In a Town of Five Thousand People, Frank McGuinness’s fifth collection, demonstrates again the ‘energy and intensity’ Peter Denman noted in Poetry Ireland Review. The scathing invective of ‘The Town Next to Us’, a series of loving elegies for artists and actors and a record of struggles with religious ties anatomize ‘the darkness within the darkness’
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Lesser Spotted Culture – UTV will run a series of 12 special one hour programmes entitled Lesser Spotted Culture, produced and presented by Joe Mahon of Westway Productions, which will be shown on UTV starting mid January to mark Derry-Londonderry’s year as City of Culture in 2013.
In each monthly programme, Joe Mahon, the host of UTV’s popular, long-running series, Lesser Spotted Ulster will explore events with particular significance or resonance for the city – in terms of its own unique history, heritage and culture.
The first episode of the series will air in January – featuring coverage of the opening events and a flavour of what is to come in the months ahead. This will include ‘The Music Promise’ where every child in the city will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; ‘ Portrait of a City’ which will provide one of the most ambitious digital archives of a community ever conceived and a tour of some of the city’s most outstanding architectural features – new and old.
Speaking at the launch in Custom House Restaurant, Joe Mahon said: “Lesser Spotted Culture will adopt a relaxed, entertaining but always respectful approach when talking to local people and internationally renowned artists alike.
“A fabulous line-up of artistic and cultural activities has been planned for this year, many of them of international importance and prestige. Our series will highlight some of these events and put them in the context of the history, culture and natural environment of the city and surrounding areas.
“Events like The Turner Prize, the Field Day premieres and the All-Ireland Fleadh will be hugely popular but, underlying the glamour and glitter of such highlights, there will be a range of activities that emanate from the indigenous culture of the city. In the longer term, they may prove to be no less important in terms of the legacy they leave behind. Our series will ensure that this, ‘lesser spotted’ culture gets its fair share of the limelight.”
Michael Wilson, Managing Director of UTV Television said:
“UTV’s relationship with Joe Mahon and Westway Productions goes back to 1996 and demonstrates our continued commitment to local programming and the independent production sector in Northern Ireland.
“Lesser Spotted Ulster is one of the most popular series ever shown on UTV, so to take it off air for a year while Joe produces and presents Lesser Spotted Culture shows just how much UTV want to support Derry-Londonderry as it celebrates this special year.
“We are confident that Lesser Spotted Culture will prove equally captivating and appealing for our viewers. There is a wonderful programme of events planned and nobody better placed than Joe to uncover the gems of this year for our audiences on TV, online and on the go, via our new app which we will be launching in 2013.”
Shona McCarthy Chief Executive, The Culture Company 2013 said: “Lesser Spotted Culture is a fantastic platform to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the city, and the diverse cultural offer, especially next year during our year as UK City of Culture. Further to the great success of Lesser Spotted Ulster, we are thrilled to be partnering with UTV and Joe Mahon to deliver a wonderful series, and couldn’t think of a better person than Joe, a son of the city, to take the lead. It will undoubtedly be a highlight on the 2013 monthly calendar, and I for one will be tuning in. ”
Empire Heritage Malin Head Donegal – Underwater robotics technology has been shedding new light on two shipwrecks off the Donegal coast. “The Northern approaches off the Donegal coast represented a bottleneck for convoys in a major shipping route in the second World War across the North Atlantic,” says Dr Daniel Toal from the Marine Robotics Research Centre at the University of Limerick. “Significant tonnage in shipping was attacked and sunk in this wartime gauntlet and there are a large numbers of wrecks.”
He and his team built the smart robotic system used in the survey, ROV Latis, and technical diver Dr Ger Dooly helped to plan the expedition.
In September, the ROV checked out the wrecks of the S S Empire Heritage, sunk in 1944, which lies 70 metres under the surface and 15 miles north-west of Malin Head, and the passenger liner S S Empress of Britain, sunk in 1940 and now lying at a depth of 160 metres, 40 miles northwest of Bloody Foreland.
Despite the challenging weather conditions and wave heights of up to four metres, the Marine Institute-supported survey gathered camera and sonar images of the SS Empire Heritage site. They showed the cargo of Sherman tanks, which were originally destined to fight in the second Word War but are now scattered across the seafloor, according to Dr Toal. The survey also showed that the SS Empress of Britain lies on her side and is broken along her keel.
The UL team is now focusing on developing underwater robotics technology to support the renewable ocean energy sector.
Old Tom Morris Golf Ball Search – Divers have begun a search in Donegal for what they believe could be some of the world’s rarest golf balls.The gutta percha balls once belonged to golfing legend Old Tom Morris, who won the Open four times in the 1860s. It is believed the balls have been lying at the bottom of one of the county’s deepest lakes for 120 years. “It really is like looking for a needle in a haystack but if we find the golf balls it’ll be well worth the effort,” said dive leader Gus O’Driscoll.
The team started searching Lough Salt, near Kilmacrennan, last month. They believe that Old Tom Morris drove up to 20 golf balls into the lake while he was designing the nearby Rosapenna golf course in 1891.
From St Andrews in Scotland, he was a player, club maker, green keeper and course designer who helped set up the Open. In the last two decades of the 19th Century he was regarded as the most famous golfer alive. He was brought over from Scotland by Lord Leitrim to design the 18-hole links course through the sand dunes outside Downings.
