Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

Traffic Light Plan Gets The Red Light and
Another Literary Festival In Kerry

“Thus methinks should men of judgment frame
Their means of traffic from the vulgar trade . . .”

(The Jew of Malta (c.1592)

There were no traffic lights in 1592 but are there enough men of judgment in 2022?

Plans for traffic lights on three bridges that span the beautiful Blessington Lakes as part of the recently submitted application for the Blessington Greenway have been strenuously opposed by local people. Public meetings have left the media in no doubt about feeling in the area

Wicklow Cllr O’Neill has been a longstanding supporter of plans for the Greenway for over 20 years, but he is 100% against this insane plan to place concrete dividers up the centre of the bridges to allow pedestrians and cyclists to use one side, while the other side would be reserved for vehicles.

Blessington Lakes in early morning

Such a move would have detrimental effects on the community, people commuting to work, emergency services, large vehicles like logging trucks and farm machinery. The very negative impact on the scenic beauty and the air quality and fuel consumption of queues of idling vehicles. Lateral-thinking Counsellor O'Neill has suggested cantilever walkways that would provide safety for greenway users and walkers. These could also be made attractive and possibly benches to rest and admire the beautiful scenery from these vantage points.

Wicklow Cllr, Gerry O 'Neill

According to Tom Waits, “The average person spends two weeks over their lifetime waiting for the traffic light to change.” A very conservative estimate if one were dealing with the proposed plan.

Humphrestown Bridge

At the time of writing more than 1000 people have signed a petition opposing the plan for the bridges at Knockieran, Burgage and Humphreystown. If you are one of the west Wicklow Diaspora why not submit your own petition to j.sherry@pleanale.ie before March 04th.

The Late Paddy Murray

After a long battle with several illnesses journalist Paddy Murray was buried on Friday 25th February. I since heard an audio clip in which he described how, as a cub reporter, in 1974 he interviewed, and had breakfast with, John Wayne in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin. And how the Duke told him how he would live to make another film in Ireland. That set me thinking

The Quiet Man starring John Wayne has remained one of the most popular films in the world for seventy years. It is based on a short story by Maurice Walsh who was born in Ballydonoghue, County Kerry. His native townland has a long literary history.

Ballydonoghue writer, Maurice Walsh

Two Hundred years ago, Lisselton Bardic School in the parish of Ballydonoghue was famed throughout Munster and beyond for Poetry and Learning. It was the seat of The Court of The Wise, Cúirt na Súagh, led by Pádraig Liath Ó Conchubhair, hedge schoolmaster, poet, teacher, writer and native Irish speaker.

On March 22nd to 25th 2018, Lisselton Bardic School was reborn as Ballydonoghue Bardic Festival, an annual weekend festival to celebrate this outstanding literary tradition. Another successful festival in 2019 was followed by a two-year Covid break, but they are back again with style in March 2022.

Kerry-based writer and UL Lecturer in Literature, Critical Theory and Creative Writing, Kim Arnold, and renowned poet/playwright Máire Holmes, Kerry Writer-in-Residence, will deliver workshops at the 2022 Festival, as will Writer, Singer, Actor and Producer Priscilla Donovan from Tarbert. Máire Holmes will also judge the entries for the Literary competitions. Joe McGill from Radio Kerry will MC the Launch of the Festival. Miriam Costello will teach The Brush Dance and Music masterclasses will be conducted by Kevin O’Neill (Lisselton CCE) and other professional musicians. There will be music and poetry, culture and craic.

(Details from; ballydbardfest@gmail.com)

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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