Thursday, October 25, 2012


A staged celebration of poetry will be held in Drogheda on Thursday 1 November to mark the 600 th Anniversary of the unification in 1412 of the twin towns of Tredagh and Drogheda on opposite sides of the River Boyne to form the Drogheda we know today. 

It starts with Amergin, bard and poet of the mythical Milesians, the first known poet on Irish soil, reputed to be buried under Millmount mound in the southern half of Drogheda. Other bards performing their words to music are modern bard S.J.McArdle, with his lyrics that have all the perception of poems, and an example the wit of satirical balladeer John Shiel from the eighteenth century, again from the south side.

Other names of note from the past are Fenian rebel John Boyle O’Reilly from Dowth, deportee to Australia, escapee to America and influential editor and journalist;  Francis Ledwige, farm boy, poet, road worker and soldier, who wrote football reports for the Drogheda Independent and was killed in the First World War; and Angela Greene, housewife and poet, who died of cancer in 1997.

Living poets will include established figures John F. Deane, Anne Le Marquand Hartigan and Susan Connolly as well as well-known and upcoming local poets Leo de Freyne, Terry McHugh, Marie MacSweeney, John ‘Dixie’ Nugent, John O’Rourke, Leeanne Quinn, Barbara Smith, and Tomas De Faoite. Appearing in Drogheda-based performance poetry groups Word Jungle and Hudson ‘n Fitch will be Nuala Leonard, Brian Quinn, Roger Hudson and the magical sounds of ambiencellist Claire Fitch.

The evening’s performance will be introduced by the Mayor and archaeologist Geraldine Stout, who will fill in the historical background, and presented by Alison Comyn.  The programme has been conceived and assembled by Roger Hudson and Michael Holohan as part of the town’s 600 celebrations. Staging is by Brian Quinn with technical assistance by Penny Smith.

Venue: Droichead Arts Centre Theatre, Stockwell Street, Drogheda.
Time: Thursday at 8.00pm. Admission: Free, booking advisable.

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