A statue of Old Tom Morris overlooks Rosapenna golf course in Downings “We’ve carried out some research and spoke to local people whose parents were around when Tom Morris was here and they told us how he stood up on the hill overlooking Lough Salt and drove the balls into the lake,” said Gus.
“It soon became a tradition after that for golfers on their way home from the Rosapenna to stop off and drive balls into the lake.
“That checks out because we’ve seen thousands of balls on the bottom of the lake and we have recovered some which date back to the 1940s and 50s.”
But the golf balls Gus and his team are searching for are no ordinary balls.
Known as gutta percha, they were designed in the 1840s and used by Old Tom Morris at the time when he won his Open titles.
“They are a very distinctive ball and should stand out amongst the others.Some of them have come up for auction before and sold for thousands of pounds. If we were to find some of the balls used by Old Tom Morris then they would be even more valuable. If we do get lucky and find one then we are going to donate it to the Rosapenna Golf Course because they’re his link with this part of Ireland.”
Christmas Trail at the Iosas Centre Donegal – A Wallace Media news feature on the Iosas Centre Christmas Trail, a memorable interactive Christmas experience for all the family. Each little house in the garden will have its own Christmas theme and in the tradition of the great Irish storytellers, will have characters telling the Christian stories behind some of our favourite Christmas traditions – St Nicholas the Giver of Gifts, the Candy Cane, the first Christmas and more. Filmed/Edited & Produced by Shane Wallace. Narration by Shaun Doherty
Celtic Prayer Garden
The garden is inspired by the 5th – 12th Century spiritual renaissance in Europe, which followed the fall of the Roman Empire. The Garden with its representations of the Cross of Patrick, the Boat of Brendan, the Island of Columba and the Oratory of Canice,inspires visitors to a spiritual re-awakening and renewal following the recent Troubles in this land. Also, a rough pathway round the perimeter of the Garden affords Christian Pilgrims ample opportunity for reflective prayer.
The Celtic Prayer Garden is a six-acre site laid out in the shape of the island of Ireland which depicts the lives of the major saints of Ireland’s Golden Age (5th to 12th Century). Individuals and groups can tour the garden, enjoy its wonderful peace and natural beauty and learn more about our common Celtic Christian heritage. It is a place of incredible peace and natural beauty which affords the pilgrim time and space away from today’s hectic pace of life.
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Inishowen Evictions – The new RTÉ television series ‘The Lost Village’ is looking for anyone with information pertaining to the 13 families evicted from their homes in the small Donegal village of Carrowmenagh, in 1881.
Big Mountain Productions are seeking out this information as part of a four-part bi-lingual series “The Lost Village”. The series will be aired on Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, during Seachtain na Gaeilge in March 2013.
In 1881 thirteen families were evicted from their homes in a small village on the Inishowen peninsula in Donegal called Carrowmenagh. It was a sight that was all too common in the Ireland of the 1800’s.
In this series will trace the ancestors of the evicted and return them to Inishowen and the life of their ancestors at that time. Through the story of Carrowmenagh we tell the wider story of evictions in Ireland.
We are looking for people/a family with a direct connection to Carrowmenagh or other evictions to take part.
Contact us on [email protected] or call Seán at 004428 308 340 46 if you want to find out more and are interested in taking part.
You must be able to fulfil the below criteria:
• A family history relating to the evictions in 19th century Ireland
• Everyone must be over the age of 12
• You must be happy to spend three nights in an old house
• Be free in January
• Happy to undertake the work done in the 19th century
We are seeking a family to take part, and if possible across three generations. You would need to be prepared to stay in a traditional house for three nights to get a taste for life as it was in the time of your ancestors.
Big Mountain Productions have previously brought ‘The Tenements’ to TV3 in Ireland and ‘The Genaeology Roadshow’ to RTÉ in Ireland.
The Bluestack Way App – The Bluestack Way App is now available by clicking here: http://www.everytrail.com/guide/the-bluestack-way-app A big thanks to Mark Flagler of Flagler Films for the use of his images in the video. The Bluestack Way app is a free app with six guides for iPhone or Androids available from the EveryTrail PRO platform. With EveryTrail PRO in place on either device, you can enjoy offline usage without roaming charges with all of the audio and material on your phone.
Every aspect of the area from history to geology, poetry to placenames, anecdotes and memories are on offer in what is the most comprehensive walking app of its kind anywhere in the world. Offered by navigatour™ guided apps from Headland New Media, audio, video, text and pictures showcase the celebrated way-marked way in northwest Ireland. See www.navigatour.ie for more.
Between Donegal Town and Ardara, enjoy the host of stories and history that make this place so special; a region whose people survived on their knowledge of the elements without modern equipment, an area that drew a Harvard Professor-turned sheep farmer into its bosom for 14 years, that was the inspiration for Brian Friel’s ‘Ballybeg’ and a heritage town that has more festivals than just about anywhere else.
Follow in the footsteps of mythological characters Diarmuid and Grainne, of Fionn and the Fianna, hear about ghosts, fairies and pookas, of customs and piseogs, fairdays and feastdays and of the finest view atop on the mountains, looking down as far as Cavan and Mayo and up as far as the Derryveagh mountains.
This is a very special journey and we hope you take a few days out to ensure you get to enjoy its beauty and its people in full for hopefully safe walking, good weather and an abundance of happy memories.