be chewing cud

My good other self, though far from his prime
Still holds more in store than appears to be mine
Accepting commitments my legs cannot bear
He shouts down old age with a confident air

His vocal power of’t given much freer rein
To shout down long silence which causes more pain
Aye-silence which doth prevail to the last
With all its reflections on life in the past

He’d go for ever, a man of that kind
Who dwell’s on the things that are good for the mind
From non-stop to full stop, at work or in play
Aye even my legs could not stand in the way

The moment you stop the moment is lost
And you’re forced to resume at a much greater cost
Arthritis decrees that you keep on the move
‘Though neighbour, sciatica, wouldn’t approve

Two nasty near neighbours who never agree
Except at war with a fellow like me
Frustrating the plans I so carefully laid
At famous King’s Cross ‘neath the sycamore shade

He’ll not tolerate lying down on the job
Or health hazard comfort of life on the hob
That sitting-duck open to worse line of fire
Than all visualised in idle desire

My good other self always proves to be right
With mind to explore and discover new light
And from that high eminence free to expound
On broader horizons of life all around

John Kelly (1909-1984)

Influence to kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Influence of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Published 1960) H/W by Patricia Loughnane

Brief synopsis

“A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this enchanting classic-a black man charged with the rape of a white girl.

Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties.

The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice.”

Style

  • First person narrative
  • Stream of consciousness
  • Child’s view of world
  • Characters have traits which reveal the culture of Maycomb and speak in their own style.
  • Humour pervades throughout even most serious scenes

Structure

  • The opening line is in fact referring to the last incident in the novel; where the story draws to a close but the reader doesn’t realise till the end. (It actually makes the reader go back to reflect)
  • Motif: mockingbird (gentle songbird that never hurt anyone)Pg 99 ‘it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird’
  • Atticus’s sage advice throughout (makes the reader take sides)

Content

  • Race, class, education, poverty, violence, hypocrisy dealt with in the narrative (causing the reader to reflect)
  • Mystery man: Boo Radley (children nearly always have a bogeyman in their early childhood) adds intrigue as the reader asks whether it’s due to an overactive imagination or a real person that they have created the air of suspense around.

Language

Pg 19  ‘Now you tell your father not to teach you anymore…You tell him I’ll take over from here and try to undo the damage-‘Miss Caroline, the young new teacher form out of town cannot believe Scout is so advanced in reading so she tries to take control by being authoritative.

Pg 169. The mob are at the jail gunning to lynch the accused, Tom Robison but Scout intervenes in a way that no adult could have, ‘Atticus had said it was polite to talk to people about what they were interested in, not about what you were interested in.’ Scout manages to touch a chord and the angry crowd disperse.

There’s so much more to tell but I’d recommend you read it for yourself when you want to dwell on what makes the human race tick and why it’s so diverse and yet fundamentally similar. EnjoyJJJ

Thurles Mini Walk

Thurles Mini Walk

Cead mile failte!

Morning folks and a thousand welcomes to the Cathedral Town of Thurles Mini walk.

Here at our starting point which is the Italianate Romanesque Cathedral of the Assumption, you are free to roam around and soak up the history. Before you go in, let me just give you a little background information. Dr. Patrick Leahy, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly from1857-1875 had the vision and ambition which brought about its existence. The architect, J.J.McCarthy, modelled the design on the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy and work commenced in 1865. In 1879, Archbishop Thomas Croke solemnly dedicated the Cathedral of the Assumption. Recent renovations were completed in Oct2003 and there is an ongoing appeal for a restoration fund. Inside you might like to walk around the altar as there are beautiful stained glass windows and various prayer shrines, particularly the Chapel of Prayer where many people irrespective of religious bias like to send out positive thoughts into the universe.

Right off you go and meet at this spot in 15mins please…………………………………

We will turn right out of the Cathedral and head over the bridge into the square. Please notice on your left as we cross the river Suir, the large complex which houses a large library and one of the country’s top arts centres. If anyone would like to pop in after the tour to see what entertainment is on at present feel free. There is also a public swimming pool and fully equipped leisure centre at your disposal if you would like to relax after the sightseeing.

Next stop is Hayes Hotel in Liberty Square for a refreshment break…coffee shop at the rear and bar for a Guinness! This is a landmark building because on the 1st November 1884 the hotel’s billiard room was the venue for the founding meeting of the G.A.A (Gaelic Athletic Association) Clare man, Michael Cusack, the principal architect of the organisation had convened the meeting in order to preserve and cultivate national pastimes. It is usually a hive of activity on days when matches are played locally in Semple Stadium and is traditionally renowned as the country’s premier hurling venue ( bar Croke Park stadium in Dublin) I am happy to give directions to anyone who feels like extending their walk in order to see the stadium after.

Meet back here in reception in 30mins please……………………………………….

Before we go any further, I would like you to look across at the statue at the lower end of the square’s parking area which was unveiled on St Patrick’s Day in 1900. You will see the 1798 rebellion Memorial referred to as ‘the stone man’. The ten foot limestone pedestal of a pike man has carvings depicting prominent United Irishmen: Wolfe Tone, Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Robert Emmet. There is also an inscribed verse by John Kells.

They rose in dark and evil days to right their native land

They kindled here a living blaze that nothing can withstand.

Alas! That might can vanquish right- They fell and passed away,

But true men, like you men, are plenty here today.

