Sean Keating, Maggie Dirrane, Colman ‘Tiger’ King, Michael Dillane.
RTÉ released a magical seasonal treasure from the Archives. The short film was first broadcast as a segment on the programme ‘Davis at Large’ in 1984. Filmed on the smallest of the Gaeltacht Aran Islands, Inis Oírr, it features Saintí’s visit to the island’s children at the local airstrip. Among the children to speak on camera is local singer MacDara Ó Conaola (then 6 years of age).
Notably, the film was the directorial debut of Declan Lowney who went on to direct Moone Boy, Alan Partridge Alpha Papa and Father Ted. The opening titles of this ground breaking satirical comedy feature an aerial view of Inis Oírr and the Plassy ship wreck on the so-called fictional Craggy Island.
Watch the footage of ‘Davis at Large’ 1984 on the RTE Archive at http://bit.ly/2kSe3bq
Listen to resident Inis Oírr sean nós singer MacDara Ó Conaola recalling Santa’s visit to Inis Oírr in 1984 in an interview with Ryan Tubridy at http://bit.ly/2kTyiWb
The ancient ways are going
For the old woman knows words
In Gaelic, her grandchildren don’t,
Their Irish, modern, anglicised,
Hers bound to the earth
Carved by it as the rock underfoot.
The currachs like discarded shells
Of black backed beetles
Lie rotting in the sand.
The well-worn paths once woven
Into the landscape by feet
Are now mudded and gouged by tractor
Tyres no longer bordered
By smooth, soft margins,
Once home to wild garlic and primrose.
The Arctic Tern still finds a shelter
As does the Cuckoo and the Swallow
But the Corncrake left long ago.
Grey rock, grey sand, grey sky
Still the same, not yet scarred
But there’s a change in the wind
For the ancient ways are going,
Poem: Catherine Conneely. Image: JesseJames
Throughout Feile na gCloch 2017, some sketchers were inextricably drawn to sketching the dry stone walls of Inis Oírr. Sketches by Brenda, Sean and John.
Feile na gCloch 2017, anticipated, imagined by Clara and Susan.
On the Thursday afternoon of Feile na gCloch, the sketching group explored the coast line down past Tigh Ned’s. Sketches from Stephen, Pat, Jesse, Chris, Brenda and Josephine.
On the Saturday afternoon of Feile na gCloch, the sketching group captured the international community of stone wallers at work creating a new wall for Inis Oírr in 2017.
On Friday afternoon of Feile na gCloch, the sketchers explored the area around the beach. Sketches from Brenda, Susan, Chris, James, John, Josephine, Pat and Stephen.
Inish less or inish more
Inish either Inish or
I’m glad I’m back in Inisheer
I think I’ll have a local beer
Inish woman Inish man
On the isles of Aran
The first Irish coming here to live
Really had inishative
Start to finish
Beyond the view beyond the sky
Almost as far as sea can eye
Before my strength and health diminish
I must return once more to Inish
Attractive views here and there
You see a tractor everywhere
Walls of grey
On greenish isle
random walls in feidin style
Mudders here. Children there
Tursty tourists everywhere
You needn’t be a power house
To climb up to the tower house
It isn’t such a real big hastle
To catch a view from yonder castle
It’s worth the trip on the ferry
To Lands of walls of bramble berry
Words and Image: John Shaw-Rimmington