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 …

The Settlement: Family history and writing a historical novel.

Gavin Clarke Family, history, Troubles

By RUTH KIRBY-SMITH How ironic it is that I ended up writing a historical novel as history was my least favourite school subject. As an insouciant fourteen-year-old I was cheeky to the toughest history master at Methodist College Belfast; he gave me such a roasting that it was still remembered at our 50-year reunion in 2017. I never turned a …

The WB Yeats Bedford Park Project

Gavin Clarke history, London, Poetry, statue

By CAHAL DALLAT Opening a Can of Worms “Why would London want to honour Ireland’s national poet?” is the question, asked in a range of tones and phrasings. The starting point’s that it clearly does, as half our WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project backers on the crowdfund page (where you can read more on Londoner Conrad Shawcross RA’s Yeats-inspired …

Writing Today in Ulster Scots

Gavin Clarke history, language, Poetry, translation, Ulster Scots

By ANGELA GRAHAM Why is it so hard to find writing in Ulster Scots among contemporary publications? Has it gone for good or is it poised to make a come-back? Up to the mid-twentieth century it was commonplace to find Ulster Scots poetry and prose in literary magazines or in newspapers but now it is exceptional. Although there is a …

Sybil Connolly’s In an Irish House.

Gavin Clarke Architecture, design, history

By PATRICIA JENKINS Sybil Connolly was a world-renowned Irish fashion designer – the first to achieve international recognition for her couture collections. She took her inspiration from the traditional costume of Irish peasant women in fashioning a classically simple ensemble made up of a full circular skirt worn with a light-coloured frilly blouse and teamed with a woollen shawl, all …

Ó Rathaille, a new translation.

Gavin Clarke history, Poetry, translation

A new translation is presented here of Ar Choileach do Goideadh Ó Shagart Mhaith by the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century whose acerbic verse often bears witness to the closing down of the civilisation that nurtured him. By BRIAN O’CONNOR Rage and loss are more typical subjects of Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c. 1670-1726) than …

MacSwiney Centenary and The Woven Dream

Gavin Clarke history, Reflection, Theatre

On 12 August 1920, hard upon assuming his duties as Lord Mayor of Cork and Commandant of the First Cork Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, Terence MacSwiney was arrested in Cork City Hall and summarily sentenced by a military court to two years in Brixton Prison for crimes including his possession of ‘seditious articles and documents’ and of a cypher …