Inis fa Réim / An Island of Fame

Gavin Clarke Christian, history, irish

Presented below is the latest in the series of translations by ILS member Brian O’Connor of the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c.1670–1726). O’Connor’s earlier translations for us from Ó Rathaille are also available on the ILS blog. O’Connor gives us a new translation of the Irish version, attributed to Ó Rathaille, of St …

The Blind Playwright

Gavin Clarke Family, history, Poetry, Theatre

By LYNDA O’KEEFFE My research on the life and works of John O’Keeffe began over eight years ago, it began after I delved into the never-ending realms of genealogy. My own children have continued a tradition of generations of my family treading the boards, I wanted to know just how far back tradition stretched. Finding John O’Keeffe was a thrill …

Under This Slab / Faoi Lár na Lice seo

Gavin Clarke death, history, irish, language

Presented below is the latest in the series of translations by ILS member Brian O’Connor of the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c.1670–1726). O’Connor’s earlier translations for us from Ó Rathaille are also available on the ILS blog. For those without Irish it is worth reading the original to appreciate the complexity of …

On Kinsella’s The Dual Tradition

Gavin Clarke history, irish, language, Poetry, Reading, translation

by BERNARD O’DONOGHUE 1986 was a dramatic year in the history of anthologies of Irish poetry in English. There were several well-regarded anthologies already, by Donagh MacDonagh and Lennox Robinson (Oxford), by Derek Mahon and Peter Fallon (Pan), by John Montague (Faber) and Brendan Kennelly (Penguin). But two of these four publishers produced new anthologies in 1986, each of them …

Plain Speaking

Gavin Clarke anniversary, London, pub, walking

by Tony White ‘Plain Speaking’ was written to mark the 110th anniversary, on 5 October 2021, of the birth of Brian O’Nolan, best known as Flann O’Brien, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author. The story was first performed at David Collard’s Carthorse Orchestra, an online salon, Saturday 2 October, and first published by 3am Magazine. Keats …

Gile na Gile

Gavin Clarke history, irish, language, Poetry

Presented below is the latest in the series of translations by ILS member Brian O’Connor of the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c.1670–1726). O’Connor’s earlier translations for us from Ó Rathaille are also available on the ILS blog. Found in a 1725 manuscript, Gile na Gile (literally “Brightness of Brightness”) is one of …

Tonn Toime - new translation from Ó Rathaille

Gavin Clarke history, irish, language, Nature, Poetry

The Wave of Toime is the latest in a series of translations for the ILS by Brian O’Connor of the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c.1670–1726). ‘Tonn Toime’ describes the disturbed sleep of the poet and his appeal to the chieftains of the past for respite and a return to the …

Richard Needham: One Man, Two Worlds

Gavin Clarke Brexit, COVID-19, economics, northern ireland, Troubles

Members will recall our October 2019 event ‘The Belfast Agreement and Brexit‘ and the dejected tone of most contributions that evening as we approached the January 2020 point of departure. While sharing the dismay of our panel at the shift to populism that had taken hold of British politics Richard Needham shifted the debate to consider the economic factors that …

Journey Around My Room

Gavin Clarke Architecture, COVID-19, Family, Reflection, technology

After over a year of our retreating to private spaces Emma Devlin reflects on distance and technology, and how her room in a shared house in Belfast reflects and records her presence. Journey Around My Room By EMMA DEVLIN I looked up my flat on Google maps. The two squares of scrappy land just outside the front door used to …