Coventry goes right to the heart of being Irish Abroad.
Irish Heart, Coventry Home is an exhibition taking place from 9th March until 10th April 2018 at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry. It has been created by the Coventry Irish Society who have interviewed 65 people and made a film about Irish migration to Coventry.
I met Simon McCarthy and Ciaran Davis at the Global Irish Civic Forum in Dublin Castle last May and we talked on progress ” My impression on this wonderful exhibition , archive and film is that it did not happen over night but with lots of research and ensuring inclusivity to produce a multi media project for generations to come . Watch the film, share it worldwide as a model of good practice. My good friend Seán Cannon (from the Dubliners) features, well done Coventry” Gerry Molumby.
Here is a link to the documentary
The launch event, which was held on Friday 9th March, was one of the biggest nights in the Museum’s history. Coventry Irish Society welcomed around 700 attendees, including Councillor Kieran McCarthy, who travelled from Coventry’s twin city of Cork. The night was a fine showcase of Coventry-Irish culture, with music from Joe O’Donnell and extracts from the plays of Kathi Leahy, which were acted by a stellar cast including Coventry-born actor Tamla Kari. A true true celebration of one of the most established Irish communities in Britain .
Launch Night with compliments from Photographer Alan Van Wijgerden
Dubliner Evie Hone designed the chapel window of Eton College. Watch the film story made prior to when colour photography was readily available
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade , also known as the Department of External Affairs, was one of the many state bodies in Ireland to commission films to be produced on its behalf. Often partnering with the National Film institute (now the IFI) they generally made films on subjects considered to be culturally worthy and educationally important. The Cultural Relations Committee, a group within the department responsible for promoting Irish arts & culture abroad, commissioned much of the output, and films such as ‘A Nation Once Again’ (1946) ‘W.B. Yeats: A Tribute’ (1950) and Liam O’Leary’s ‘Portrait of Dublin’ (1952) are representative of the type of historical and informative topics generally featured. A noteworthy example of more controversial and political subject matter is ‘Fintona – A study of Housing Discrimination’ which looks at anti-Catholic housing discrimination in Northern Ireland.
What have Roger Casement and an Irish nun in India got in common ?
not so easy to pronounce better just get on with it !
“I have known no one who was so stirred at the thought of injustice and wrong, whether it was in Africa, America or Ireland.” – Bulmer Hobson on his friend, Roger Casement
The Jesuits give Mary McAleese a platform to speak with hearing aid distance from the Vatican and Jesuit Pope !
On the theme of equality I am reminded of the old joke where the religious orders of the world gather to decide which was the best in the eyes of God. Unresolved they went to bed. Next morning burned into the wood of the main altar were the words ” All religious orders are equal in the eyes of God ” . Singned God SJ.!
Coventry Irish twin with Cork city, host theatre from the pen of Marina Carr and find time to watch a rugby match!.
Coventry well represented at Global Irish Civic Forum Dublin Castle 2016. Gerry Molumby Photographer
Derby Irish lay out the green carpet from St. Mary’s (Pugin) Church to the Irish Centre. Full Festival details.
Derby St. Patrick’s Day Gerry Molumby Photographer
Never mind the moving statues…Dublin’s statues now speak to you.
~ all you need to do is have your smart phone and the the statue will call you back ~ Now that’s what I call a promise !
Dublin . Gerry Molumby Photographer
WHY IRISH PEOPLE SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE COMPLETION OF THE LEVESON INQUIRY INTO PRESS HACKING?
Jane Winter founder and Director of British Irish RIGHTS WATCH has been in touch with me on a campaign to achieve better press accountability .
Former Irish president Mary McAleese and Jane Winter shared a platform at Troubles, Tragedy and Trauma: Northern Ireland’s Historic Legacy, organised by St Mary’s University Twickenham , Michael O’Hare and the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. January 2016. Gerry Molumby Photographer.
Jane told me ……. 1st March 2018 was a good day to bury bad news, with much of the country brought to a standstill by arctic weather and President Putin claiming a world-wide nuclear arsenal. So the government chose to announce that it was not going to establish the second half of the Leveson Inquiry into press hacking.
Part 1, before which I appeared as a core participant, looked at standards and ethics in the print media. Part 2, in which I was also called as a witness, was meant to look at all the actual wrongdoing, such as the hounding of the parents of Madaleine McCann, who disappeared in Portugal, and the hacking of the murdered Millie Dowler’s mobile, giving her parents false hope that she was alive.
