Friday, July 1, 2011

Trim Swift Festival Launch

The 2011 Trim Swift Festival was launched last night in the usual great style. An "authentic" eighteenth century style Samba band paraded the streets of Trim and Dr. James Ward of the University of Ulster spoke about Swift, Jedward, mobile phone speak, the death of literacy, the relevance of Swift, questioning everything and overeducated academics.

The winner of the Boyne Writers Satire competition, Elizabeth Power from Galway, was presented with her prize and she read her winning entry. Third placed Margaret Costello from Drogheda was also there. The three winning entries have been added to the contest page here. Picture: Elizabeth with Paddy Smith, Boyne Writers chairman and member of the Trim Swift committee.

Ex-minister Noel Dempsey said politicians and satirists had much in common, each wanted to change the world and the efforts of each always ended in failure. He begged present day satirists to leave politicians alone for a while and instead attack economists who have been no help in the present crisis and continually give contradictory advice. Unlikely to happen he thought. He complimented Trim on the number of events and festivals held during the summer but said that the Swift Festival was the one most likely to give us a laugh during these times.

We had a laugh or two later in the Priory Pub where the Stand Up Row took place. This is the contest where speakers have to speak for one minute on one side of an argument then change sides and speak for another minute. Great fun and the judges including the aforementioned Dr. James Ward added to the fun with their comments. Kiely's Pub won the team event and Vinnie O'Brien, (a past pupil!) the individual contest.

Phew! Today there's the Gulliver's Travels Reading in the Suzuki Swift, Poetry in Motion street readings, Day 1 of the academic conference and tonight the Round Table Discussion with Rory Bremner, George Hook, John Waters, Leo Varadkar, Pat Rabbitte etc etc. And it's only Friday!

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