Kindred Spirits

Drew University’s fifth Transatlantic Connections Conference was held in Bundoran from January 10–13 to celebrate the many ties between the United States and Ireland. The cover image features the Choctaw Nation memorial that commemorates how they, though suffering greatly themselves following the Trail of Tears that drove them from their own land, sent money to buy food during the Great Famine.

In that same dark time, according to family tradition, Paula Meehan’s family left Leitrim for Liverpool, only to remain stuck in the Monto district of Dublin for the next century. These are a few notes from her final keynote speech which was, she said; just an excuse for giving out poetry.

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A Colourful Debut

2016 may have been a tough year for music, but that certainly wasn’t the case for emerging Fermanagh band Anto & the Echoes. After only a few short months of forming and honing their sound, they took on their debut gig in July. Punters were turned away from Charlie’s bar as the crowd reached maximum capacity early in the night. A series of well-received gigs around Northern Ireland followed, and the band returned to Charlie’s to close the year with another sell-out show.

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Room, Room, Room for Mummers’ Rhymes

The start button on the vintage cassette player makes a loud clunk. The tape hisses and crackles, then my father’s voice fills the room with with a tumbling run of words:

Room, Room, my gallant room, give me room to rhyme
I’II show you some activity about this Christmastime
The active youth, the active age
Our act was never acted on the stage….

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Radio Days

When Fermanagh Writers were first contacted by Owen McFadden, a BBC radio producer working in Belfast, the original brief was for some of our older members to write reflections on their past experiences for a Sunday afternoon programme on BBC Radio Ulster called The Time of our Lives.

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