Mr. Pussy book launch tonight

Alan Amsby is a true champion and one of our most provocative artists.  He challenged this society in a way that very few did.  He gave an outlet and an opening to a lot of men who were coming to terms with their identity.  Before Brendan O Carroll or any of the tame Panto dames, there was Alan Amsby (Mr Pussy).  Dangerous, provocative, innovative, ground breaking and loved by everybody including all those in the shadows and underworld of Dublin’s then unlawful gay scene.

I hope President Higgins sees fit to honour Alan Amsby in some way. It is fantastic to see this book finally come out of that big wardrobe that Alan Amsby has.  Its part of our social and political history as well as our artistic cultural identity.

Alan Amsby, a British citizen, gave this city and this country his life and a fantastic service well before the Belfast agreement.
mr-pussy

In 1969, a young Englishman named Alan Amsby arrived in Ireland with a frock and a wig. He was booked for one week, but was an overnight sensation, and made Dublin his home. Catholic Ireland had never before seen anything like the beautiful and outrageous Mr Pussy. For almost fifty years, Alan has delighted audiences and demolished boundaries.

Here, he recalls his early days as a drag princess and model in Swinging London, partying the likes of Judy Garland, Noël Coward and David Bowie; being heckled by one of the Kray twins – and snogging Danny La Rue. He also remembers grey 1980s’ Ireland, shocking the country with its first adult panto, and losing friends to the Aids epidemic. Then there’s his 1990s’ renaissance, ‘doing time’ with Paul O’Grady and Daniel Day Lewis, and opening Mr Pussy’s world-famous Café De Luxe with Bono.

Full of hilarious celebrity yarns, sequinned characters like the remarkable Stella Minge, and a lot of shameless name-dropping, Mr Pussy is the story of a legendary, ground-breaking entertainer, full of pathos, charm and wit.

 Alan Amsby (aka Mr Pussy) was born in London and performed a popular drag act before moving to Ireland in the late 1960s. 

Irish Music to watch for on Raelach Records

MUSIC is a universal language, appealing to the very soul of man, and is the outpouring of the heart, whether to express joy or sorrow, to rouse to battle or soothe to sleep, to give expression or jubilation for the living or of wailing for the dead, to manifest sympathy with society or devotion to the Deity. It is, as Thomas Davis writes, “the first faculty of the Irish.
(From A History of Irish Music by William H. Grattan Flood)
Over the past few months, Raelach records have released some of the finest recordings of Irish musicians that I have heard for many years.  On Sunday at City Hall Dublin,  we had the honorary concert for the wonderful Tony MacMahon which coincided with the release of a new album of slow airs. (Farewell to Music – Tony MacMahon)
TONY MAC MAHON 2016 5BW.jpg

Photography and artwork by Maurice Gunning

This Thursday 24th at The Cobblestone, Dublin 1, Raelach Records will be releasing a new album by Jack Talty  called ‘In Flow’.
I have been listening to it all day today and it’s a fantastic collection of tunes, jigs, reels, hornpipes and slow airs.
Guests on the night will include John Blake, Ruairí McGorman, Áine Bird, Aidan Connolly, and Saileog Ní Cheannabháín.
We need to support our musicians, buy their CDs, go see them live and spread the word.  They carry with them in their music our songlines.
 LIST OF UPCOMING CONCERTS 
Saturday, 26 November
Saileog Ní Cheannabháin @
Hoban’s Bar, Westport, Co Mayo
8pm
~
Sunday, 27 November
Jack Talty @
O’Sullivan’s Courthouse Pub, Dingle
9pm
~
Saturday, 3 December
Saileog Ní Cheannabháin + Aidan Connolly @
Holmes’ of Doohoma, Co Mayo
Time to be announced 
~
Sunday, 4 December
Cuar (Neil Ó Loclainn, Aoife Ní Bhriain, Maitiú Ó Báiréil)
+
Danny Diamond @
63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 (Royal Society of Antiquaries)
4.30pm
€15 incl. glass of wine. Pre-booking advised >
 
 LIST OF CDS AVAILABLE FROM RAELACH RECORDS

Tony Mac Mahon, Farewell to Music

https://raelachrecords.bandcamp.com/album/farewell-to-music

Jack Talty, In Flow 
Aidan Connolly, Be Off 
Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, Roithleán 
Ensemble Ériu, Imbas 

Brendan Kennelly at The Abbey Theatre

Today Brendan Kennelly, his life and work, will be celebrated at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin in the presence of President Michael D. Higgins, Brendan Kennellys family and his many admirers from around the country.

It is a great honour for the Capital City of Dublin, where Brendan lived and taught and wrote for decades to bestow this occasion  upon him.

