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Feis Teamhra

category national | arts and media | news report author Monday August 25, 2008 10:25author by M. Ni Bhrolchain Report this post to the editors

Poets and musicians at Tara

On Sunday 24 August 2008 Save Tara campaigners presented an international gathering of poets and musicians at Tara to honour and celebrate the place and our heritage. It was organised by Susan McKeown and Paul Muldoon.
Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon, Pulitzer prize-winner, read their poetry and were joined by Grammy award-winner Susan McKeown who was accompanied by Aidan Brennan. Laoise Kelly and Steve Cooney also playing at the event.
Event begins
Event begins

The event took place in the churchyard under a blue sky and a shining sun as 250 people listened to Ireland’s most celebrated poets read for Tara and speak about the importance of place and heritage. The performers were introduced by Dr Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin of the National University of Ireland Maynooth. Each act gave three pieces in honour of the importance of triplicity in early Ireland.
Visitors to the Hill who were unaware of the event were astonished to see Seamus Heaney reading and reciting his poetry in this beautiful and informal venue.
The afternoon opened with Susan McKeown singing a mixture of her own compositions and some Irish songs accompanied by the guitar playing of Aidan Kelly.
This was followed by Paul Muldoon who recited, among others, a poem about his own home place and the river Moy. Paul Muldoon wrote a poem ‘Tara of the Kings’ in 2006; it was put to music and played, for the first time, by his band Rackett in Navan in August 2007. He wrote in the New York Times in 2007: “the routing of a busy road slap bang through the Tara-Skryne Valley represents an act of vandalism with not only national, but international, ramifications”. He also joined Susan McKeown in a musical, harpers protest outside the Irish consulate in New York in September 2007 when harpers in Ireland played outside the Dáil.
Laoise Kelly played Planxty Wilkinson; this was composed by the famous composer Carolan for the Wilkinson family of Meath in the eighteenth century. The family still live in the Skryne area and the hugely important monument of Baronstown was found on their land.
Brendan Duffin, a longtime campaigner and Tara warrior, sang his Call to Warriors, calling on all those associated with Tara in the past to come to her aid in this her time of need.
Then came the main performer, Seamus Heaney reminded the crowd of the importance of speaking out loud aloud and enunciating the importance of things – if something is not said it will not be remembered. He read his poem on ‘Bogland’ – how many archaeological remains of the past have been found in bogs and also one of the Sweeny poems celebrating the landscape.
Seamus Heaney said in 2007: “for the past two millennia those generations regarded Tara as a place invested with sacred as opposed to secular value. Protest against the loss of this value remains an imperative”. In an interview with Diarmaid Fleming for a BBC documentary in 2008 he said the motorway: "literally desecrates an area - I mean the word means to desacralise' and, for centuries, the Tara landscape and the Tara sites have been regarded as part of the sacred ground". He referred to the 1916 Proclamation having summoned the Irish people "in the name of the dead generations" and said: "If ever there was a place that deserved to be preserved in the name of the dead generations from pre-historic times . . . it was Tara".
Then Susan and Aidan gave us another song, she spoke of Cú Chulainn’s combat with Ferdia and his washing in the rivers of Ireland and sang her own song about those rivers, including the Boyne. Steve Cooney sang his song ‘The Money Mad Mile’ and made apologies for the fact that Liam Ó Maonlaoi could not be with us. As he sang of ‘Tara’s sky so blue’ the clouds separated, the blue sky appeared and the sun shone through. Surely another magical Tara moment.
For those present and for the press who decided to come, it was an unexpected treat to have Seamus Heaney present. He stayed for a good while afterwards, posed for photographs, spoke to his many fans and signed autographs for all of us groupies.
It was lovely to see so many friendly faces from the campaign at the event. Banners on the Meath Masterplan and on the petition to re-inter the bodies were clear to see. Campaigners were sitting at the gate to Tara and the petition was there for people to sign and hundreds of them did.
Tara will feature again at the Electric Picnic. A replica of Newgrange will be devoted to Tara. There is to be a cafe, merchandise stall, Tara information and pictures hung up all round the structure, talks and a Tara concert with Liam O Maonlai, Kila, Yap Political, Emma Harper and others from the album.