I got caught up in the hacking scandal in a much more minor way. I was a founder member of British Irish rights watch (BIRW – now called Rights Watch UK), which was set up in 1990 to monitor the human rights dimension of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Our services were free and available to anyone, on all sides, whose human rights had been affected by the conflict.
In 2006 – although I did not find out about it until 2011 – confidential emails I sent to a former member of the armed forces whom we were helping appeared on the computer of a person who had no right to see them. It turned out that this hacking was commissioned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International newsgroup and Times Newspapers. Although they denied liability, they paid me and BIRW compensation (I gave my share to BIRW), and said we were free to say that we felt “vindicated” by the out-of-court settlement. Later, in the case of the person we were helping, they admitted liability.
When I found out I’d been hacked I was worried. All our work at BIRW was highly confidential, and I didn’t know how far it had gone (luckily only two cases were affected, to the best of my knowledge). I wanted support so I joined Hacked Off, whose Director at the time was an Irish Professor of Journalism, Brian Cathcart.
It was then I began to realise that the press in this country is run by a very few people, and that the likes of Murdoch have undue influence over our politicians, have corrupted police and prison officers, and have ruined people’s lives, often simply making up stories that were untrue. It made me wonder who is really running the country. I have met the McCanns and the Dowlers and many others, and I know that their lives will never be the same again, not only because of their personal tragedies, but because the dirty tactics used by the press have made things infinitely worse.
I am a journalist’s daughter and a supporter of human rights: I believe passionately in the freedom of the press. But they don’t have the right to tell lies and wreck people’s lives.
Lord Justice Leveson was extremely condemnatory of the press at the end of Leveson 1. He said they were “in the last chance saloon” and if they did not clean up their act they would have to be forced to do so. He has said publicly that Leveson 2 must go ahead.
One might of thought that the press would have taken his advice, but they have gone on hacking and telling lies, and hounding people. The only way they will ever stop is if they are named and shamed, and the only way to do that is to set up Levison 2 so that we victims can all tell the truth. Hacked Off has set up a petition calling for just that. You can find it here:
I you care about truth and stopping the abuse of the power of the press, please sign it today. Thank you.
Former Director, British Irish RIGHTS WATCH
Like every other city in the UK Nottingham gets ready to not only celebrate but share St.Patrick’s Day worldwide .
Speaking to reporters after an informal European Council meeting in Brussels (over weekend 23rd Feb) .. Taoiseach said he “anticipates” a referendum potentially “this autumn” to allow Irish citizens living abroad to vote in presidential elections.
Speaking to reporters after an informal European Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium, Mr Varadkar said there is now “strong support” for Ireland to be given at least two more MEP seats when they are vacated by Britain’s planned EU departure next year.
Asked about the mooted plans to increase Ireland’s MEP representation to 13, Mr Varadkar said it and separate plans for Ireland to retain a European commissioner place are “almost in the bag”.
However, he said it “wouldn’t make sense” for citizens of Northern Ireland to vote on the two new Irish MEP seats due to their cross-border citizenship as they would not be impacted by EU rules post-Brexit.
During the same briefing, the Taoiseach also said he “anticipates” a referendum potentially “this autumn” to allow Irish citizens living abroad to vote in presidential elections.
The plan came after Mr Varadkar had yesterday morning told reporters his party has not ruled out running a candidate in a potential autumn presidential election – which would be unaffected by the referendum result – after current incumbent Michael D Higgins strongly hinted he intends to seek re-election.
“President Higgins has been an excellent president for Ireland. Fine Gael will make a decision after we know his intentions, for sure,” he said.
Cormac’s Chapel recently restored to the splendour of its Hiberno-Romanesque architecture.
On the southern side of the summit of the Rock of Cashel in Co. Tipperary is the church built as a Royal chapel by Cormac McCarthy, king of Munster between 1127 and 1134. The church has a number of Romanesque features such as paired towers, blind arcades and recessed arched doorways, rib-vaulting and decorative motifs such as chevrons, pellets and rosettes. The chapel is a cruciform nave and chancel church with two towers and a small rectangular recess running off the chancel to the east. A doorway of two orders gives access to the north tower from the nave, and a smaller round-headed doorway leads to the spiral staircase in the south tower. The nave has a barrel vault and above this there is a bee-hive vaulted chamber formerly of two-storeys, known as the croft.