Below is a poem that will resonate to the many out there who suffer from addiction and cling to hope.  Don’t give up. Go forward.

brendan-kennelly

Photography by Sandrine Brisset, from her book, Behind the Smile, Brendan Kennelly

 

THE HEALER

(FOR DR JOHN COONEY)

The horror of accusing morning light

Condemns me to another hideous day

Did someone cry? What did I do last night?

Was someone hurt? Insulted? What did I say?

My hands are crazy, blood streaks my eyes,

Jeering images flash havoc through my mind,

My mouth is full of muck and stupid lies,

I”m hell, I know hell’s taste and smell and sound.

Healer,  I hear you speak: your head and heart

Help  many a suffering man and woman

While I, like countless women and men,

Am learning how to tend and heal each hurt

With candid, gentle words profoundly human

Thanks to you, hope lives again’

Brenday Kennelly ©

SNAP support Artane Band Disbandment

 SNAP  (SURVIVORS NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS)

snapheader5The group at the centre of the recent Oscar winning film, Spotlight have today issued a statement in support of our motion to have the Artane Band disbanded. www.snapnetwork.org/ 

Barbara Blaine, the founder and president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), an international advocacy group for survivors of clerical sexual abuse, has come out in support of a campaign to have the Artane School of Music disbanded.

SNAP is supporting a motion by Dublin councillor Mannix Flynn for the disbandment of the music school, an establishment jointly run by the Christian Brothers and the GAA. The band in its current form wear the original and traditional insignia and uniforms worn by the band from when it started at a time when children attending St Joseph’s Industrial School in Artane were subjected to sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the religious.

Speaking from Chicago in support of councillor Flynn, Blaine said: “I believe that so much suffering and pain has been caused to those who lived through the horrors of the industrial school in Artane. They have been through enough. We should be doing all we can to prevent any further pain and suffering.”

Petition to Disband the Artane Band

home-of-the-artane-boys-bandphoto-artane-1969
I just started a petition: Disband the Artane  Band.
It is no longer appropriate, with what we now know, about residential institutional child abuse at St Josephs Artane, that this band, should be still in existence, wearing the uniform of that institution – St Josephs Industrial School Artane, and making statements that they are proud of their history when in actual fact, the vast part of that history was engulfed in horrendous human rights breaches upon children, including child sex abuse at St Josephs Industrial school, Artane, where the band was founded.
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We who are the survivors should not have to endure the ordeal of this band in that uniform, parading around Croke Park, or any other public place. This is a constant active reminder of our ordeals and every effort should be made for this to stop.

Our lives, in those institutions, matter. What happened to us matters. We have a right to get on with our lives to recover and to heal. The Artane Band, in its present form, is a major obstacle to that process. No other band of its type would be allowed to get away with what they are getting away with. The band is still under the control fo the Christian Brothers through the Artane Music School.

If enough people sign my petition, we can make a difference.

Here’s a link to the petitionhttp://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Awo8W/zoyY/CRT_0
And here’s a link to share it on Facebookhttp://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Awo8x/zoyY/CRT_0

If there’s anyone you know who might be able to help me spread the word, please let me know. Thanks so much — I really appreciate your help!

Kind regards,  Gerard Mannix Flynn
Artistic Director,
Farcry Productions

 www.farcryproductions.ie

disband-the-artane-band

Festival of Feminism – Ennis ‘Silence+Voice’

Festival of Feminism
 ‘Silence+Voice’
 8th and 9th of October
daly-family-photos

The Daly family from Limerick.  A family of women steeped in strength, true feminism, and republican tradition.  

  • Two days of key note speakers talking about Trauma, Silence and Voice
  • The speakers are Bríd Keenan, Belfast based expert on trauma
  • Siobhan Madden Social Researcher, Feminist Activist speaking about voice, silence, memory and knowledge
  •  Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, speaking about her Grandparents and campaign for gender equality in third level institutions
  • Mary McDermott Radical Educator and Feminist Philosopher who will speak about the interaction betweeen social and personal change
  • These speakers and key themes are interwoven with music, poetry, drama song and dance, and most importantly conversation and tea….
  •  €25.00 per individual for the two days.. plus a light lunch, plus a creche, plus ISL interpreters and for those that cannot afford it we have a limited amount of free tickets….so it would be nice to entice those on the East Coast over to the West for two days.

  • https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/silence-voice-a-festival-of-feminisms-tickets-26309500424.

Things to see -Farcry Productions- Culture Night Dublin

If you are heading out into the heart of the city of Dublin tonight for Culture night do check out various sites by  Farcry Productions (www.farcryproductions.ie)

  •  Something to Live For

    Parliament Street/Cork St/Dame Street
  1. ThomasReadPoster.qxd

    Something to live for – window’s acknowledging the contribution made by individuals to the establishment of the Irish Republic. Originally installed 2006-2008

    somethingbynight

    Pidge Duggen, Ellen Walsh and other great citizens who made this country.