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com

Susan McKeown and Aidan Brennan
Susan McKeown and Aidan Brennan

Paul Muldoon reading
Paul Muldoon reading

Laoise Kelly and Steve Cooney
Laoise Kelly and Steve Cooney

Seamus Heaney reads at Tara
Seamus Heaney reads at Tara

author by M. Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A few more ...
Brendan Duffin called all warriors to fight for Tara. He is related to Seamus Heaney as well.

Listening to Seamus Heaney
Listening to Seamus Heaney

Paul Muldoon makes us all laugh
Paul Muldoon makes us all laugh

Paul enthralls the crowd
Paul enthralls the crowd

M Ni Bhrolchain introduced the performers
M Ni Bhrolchain introduced the performers

author by M. Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A few more photographs. Brendan Duffin called all warriors to arms to defend Tara. He is related to Seamus Heaney and it was lovely to see them together. Seamus commented that they Heaneys cannot sing and he was very impressed with Brendan's performance.

Paul makes us laugh
Paul makes us laugh

Brendan Duffin sings
Brendan Duffin sings

M Ni Bhrolchain
M Ni Bhrolchain

Paul entertains the crowd
Paul entertains the crowd

Brendan and Seamus
Brendan and Seamus

author by M. Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The group of performers taken at the end of the event. Many autographs were signed by Seamus Heaney and Paul.

And another one
And another one

Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney

Susan and Aidan again
Susan and Aidan again

The performers
The performers

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Carmel Divineypublication date Mon Aug 25, 2008 14:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It was a wonderful day! There was a lovely atmosphere and such an attentive crowd . Tara was alive with song and verse once more and the crowd loved it. We were treated to the very best of Irish Poetry and Music and it didnt even rain! :) Heartfelt thanks to all involved in organising this, especially Paul Muldoon of the wild wild hair ( like it) and Susan McKeown whose voice is so pure it is breathtaking.

I hope that Seamus Heaney , most welcome guest of honour is aware that Brendan wrote that song himself- words and all :) Seamus should be proud of our Warrior, it is one powerful call. The track can be heard on the Tara album The Mighty Gather In which was released last year to help promote and fund the campaign against the desecration of the Tara Valley.

My personal high was Steve Cooney singing The Money Mad Mile. I didnt know he was coming and when he appeared at Laoise's side I got goosebumps. " Please let him play it, please" I thought and sure enough, my favourite song. Link below for anyone who hasnt heard it. Certainly for me, it is the most beautiful song about Tara that I have ever heard, ever.

Thanks to all :)

Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/songfortara
author by Tara Tara Tarapublication date Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Indeed it was a very positive day and everyone left upbeat and light hearted. After the performances a few impromptu sessions were sparked off by entuhsiastic attendees who were inspired to add their bit :) We were also entertained by the amazing spectacle of Falcons, Hawks and Owls flying high above that Money Mad Mile Under The Tara Skies So Blue.....

Newgrange Falconry
Newgrange Falconry

Local Harmonics with Aiden Brennan and Laoise Kelly
Local Harmonics with Aiden Brennan and Laoise Kelly

Keeping the fire going
Keeping the fire going

Even Paddy joined in! Would even he be able to make them listen?
Even Paddy joined in! Would even he be able to make them listen?