The north and south walls of the church are decorated with blind arcades. Frescos that cover the walls and ribs of the chancel have been restored to reveal two layers of painting. The frescos include geometric and floral motifs as well as figurative scenes including the baptism of Christ and possibly Solomon and the Queen of Sheba with the temple of Jerusalem. Externally the church has blind arcades and engaged half-columns. The smaller south tower has the belfry. The larger north tower has a pyramidal stone roof. In the thirteenth century the cathedral of Cashel was built against the north tower of the chapel and incorporates its west gable.
Cormac’s Chapel, Gerry Molumby Photographer February 21st 2018
Anne Enright , Laureate for Irish Fiction, coming to London on eve of St.Patrick’s Day .
Organised by Cathy Galvin who told me ” I founded Word Factory five years ago to provide new platforms for short story writers and promote excellence in the form, having also founded the Sunday Times EFG short story award when I was working there. (Anne Enright was a judge for that prize last year). I’m absolutely delighted that Anne is joining us on the eve of St Patrick’s Day. Our event will be part reading from her work, and part interview – as we allow time for Q and A. This is the second event in a year-long programme which is exploring writers who are pushing the boundaries of the short story form. Ireland has, of course, a world-renowned reputation for short story writing and Anne is one of the best practitioners in the form. I will host the event as director, and my associate director Paul McVeigh will conduct the interview. His debut novel, The Good Son, set in his home-city of Belfast during the Troubles, was published in 2016 to acclaim. I felt the combination of literary perspectives from both the sides of the border would be timely. I also have an Irish background and dual citizenship and, in addition to running the Word Factory, will be starting a poetry PhD based on the sean nos in south Connemara .”
Cathy Galvin read from her own poetry at Nottingham Irish Festival 2017 (Gerry Molumby Photographer)
Fri 16 March 2018
19:00 – 20:30 GMT
What does the Irish Government do through its overseas embassies. RTE profiles their role in advancing Irish culture, interests and values.
Drama @ 60th Anniversary of the Irish Chaplaincy in Britain 2016
Fourteen year old Liverpool Irish boy adopted by the father of the Irish Nation ~ Michael Collins.
Below is the picture you have long known, now hear and see the extraordinary story :
When they make the film of ‘the young Michael Collins Paul O’Donovan ‘is your man’ and I told him so.
Irish Post Awards London 2017
President Higgins affirms Mná na hÉireann at home and abroad at London’s inaugural Lá Fhéile Bríde
Ambassador Adrian O’Neill hosted his vision of the enormous contribution and talent of Irish women in such diverse fields as music, film, comedy, architecture, poetry, literature, fashion, art, theatre, craft, business and entrepreneurship, science and technology. The ‘surprise’ guests of honour was President Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins .Pauline McGlynn went into ‘Mrs Doyle mode’ as she tried to contain her excitement ,which was picked up and added to by all who attended ,with a palpable joy of being with, for the afternoon and evening , Uachtarán na hÉireann.
Camille O’Sullivan entertained with her uniquely-talented voice ‘to tell a song’.
Sebina Higgins attends the workshop on Irish Women in Science and Technology
Fiona Mitchell chairs the workshop on Women in Political Journalism attended by President Higgins and Ambassador O’Neill
Opportunity Knocks to be part of designing some brand new stamps to record the vast and varied contribution of the Irish Diaspora.
An Post, Ireland’s national postal service, is currently preparing a list of subjects from which the 2020 Programme of Special and Commemorative postage stamps will be chosen.
Each year An Post produces a programme of special and commemorative stamps on behalf of the Irish Government. The programme comprises of around 30 such stamps covering up to 13 different topics.
A proposal for the 2020 programme is the production of a set of stamps celebrating Ireland’s diaspora.
Gerry Molumby’s picture wins place in New York photographic exhibition
Aptly titled Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses , the picture was taken in August 2012 while Gerry and family visited New York on route to stay with his brother John ,permanently living in California.
The exhibition will be hosted by Aisling Irish Community and Cultural Centre (990 McLean Ave, Yonkers, NY 1070). Out of nearly 1000 submissions , the exhibition will host 50, there will be a further 12 finalists to be included in their 2018 calendar. The only thing that ‘gives the picture away’ from being circa 1890 are the modern day cranes in the centre.
Gerry said ” having just seen some of the other exhibition pictures there is an obvious high standard. Like most people I take scenic pictures but that day in New York harbour this sailing tourist ship came into view and I was reminded of all the Irish Emigrants who entered USA via Ellis Island. The narrative by Emma Lazarus came to mind ”
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
“Then I knew I did not just have a picture ,but a story ”
Your Irish Passport is a work of art, let’s look at it again.
