Ballyferriter’s Little Poetry Festival

7-9 November 2008

In the Gaeltacht poetry seems to be a part of everything. It’s in the language, the scenery and especially the hospitality. What a weekend! 9 poets from Cork and about the same from Limerick converged on the West Dingle peninsula only to be met by two score more of local filí and storytellers. After a first-rate appraisal workshop with Gabriel FitzMaurice on Saturday afternoon, everyone settled in for a meal and an evening of Mighty Craic, including a fiery three hour open-mic session, emceed by Domhnall MacSíthigh and Máirín Feirtéar, herself a direct descendant of the original Ferriters who ruled the North Dingle peninsula from the 13th to the 17th Centuries. The poetry flowed non-stop as did various other liquid substances, and was followed by a late late oiche fada.

The next morning (don’t ask) there were readings from local poets, from Ó Bhéal and Limerick’s Whitehouse chaired by Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin over in Dingle, after a tour of Harry Clarke’s church windows by Monseigneur Pádraig Ó Fiannachta (now retired). Well I for one didn’t want to leave, and I heard a few others say the same. Ballyferriter must be the perfect place for a new poetry retreat. Any takers out there?

This elegant, heartening event, organised and hosted annually by poet and potter Louis Mulcahy, has etched its way firmly into my 2009 diary. Thanks Louis. May there be many more!

Videos from the Sunday Morning

Welcome and Mons. Pádraig Ó Fiannachta
Achainí ar an nGaeilge

Noreen Troy
The Dingle Peninsula

Donal O’Flynn’s translation of and Caroline Lynch’s
Lost in the Gaeltacht

Teri Murray
The Biscuit Factory

Barney Shehan
Morning Thoughts at the Old Rectory

Sheila Fitzpatrick O’Donnell
Spiritual Room

Daw Harding
The Poet

Áine Moynihan
Flashback in Anger

Bríd Ní Mhóráin
An Taibhrigh

John Carmody
There’s a Council House in the Corner of Heaven

Domhnall MacSíthigh

Ceaití Ní Bheidiúin
Stór Smidirín

Louis Mulcahy
Dallamullóg na hÓige