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by marcellaveepublication date Tue Aug 26, 2008 14:43author email anitagreg at gmail dot comauthor address Belfastauthor phone Report this post to the editors

oh - thank you all so much for this report - and all for making it happen - it must have been wonderful - you can see from the pictures how peaceful and happy it was -
and great descriptions of the day
What a wonderul thing to be happening at Tara !
this is the way things SHOULD be there - and as the world becomes more frantic it seems more important than ever to keep some places apart from the mad rush
just as Steve sings in that beautiful " MoneyMad Mile " song
and he sang it there ? and the sun came out ? ....and with all the other amazing people -~~~
oh I WISH I had been there - but its great just to see all the pictures !

author by Tara Tara Tarapublication date Wed Aug 27, 2008 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This should delight you too! :) Paul Muldoon, Seamus Heaney, Laoise Kelly and Steve Cooney all signed the petition on the day to reinterr the bodies desecrated by the construction of the M3 Doble -Tolled Motorway. Michael Holrahan of Aosdana also signed along with many other visitors. Add these to other well known names such as Actor Stuart Townsend, MEPs Kathy Sinnott, Mary Lou Mac Donald and Senator David Norris and it is amazing that more people havent followed their excellent example and signed also!!! Please eveyone spread the word and help to increase the numbers, more details at the link below.

Muldoon, Heaney, Holrahan and Kelly
Muldoon, Heaney, Holrahan and Kelly

Steve Cooney
Steve Cooney

Related Link: http://www.tarapixie.net
author by Tara Tara Tarapublication date Wed Aug 27, 2008 15:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An entire thread with in depth information on the reburials here:

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88413
author by John and Ann Butlerpublication date Wed Aug 27, 2008 17:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A big big thank you to everyone who organised this event. It was a wonderful experience. We travelled from England just at the right time to be there and enjoyed every minute of it . I am especially very big into Harp music as I used to play when I was young and thought the lovely lady who played was splendid. What could symbolise Tara more than the Harp?

We have been supportive of the Tara campaign for a very long time now but that was our first time in Ireland and it was invigorating to finally be there and see Tara , but then to stumble upon such an exciting event really was the icing on the cake! The event was so impressive not just because of the famous faces but because of where it was, the audience, the weather, eveything! It is a pity more famous people wouldnt support you all publically for the great work you continue to do. Please dont ever give up! You are doing so much invaluable work , stand proud and know that many like us really appreciate you all beyond what any words could possible convey.

Save Tara!

author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Wed Aug 27, 2008 20:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What a lovely message and thank you for that. We were so lucky with the weather and with the wonderful audience. There is talk of a similar one next year. Both Susan, singer, and Paul did most of the work and I only jumped in at the end. Thanks to everyone who came - it would have been no good without.
Teamhair Abú and here's to a great line up next year

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by marspublication date Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What a fabulous day!!!!

Huge congrats and many thanks to all involved in organising and making Sunday's Feis Teamhra such a success. I really hope this becomes and annual event.






author by marspublication date Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors







author by Gaylepublication date Tue Jan 27, 2009 17:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The head of state or the Ard Rí na hÉireann, was also an elected official. Any person who had an untainted track record and credible personal merits on both civilian and military affairs were eligible for this position. An Ard Ri did not make laws, his responsibility was to implement them and see to it that they were followed. One primary role of an Ard Ri was to prepare and preside over the Great Fair (Feis Teamhrach), a ceremonial feast where lower kings gather together." (From http://family-ancestry.co.uk/history/celts/social_system/)

Related Link: http://uk.yhs.search.yahoo.com/avg/search?fr=yhs-avg&p=...hrach

author by Gaylepublication date Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry about the "broken" link my post above; the intended address can be reached via http://tinyurl.com/aj37p4 .

Also, at this time of "global financial crisis", and all the associated concerns, uncertainties, gloom and doom, it might be worth reminding ourselves of our fabulous history: which stretches back thousands of years, but which is not all that widely know about at the present time.

Much of it involves the Hill of Tara of course.

Example 1: "Brehon Law & Tara" at http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Brehon+Law%2C+Tara...f&oq=

Example 2: "King Ollamh Fodhla & Tara" at http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=King+Ollamh+Fodhla...earch

Despite our many difficulties at the present time, we still (as a nation) have much to cherish, and much by way of useful things to carry forward into the future of the world?

