The Things that Make for Peace

It’s been a busy Autumn, as various social groups have returned from their long hibernations and diaries are once more filling up.

The Song of the Scythe

My grass had grow almost untouched for the best part of three years. In places, the grass roots were so densely entangled that pulling on one plant might roll up a whole section like rotting underlay. It had broken my lawnmower long ago. A local farmer with a brush cutter cleared the part visible from … Continue reading “The Song of the Scythe”

The Spirit of the Place

For the ancient pagans, they say, every sacred place was haunted by a familiar spirit – the genius loci – something less than a god but equally uncanny: some dryad, naiad, elf or goblin. Dinnseanachas or placelore was one of the earliest forms of Irish vernacular writing. Every hill, river and road, sacred or not,  … Continue reading “The Spirit of the Place”

The Edge of Strangeness

What makes a place familiar? What causes that feeling that you have left your home ground?  I can feel the change near the Ulster border more than on the political one, yet parts of Leitrim seem like home to me, and parts of Cavan do not. Rivers and loughs do not divide but rather unite … Continue reading “The Edge of Strangeness”

Loughshore Lines

Loughshore Lines was the brainchild of Ken Ramsey, who proposed that Fermanagh writers should invite creative responses to The Erne and the surrounding landscape, to include public performances in Ballyshannon, Cavan and Enniskillen. Some of the writers are well known, but some are published here for the first time.

Smiles to Go Before I Weep

The sun always rises after a storm writes Rodney Edwards of the Impartial Reporter on the back cover of this anthology. Nobody knows this better than Mary McElroy. This brilliant book is a testament to that. Yet, as the title suggests, the truth that Mary knows is more complex. Wishing for the sun will not … Continue reading “Smiles to Go Before I Weep”

Here at Last!

Following our launch at the Allingham Festival,  Loughshore Lines is now available for sale at A Novel Idea bookstore in Ballyshannon (€5) or the County Museum Enniskillen (£5). To order direct by post, please email or come to our upcoming events at Belturbet Old Railway Station on Saturday 4th December at 2.30 or Blakes … Continue reading “Here at Last!”

Kathy May

These words were written just after our friend Katharine – Kathy May – died. I wrote them down without thinking of grammar or meter or sequence or refinement. They are from my first thoughts as my wife Ann McNulty and I were, and still are, trying to come to terms with our grief at the … Continue reading “Kathy May”

Playing by Ear

I was never a musical child. As the saying goes, I couldn’t even carry a tune in a bucket. Once, in my twenties, I bought a tin whistle and a book of folk songs with music, and I tried to pick out tunes in that. Music theory was a locked book. I did not have … Continue reading “Playing by Ear”