Now let’s head to the top of the square where we can see a bronze life-sized monument made by F. Doyle, a Londoner, dedicated to Dr Thomas Croke. Now who can remember the connection to an earlier sight? Yes, the Cathedral! The limestone tapering shamrock statue faces the Cathedral and commemorates not only his drive for the erection of the Cathedral but also the fact that he was the first patron of the GAA. Dr Croke retired as Archbishop in 1896 and died in 1902. He is interred at the Cathedral of the Assumption.

Well this brings us to the end of our mini walking tour. There are many places of interest left to see: St.Mary’s Church of the Famine and museum, Lar na Pairce for  G.A.A history and souvenirs, Semple Stadium, The Source Arts, a picturesque walk by the river and the inevitable shopping centre with full amenities and cinema complex to name but a few here in Thurles!

On behalf of the people of Tipperary, I hope you enjoy your stay and if you need any more information, please do not hesitate to contact the office again.

THE THURLES MINI WALKING TOUR

LIBERTY SQUARE

0504 44470

Patricia Loughnane, 18th June 2011

Source Writers group

Irish Beings

Irish Beings

Defining what it means to be Irish is a tale in itself as to be Irish has different interpretations according to who you are.

To be considered an Irish citizen you don’t actually have to be born here if your father or mother was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth. If your grandfather or grandmother was born in Ireland you may become an Irish citizen by registering in the Foreign Births Register at an Irish Embassy or Consular office or at the Department of Foreign affairs. You could also become Irish if your parents are non-Irish nationals and have been resident in the island of Ireland for three years prior to your birth according to the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2004 which commenced on January 1st, 2005.

So now that we’ve established that anyone of sound character can be Irish, let’s consider a few traits of being Irish.

Rain. You are not Irish if you do not mention the weather at least once in the day and weather always refers to rain. It’s a ‘soft’ day means a gentle, light misty rain (the type of romantic film weather as in Pride and Prejudice ) that is welcome. When it’s ‘lashing’ means the heavens have opened up and you must be mad to be out in it.

Guinness and Taytos    The black stuff or ‘genius’ beer is mainly drunk for medicinal purposes as it practically builds up your immune system to any possible attack and if you consume enough of it usually you won’t remember the ‘attack’ be it violent, verbal or just plain embarrassing. Taytos are crisps to non- Irish speakers…be warned if you ask for a packet of plain crisps you will invariably be given cheese and onion flavoured ones.

The Angelus At 12pm and 6pm the church bell chimes for a minute whereupon you are supposed to stop what you are doing and contemplate the spiritual side of life. RTE, the national State broadcaster began this in 1950 and you can be sure you know exactly what time of day it is wherever you are on the island.

St. Patrick’s day

The 17th March is indelibly printed in an Irish person’s DNA as it is a national holiday and everything turns green! Celebrations galore and the time when all the Irish jokes are retold reflecting the sense of humour that the people can laugh at their parodied selves and not take offence leading to race relations fall out as with some ethnic minorities.

Literature

Much of ‘English’ literature is in fact Irish. Heard of Yeats? Wilde? Beckett?  On a serious note all you have to do is read Translations by Brian Friel to see how the English language was imposed on the Irish. Nonetheless Irish as of 2010 was recognised as a European language of member states.

Being Irish to me means having been brought up in an Irish household overseas with all its nuance, knowing ‘home’ was Ireland to my parents and that they would return to their roots before the ‘closing of the day’ and home being where the heart is, is my home too.

 

Patricia Loughnane

 The Source Writers Group

26th September 2011

Webliography:

http://beingirishwhatarewelike.wordpress.com/

http://www.inis.gov.ie

Touch

Touch

“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.” -Chinese proverb.

There is an ancient Chinese belief which states that when a child is born an invisible red threads connect that child’s soul to all those people – present and in the future – who will play a part in that child’s life. As each birthday passes, those threads shorten and tighten, bringing closer those people who are fated to be together…

Maybe it’s the pull of the thread that draws me closer to you. It could have been the way you majestically strode into the waiting lounge that caught my eye. No one else looked your way. You were all mine for me to feast my eyes on. I tried not to make it obvious but it was like a magnetic attraction as I started to figure out your story. Oh we’re being called now, a mad rush to get a seat, a free for all.  So there you fade out of view obviously you’re the type that wants to be first. In everything?

Having to conform, I join the queue eagerly anticipating the flight that will take me closer to home. The gentle  breeze swathes my being as I ascend the wavering metal steps to enter the belly of the craft. Apprehension diminished by a smiling stewardess as I fleetingly flash my boarding pass. To my surprise there’s a free seat in the middle on the first row on entering and lo and behold HE’S there smiling as I ask if it’s available.

Almost immediately we connect and the rest of the journey is a blur of coincidences and bonding connections as we trace where we’ve been and where we’re going. The red thread has been shortened because of our link for life.             Patricia Loughnane©March 2012

A’ras An Uachtar’ain

ÁRAS AN UACHTARÁIN

Seeping historic vapours suffuse
Corridors of transient power,
Shadows emerge rendering
Observers  speechless.

Past Presidents majestically watch over
Friends, foes and guests
Present parlance, treaties and consensus.
Secrets smattered into layers
Of hidden promises and betrayals.

Fading mint fabric wall linings
Insulate and forever capture
Scenes of consent and discontent
Infused in every thread.

Opulent woven Phoenix  pile
Relinquishes underfoot
Welcoming your serene presence to survey
Surroundings below and above.

The President of Ireland’s house awaits.