Related Link: http://uk.yhs.search.yahoo.com/avg/search?fr=yhs-avg&p=...noise

author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Wed Jan 28, 2009 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The good news is that plans are already underway to have another such event during Heritage Week this year.
I'm sure it will be at least as good, if not better, than last year.

author by Tara Tara Tarapublication date Mon Aug 24, 2009 14:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Press Release by Susan McKeown

The second Feis Teamhra: A Turn at Tara, which features performances by internationally-recognized Irish poets and musicians, will be held between 3 and 5 o'clock on August 30 2009 on the Hill of Tara. Those taking part are Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, Susan McKeown, Laoise Kelly, and Aidan Brennan.

While the Hill of Tara has become something of a contested spot, symbolizing for some less the sacred site where ancient Ireland crowned its kings than the desecrated site where modern Ireland gave in to crass consumerism and, as it were, drowned in things, the note the organizers hope to strike is not one of confrontation but celebration. It's a celebration of the continuity of the linked traditions of Irish poetry and music, traditions that have almost certainly flourished here since at least 2000 BC.

Following an appearance last year by Seamus Heaney, the headlining poet this year is Michael Longley, the esteemed Belfast-based author who has always taken a particular interest not only in the flora and fauna of Ireland but its folklore and mythology. While he studied Classics at TCD, Michael Longley is capable of writing as movingly about Medbh and the Grey of Macha as about Menelaus and Mycenae. Among his many awards are the Whitbread Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, The Irish Times Literature Prize for Poetry, the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and the T.S. Eliot Prize. The author of 8 full-length collections, his Collected Poems was published by Jonathan Cape in 2006.

Also reading poetry will be Paul Muldoon, the Armagh-born, US-based, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. While he has been vocal in the Campaign to Save Tara, Paul Muldoon will confine himself on this occasion to reading from some of his 10 full-length collections of poems.

The musical component of Feis Teamhra: A Turn at Tara is headlined by Susan McKeown, the Dublin-born, US-based, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter who has released more than 10 CDs. The passion and precision of her singing have led her to work with, among others, Natalie Merchant, Linda Thompson, Pete Seeger, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Billy Bragg, Arlo Guthrie, Andy Irvine, Flook, Lunasa, Johnny Cunningham, and the Klezmatics.

The other musicians featured this year at Feis Teamhra are Aidan Brennan and Laoise Kelly. Aidan Brennan is a virtuoso guitarist who has worked not only with Susan McKeown (Sweet Liberty, 2004), but Kevin Burke (Kevin Burke in Concert, 1999) and Loreena McKennitt (Book of Secrets, 1997, and Midwinter Night's Dream, 2008.) Born in Dublin, Aidan Brennan now lives in County Laois.

Laoise Kelly, generally considered to be the foremost Irish harper, was born in Mayo and lives there still. The Irish Times has described her as "a young harpist with the disposition of an iconoclast and the talent and technique of a virtuoso." In addition to her own CD (Just Harp, 2000), Laoise Kelly has worked with Sharon Shannon, The Chieftains, Natalie MacMaster, Sinead O'Connor, Kate Bush and Bill Whelan.

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by TaraTaraTarapublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 08:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please meet in the Churchyard. If we are lucky with the weather, the event will be staged outdoors like last year but permission has been obtained to hold it inside the interpretive centre should conditions require. It will be wonderful to see this celebration of music and poetry at Tara again. Many heartfelt thanks go to the all the participants and organisers who have given so freely of their time and energy.

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by TaraTaraTarapublication date Fri Aug 28, 2009 09:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Respect to all who took a stand- or a sit down :) Thanks to Madam K for the video .

Caption: Video Id: bxQLBnHW7Tw Type: Youtube Video
Tara Tale part 1

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Madam kpublication date Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

video far from perfect went up very late last night and needs another edit but will leave up for now.

author by Tara Tara Tarapublication date Fri Aug 28, 2009 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think its great!

Its so good to see Debbie and Donagh in the early days of Direct Action. They were and still are my inspiration. Fond memories. Thanks for sharing this Madam K :) I know how long it takes to produce even a short piece so fair play to ya!

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Morriganpublication date Sat Aug 29, 2009 15:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Take a look at the long line of trucks they stopped from working! Good shot!

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