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Posts Tagged ‘ Dalkey ’

Summer of Heritage 2014: Tours Of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown

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I am firmly into cultural brochure and leaflet mode to ensure that I don’t miss anything in my local area before September. I struck lucky with DLR County Council’s Summer of Heritage brochure. It lists no less than twenty tours you can take during the summer in the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown area. Plenty to keep you occupied during July and August with the bonus that all of the tours are free and all are suitable for children (with extra care needed in some properties). It’s also worth noting that you can take a tour of the Dalkey Castle and Heritage centre for free as part of this Summer Heritage series. These special tours are at 10.45 on Mondays and Thursdays until 4 September. You can browse the site after the tours and if you’ve never been to Dalkey Castle I would recommend this as a great opportunity to see this showpiece of Dalkey’s history. Perhaps unusually, the Castle and Heritage Centre have a Writer’s Gallery celebrating the diversity of the area’s talented writers, as well as the expected mediaeval artefacts and weaponry.

I’ve long meant to get around to visiting Cabinteely House and this summer I have finally managed it as part of the DLR Summer of Heritage. Guides run 60-minute tours every Wednesday and Saturday until 7 September. On tour days, there are four events beginning at 2pm, no booking required. We went along in good time to catch the first tour as it gave us the chance to have a look around the park first. Cabinteely Park was once part of the estate that belonged to the house’s successive owners. We have the former Dublin County Council’s determination to control planning to thank for having the ninety odd acres of beautiful parkland. The descendants of the last owner of Cabinteely house, Joseph McGrath were rather keen on building all over it, having previously sold off the contents of the house. Next to the main house, the old stables and a granary building have survived and now house an arts centre and a cafe. The cafe has outside seating that looks onto a Japanese garden established in the courtyard; it’s a lovely place to while away an hour or so. Continue reading

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News In Brief – Asda Causes A Fuss As More Anglo Cash Uncovered

asda

Another week, another excuse to hit the bottle. Did you raise a glass to Arthur yesterday? If so well done, you are part of the marketing machine that will keep our country attached to the teet of the booze business. Still, nice bit of Guinness though.

That was a rather bitter start (get it? Guinness, bitter?) . NIB will promise to be more positive from now on, once recovered from yesterday’s hangover.

Bono’s had enough of people going on at him for not paying tax in Ireland. Poor Bono. If there’s a spare ticket on Bob Geldof’s spaceship he might want to consider snapping it up, NIB understands tax rates on the moon are non-existent and the views rival Dalkey. On a side note have you seen the picture of Geldof in his suit? Holy mother of Bob. Continue reading

News in Brief – Photocopy murder? Best leave It To The Gardaí

"You're not in America now, sonny."

“You’re not in America now, sonny jim.”

Apparently 25 per cent of us fear being found out as lacking at work. Many of those suggesting accidentally viewing porn or something us NSFW (not safe for work) is their biggest fear. Eight per cent, according to the report in The Sun, think the photocopier is out to get them. Oh dear.

People “shouldn’t be mucking around in Garda business”. This isn’t film noir, it’s Noonan. Far away on the L.A. suburbs familiar to detective novels the Gardai are apparently having their evidence fiddled with, causing problems in court. Enter Noonan, he was a quiet man, a maverick, some call him crazy, some call him . . . other things. Passing comment in relation to the Anglo Tapes being leaked to the press he said: “The Gardai are the ones who investigate crime in this country”. Good to know of course but not exactly the narrative of a great crime thriller.

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Galway Card Sees Hometown Favourite Steal IWW Show

Last night the Irish Whip Wrestlers rocked St. Nicholas parish hall in Galway City as only they know how. It was a cold night, and I won’t lie, to begin with the crowd wasn’t much hotter. But Eamonn D’Arcy managed to shuffle and shout his way into the crowd’s hearts and they began (slowly) to warm up.  Continue reading

Maeve Binchy dies at the age of 72

16 Novels, more than 30 years of writing and endless fans is the legacy that Maeve Binchy leaves behind. The wonderful and much loved Irish author died on Monday after struggling with illness throughout most of her adult life. But even at 72 she had a  much younger spirit and loved life, saying that after a brush with death in 2002 she lived every day as if it were her last.

