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I am writing about the above topic this week because recently we have had the obvious race beginning between the successors to Enda Kenny.
COLUM MNCANN, the Irish author of such acclaimed works as Let The Great World Spin and TransAtlantic, will be in Galway this week to read from his new novel, Thirteen Ways Of Looking.
The 40th Westport Arts Festival kicks off next Wednesday, September 30, and this year’s festival features an eclectic mix of events for all ages across all art forms. The literary programme for this year’s festival includes the award-winning writer, John Banville, whose novel, The Sea, won the Man Booker Prize. There will also be readings from Donal Ryan, Martin Dyar, Geraldine Mills, and Orfhlaith Foyle. Dr Eimear O’Connor, art historian and author and curator, will give a presentation on Seán Keating and the Art of the Rebellion. The winners of the festival’s Poetry Competition will be announced at a special prize-giving evening of poetry and music in The Creel, featuring writer and singer-songwriter, Orlagh de Bhaldraithe.
ONE OF the highlights of the upcoming Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway is The Simpsons Backstage Tour presented by series writer/producer Mike Reiss, which will take audiences inside the lives of Springfield’s first family, revealing secret trivia of the show, insane dealings with network censors, and lots of juicy gossip about celebrity guest stars.
RAFIQ KATHWARI, the first non-Irish recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award, will be among the featured readers at the Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library on Thursday September 24 at 6.30pm.
THE CAUSTIC wit, high times, eventful life, and inner shadows of writer Dorothy Parker are all evoked in The Whistling Girl, a new musical show featuring the combined talents of composer Trevor Knight and actor/singer Honor Heffernan.
I hope the recent scandals in the Catholic Church will not discourage the noble tradition of the cleric as the social champion of the people. It is time that we had their like to nail their colours to the mast once again. Growing up in the last century, I was familiar with such names as Fr James McDyer and his tireless campaign against the official neglect of Gleann Cholm Cile; and Canon George Quinn and his fight for better social housing. There were several others, who have spilled over into recent years, including Fr Peter McVerry and his fight for homeless people in Dublin, and Fr Harry Bohan and his belief in the staying power of families in rural Ireland. But the champion of them all, the priest with the soft voice and a twinkle in both eyes, was the indefatigable Monsignor James Horan. Not only did he re-design the village of Knock to make it more people friendly, he built schools, clinics, and a convent, and a vast basilica. He organised community water schemes, and forestry plantations, and built an impressive international airport in the bogs of Mayo.
OVER THE Edge will hold two special Culture Night open-mics - one for fiction writers, the other for poets - with prizes for the best readers, at Kenny’s Bookshop and Gallery, Liosbán Retail Park, Tuam Road, Galway on Friday September 18.
A FASCINATING story connected to Oscar Wilde arrives at the Town Hall Theatre next week with Brendan Murphy’s Kicking Oscar’s Corpse. Set against the backdrop of WWI, the play centres on a libel case brought about by the dancer Maud Allan against the right wing British MP Noel Pemberton-Billing in 1918.