Boyne Writers Group won the Battle of the Books today in the Trim Castle Hotel so the Noel Dempsey trophy is back with us after a year's absence. A strangely anti-climatic contest but still great to win. The opposition, Meath Writers Circle, made a great start with Mark Doyle reading a wonderfully clever story mixing ancient legend with modern technology. Unfortunately he went over the time limit of five minutes and lost marks. Their next contestant also infringed the time limit and with our openers scoring solidly all we had to do was keep our heads. We did and we won easily in the end.
Ours was a great team performance with three members scoring identical marks. James Linnane started with, O Come to Ireland, what one of the judges called an angry look at modern Ireland. Caroline Finn likewise took a swipe at the state of the country through Micheál Martin on a bus planning scrap metal collections for China.
My piece was an amendment of the 1916 proclamation in the light of political correctness and the indebtedness of the country. Bill Comerford had a poem of rhyming couplets in which Prince Charles has a dream that the Queen's Irish itinerary has been planned to maximise the possibility of her being harmed and his becoming king.
Some debate about what is satire, not easy to define but relatively easy to recognise.
So the score after three years' Battle of the Book contests is Boyne Writers - 2, Meath Writers Circle - 1.