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2017 – Looking back on the Year that Was

The year ended in December with my Christmas Reflection in the Galway Eye rounding off a successful year in the arts, which I hope to expand on in the coming year. I gather an article on the Banagher Fair made it to the Banagher Review as well, of which I have to get a copy.

November was my fathers anniversary, and indeed the end of October was my mothers too. A fortnight apart , the week between is when we normally remember both. Its a quick ten years that Dad has gone, and its only when telling stories of his smuggling days, or the famous windows in Banagher that you realise what a character he was.

Their last photo together in good health
Their last photo together in good health

September of course was the usual source of conflict of venues, with so much on at the same time, I made the Culture Night event in Longford where I have joined the local “Longford Writers” group and read with them at the event. I also attended the annual Banagher Horse Fair, not forgetting the Readings at the Pallet event, now in its official 21st year… like a lot of us, it has had a few of them!

Early Hours at the 2017 Banagher Horse Fair with Babsers visible beside the trees
Early Hours at the 2017 Banagher Horse Fair with Babsers visible beside the trees

An unscheduled reading at The Tin Jug Studio in Birr as part of the Breathanach / King reading gave a welcome twist to an event where I had planned on sitting back and listening to others! As part of Birr Vintage Week last August, its one of my favourite memories, where I regaled all of tales of North Longford, over the delights of the infamous 3-in-1, which I introduced the hosts to!

I got to Moth & Butterfly in July – and as usual failed to get to another one since. It has since moved to the Katies Cottage in Claddagh from where it was beside the Spanish Arch the last time I was there. The Dooleys Wedding Cake incident entertained those there, which was topped by a banker with a few missing millions… a Cartyesque tale which of course came from another North Longford man!

February saw me in Edgeworthstown with an entry in an arts exhibition raising funds for Pieta House, organised by Tina Brogan of Ballinalee. I sold a few photos, and also had an entry in the NUIG Orbson “Flora” project.

Presenting Willie Penrose with a framed URBAN HORSES meme at Edgeworthstown PIETA House exhibition
Presenting Willie Penrose with a framed URBAN HORSES meme at Edgeworthstown PIETA House exhibition

I got throwing an eye in on Scene of the Rhyme a few times during the year, giving my tuppence worth to help my fellow Tullamore Rhymers, and also trod the boards at A-musing in Accents in Dublin too! A few articles also in the Longford Eye made print, as did some online journals too.

A very interesting year in the arts, I hope to add to it in the coming year!

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