Her best known works are possibly Tara Road and Circle of Friends as Hollywood turned them into films, but all of her stories, no matter if in short form or packed up into the parcel of a novel, are about real life, no hyped up glam or only beautiful people fill her pages, but the struggle of everyday life, joy, love and friendship overflow from her work into the readers minds and heart.

She didn’t start out as a writer but graduated UCD (University College Dublin) and became a teacher. But Maeve wanted to see the world and in her long summer holidays she would travel, her shipping guide always at hand telling her which ship was going where. Wanting a change she gave up her secure teachers job and pension to become a free-lance writer and soon was called to be a woman’s editor at the Irish Times. With a steady flow of work coming in from London Maeve moved there in the mid seventies to the Irish Times office in Fleet Street and started working on her first novel Light a Penny Candle. Setting herself strict deadlines and word-counts she would get up at 5am every morning to write before work and her discipline and structure paid off when in 1982 her first book was published.

At the age of 37 she married children book author Gorden Snell and with the invention of fax and emails they both moved from London to Dalkey, where Maeve had grown up, and would sit side by side in their upstairs office and write for several hours every day. Very disciplined her motto was “if you want to write just do it” and shelves filled with her work all around the world prove her right.

Inspired by Scarlett O’Hara from “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, Maeve Binchy created a whole new form of literature. One filled with women who learn to be strong and independent, who begin to trust in themselves, be who they want to be and love life, friends, family, home and most importantly themselves.

Outselling other great Irish writers like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Roddy Doyle, Samuel Beckett, W.B Yeats, Maeve was quietly proud always encouraging others to write as well. She paved a beautiful path for other female writers to follow and was always generous in sharing her experience with her colleagues.

Maeve Binchy will be missed, not only by the Irish nation but by her fans across the world, but she has one final gift to her readers, her last book has just been finished and will be published later this year.

She will be cremated in a private ceremony following removal on Friday morning to the Church of the Assumption, Dalkey.

“I don’t have ugly ducklings turning into swans in my stories. I have ugly ducklings turning into confident ducks.”

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy with one of her two beloved cats in her home in Dalkey

Books by the Seaside: Dalkey Book Festival 2012

The third Dalkey Book Festival begins on Friday 15th June and runs until Sunday 17th with a very varied programme of events. The festival brings together local businesses in a weekend that creates a real buzz in the locality. The event has secured solid sponsorship, with its headline sponsor being KBC Bank supported by Bulmers, Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre and other local businesses.  Many of the latter are hosting events in their premises and Hughes and Hughes Booksellers will be running pop-up bookshops during the programme.

A meeting of the Dalkey Business Group in April 2010 was the catalyst for the setting up of the literary festival. The aim of the group’s initiative was to deal with the problem of diminishing trade in the town. The members had the enterprising idea of harnessing the area’s greatest resource: its large stable of writers. If you have ever visited Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre and seen the exhibition about the town’s literary connections, then you will have some idea of just how potentially valuable a resource the writers are. With the addition of some distinguished out of town visitors, the event thus boasts a stellar line-up over the three days.

Festival directors David McWilliams and Sian Smyth have worked in close partnership with the local businesses and community to create and manage an exciting programme of events. The organisers have put together a list of discussions, readings, workshops and literary walks. The Lighthouse Cinema is venturing south and putting on films at Dalkey Tramyard in Castle Street.

Children will also be well catered for in the junior section of the festival. For instance, the always-popular Derek Landy is giving a reading and Chris Judge will be wowing the younger readers. Sinead Gleeson will be talking to YA authors Sarah Webb, Pauline McLynn and Anna Carey about the ins and outs of their craft.

I am intrigued by the spooky Edgar Allan Poe event on Saturday night. What could possibly happen in St Begnet’s Graveyard between 11pm and the Witching hour? Expect a few sparks for the discussion ‘Will booklovers fight back?’ chaired by David McWilliams on the future for booklovers in Dalkey in the light of the recent closure of the Exchange Bookshop. Are local booklovers prepared to stand up, be counted (and buy the books)?

Amongst other treats on offer will be a new story from Maeve Binchy, an interview with Sinead Cusack and sessions with Robert Fisk and Seamus Heaney.

Now all we need is some sunshine and Dalkey will be the place to be this weekend. Fingers crossed….

www.dalkeybookfestival.org

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