~ and a Lancashire born Irish poet chosen to have her verse included …. ~
Story and pictures Gerry Molumby
At the Global Irish Civic Forum in Dublin (May 2017) there was a wonderful presentation on the work that went in to the renewal of the Irish Passport , incorporating the latest security technology, but also making it a piece of Irish art. So from notes and further research I have been on a voyage of discovery….come along with me. The first thing you will notice are the illustrations of Gaelic Sports and Music along with landmarks such as Croagh Patrick, Kylemore Abbey, Croke Park, the Cliffs of Moher and my native Rock of Cashel, which adorn the pages with the Brian Buru harp being the rightly expected watermark on each page.
Picture 1: Brian Buru harp being the rightly expected watermark on each page.
At the conference I was alerted to the inclusion, throughout the pages, to the full music score of Amhrán na bhFiann, the full text of Article 2 of the Irish Constitution, which appears alternately in Irish and in English.
It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.
The written and spoken word is fully included with verses by William Butler Yeats and James Orr and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaíll. Born in Lancashire, England in 1952, of Irish parents, Nuala moved to Ireland at the age of five, and was brought up in the Dingle Gaeltacht and in Nenagh, County Tipperary. A couple of Ní Dhomhnaíll’s lines written in Irish on page six are – Labhrann gach cuinne den leathinis seo liom ina teanga feinig, teanga a thuigim – loosely translated and with a nod towards the Irish abroad to mean – every corner of the land speaks to us.
Dedicated to the Irish language Nuala writes poetry exclusively in Irish and is quoted as saying “Irish is a language of beauty, historical significance, ancient roots and an immense propensity for poetic expression through its everyday use”, she currently lives near Dublin with her husband and four children and is a regular broadcaster on Irish radio and television.
Picture 2:On left the Verse by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaíll. Note the Bird Knot, (centre of left page) the intricate nature of these original designs makes replication very difficult. Note the seed in the bird’s beak to represent the ‘scattering’ of the Irish Abroad and part of the score from the national anthem on top left of each page in the passport.
Picture 3. The River Gods as seen under the Liffey Bridge are seen in all their glory when you bend two pages into each other.
Note also the Ogham characters (on lower left of the picture above) are printed in thermo-chromic ink, i.e. the colour of the character changes when heat is applied. The individual Ogham character and a hand drawn trace of a tree leaf, also lights up under ultra-violet inspection. Printed with shifting ink Spark technology, the image shimmers in the light. This is the first time this technology was used on an international travel document.
Ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet used to write the early Irish language. There are a number of surviving orthodox inscriptions on stone monuments throughout Ireland, mostly in southern Munster.
Picture 5. Newgrange Entrance Stone image. Again this is printed with shifting ink Spark technology behind the front page and as with the Ogham the image shimmers in the light.
“Be advised, my passport’s green” Seamus Heaney
What is the best piece of Irish Music ?
For me it is Eleanor Plunkett, by composer Turlough O’Carolan (1670–1738).
Here are my favourite versions ;
Car park acoustics!
The Master himself
Following on from the Global Irish Civic Forum held at Dublin Castle in May…the Global Irish Diaspora Directory ….is now available in furthering the links that bind us together. A good piece of work by and from the Irish Government Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretariat.
Thomas Moore the bard of Ireland……….but , ” in a village of England your bones should have rest”
In a recent edition of the Irish World I read of the revived interest by Eleanor Mc Evoy on the works of Thomas Moore.
What readers may not know is that he joins the band of famous Irish people buried in the UK. His wife wanted him buried with his two children in the family vault in Bromham, Wiltshire.
The British Poet Laureate John Betjeman called him ” dear bard of my boyhood”, he was mine also as my dad used sing his songs and I became ‘ a ministral boy’.
” In the churchyard of Bromham the yews intertwine
O’er smooth granite cross of a Celtic design,
Looking quite our of place in surroundings like these
In a corner of Wilts’ twixt the chalk and the cheese.
I can but account you neglected and poor,
Dear bard of my boyhood, mellifluous Moore,
That far from the land which of all you loved best
In a village of England our bones should have rest .
Other famous Irish Abroad include George Bernard Shaw (Ayot St Lawrence, nr Welwyn), Percy French (Formby ‘across the mersey) and Sean O’ Casey (Golders Green)