Monday, August 31, 2009

One of the most important Irish essays of modern times

I have just read one of the most important pieces of writing I have seen from an Irish writer in the past five years.

ESSAY: The elements that today might form a national culture – language, religion, nationalism – are no longer so readily identifiable here, where the effect of Tiger affluence was not individualism but conformism

Read Declan Kiberd's full article on the Irish Times website.

I posted a comment in response, which I will also post here:

As the author of what could be described as an Irish cultural book - 'Island of the Setting Sun - In Search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers' - I find myself agreeing with much of what Declan has to say. My book is what you might call romantic, poetic, mythical. I evoke a very ancient Ireland, and I feel that I got in touch with our most ancient ancestors. The eight years of research carried out with artist Richard Moore took me on a voyage of discovery, and I found myself re-unearthing many things which had been hidden, things which had eluded me during my formative years and during the course of my education. I feel that this very ancient Ireland is still alive. It is still there. The myths still resonate, the heroes and gods of old usher in feelings of a timeless Irishness. There is no doubt that people sold out, and were sold out, during the so-called Celtic Tiger era. Many have emerged on the other side of this manic period feeling that the Tiger's premises are empty, its promises unfulfilled. But there is still a foundation for the Irish soul, an ancient and almost eternal foundation. We need not sell every last vestige of the soul in order to acquire that scenic house with the barbecue in the back yard. It is my firm belief that there will be a huge resurgence of interest in ancient Ireland and its mythology, landscape and monuments. All of that gives us a sense of being rooted, of being eternal. The Celtic Tiger is dead. Long live the Celtic Tiger.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New video of Richard Moore painting at Donor's Green in Drogheda

I've made another video of Richard in action. He was doing a watercolour featuring the Boyne Viaduct, from Donor's Green in Drogheda. It is six minutes long:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The uncursing Tara - restoring the spirit of the Irish nation

Inspired by the artist, Richard Moore

I propose that the Dáil should convene on the Hill of Tara for one day once every three years and pass a few laws as a symbolic gesture to the Irish people to show that Ireland is finally being ruled from Tara once again after a 1,500-year gap .This event would be viewed as positive step towards giving the Irish people a symbolic sense of a restored pride in our national identity.

Tara has always been seen as the rightful place from which Ireland should be ruled. The erection of a large marquee in the grounds rather than a permanent structure will keep the archaeologists and the preservation community happy and it could have a festive attachment added to make it a fun day also.

The media would have a field day (excuse the pun) because this would be a truly first-time event in 1,500 years, so go for it.

The most symbolic date for this event to take place would be the Summer Solstice as this would celebrate an astronomical re-enactment of the timing of Amergin’s landing on the Boyne when he declared:
What iand is better than this Island of the Setting Sun?

Points to remember…

1 First time in 1,500 years that a ruling authority sits on Tara.
2 To be the first persons in modern Government to do so.
3 Not only are you restoring the status of Tara for the first time but you are restoring and revitalising a sense of pride to the Irish people, recognising that we are truly governed by our people once more.
4 Include the Northern Assembly as a further step toward a peaceful union.

The Uncursing of Tara

The soul of the Nation lies buried on Tara
Separated from its governing body
Join the two together
Restore the nation to life once again
As it was in the beginning and so shall it always be