    There has been a special guest put up in one of the windows just for Culture night

    something-to-live-for

 

  • Close by the previous installation, you will find SOMEBODY’S CHILD, Essex Street, Temple Bar West.   This work lists the names of the children buried in a pit in Tuam, Bons Secours Mother and Baby home, Co Galway.

nora_somebody

somebodys-child-monday

 

 

 

  • THANK YOU – GO RAIBH MAITH AGAT – Georges Street, opposite The George

Proclamation translated into Arabic, Chinese, Gaeilge, French, Polish and Russian.  To find the German translation you will have to walk to The Oak Pub on Dame Street and look up above the door!

thank-you3

 

  • CHILDREN TO YOUR FLAG, NEVER IN DARKNESS – Video installation, Dame Street (Stand at the bottom of Georges Street and look up)

A video installation on Dame Street – Georges street of 13 women who contributed greatly to Irish culture, heritage and the establishment of the Irish Republic.

see http://www.1916onehundred.ie/about.html

 

  • Also on the front of the Mercantile Pub, Dame Street you will come across the banners of 7 Women and 7 Men

 

 

 

Response to Lord Mayor Brendan Carr

September 15th 2016

Press Statement from Dublin Independent councillor Mannix Flynn

Mannix Flynn, an Independent councillor in Dublin City Council has today hit back at Dublin’s Lord Mayor over claims that his calls for the disbandment of the Artane School of Music are “upsetting the vast majority of Dubliners”.

In an article in one of today’s newspapers, Brendan Carr, the Labour Lord Mayor, was quoted as lambasting Flynn over his motion: “[Flynn is] raising the issue over the way kids were treated years ago, but the impact he’s having on the kids in that band at the moment is something that any city councillor should be ashamed of”.

In a statement issued today, Flynn has called on Cllr Carr to withdraw his remarks and separate his opinions from that of the Lord Mayor’s office, a title which should remain impartial and unbiased.

“If Cllr Carr would take a moment to discuss the matter with me he would understand that the Artane School of Music, in its current form, has evolved out of misery and brutality forced upon innocent children who attended St Joseph’s Industrial School in Artane.

“It is not accurate for Cllr Carr to insinuate that I am out to cause hurt to any of the children involved in the current band. The debate is much deeper than that.

“While the Lord Mayor has every right to call on crowds to cheer on the band at Sunday’s All-Ireland final, he is quite wrong in congratulating the band’s 130-years of ‘proud association with the GAA and Croke Park’. Those who attended St Joseph’s School and who were in the band attest to the monstrosities they and other boys endured during their time there. The band was more often than not an escape from the degradation and neglect other boys suffered as they undertook menial chores on a day-to-day basis. Being in the band meant you could at least wash occasionally and couldn’t be beaten on the face, but it did not exempt you from the sordid sexual abuse that was rife in the school.

photo-artane-1969

1969 – Artane Boys Band travel to America to raise funds.  They are in blazers and not the usual uniform as the band room had been burned down.  Former band member Patrick Walsh (Irish SOCA) is in the front row aged 15 years.  The notorious Brother Joseph O Connor  (Joe Boy) took this photo, Shannon Airport.    

 

“I have come under criticism for raising this issue but if you were a child who endured any amount of time in an industrial school, you would be reminded of the horrors that took place every time the Artane band took to the pitch on match days.

“And I’m not alone. This week, members of Irish SOCA  (Survivors of Child Abuse) came out in support of my cause. Like me, these were men forced into industrial schools and some of those were even in the band in Artane and experienced first-hand the exploitation and manipulation of children by the religious.

“Will the Lord Mayor acknowledge that his apathy and indifference to their suffering is causing much hurt?”

ENDS

New Motion lodged on Monday 12th September to Dublin City Council:

That this monthly meeting of Dublin City Council, mindful of the shameful legacy of institutional abuse in industrial schools documented in the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse, call on the Artane School of Music to disband as a matter of human rights.

The School of Music is an establishment jointly run by the Christian Brothers and the GAA, yet encompasses the original and traditional insignia and uniforms that hark back to an age of chronic sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the religious.

The Artane Boys Band was used as a front to hide the gross inhumanity that took place at St Joseph’s School in Artane and other industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers at home and abroad. The harrowing memories of these institutions for abuse victims are regularly flaunted without care or recognition at national sporting events in Croke Park in the form of the present Artane band.

A disbandment of the trust would sever all ties with the former industrial school and its brutal history and in doing so, would acknowledge the ongoing collective suffering of so many.

An tAthair Pádraig Ó Fiannachta -Oidhreacht

Tonight celebrate Culture Night and those who make it.

I was privileged to know, and have some of my work translated by, the magnificent Irish scholar, priest, poet, publisher and sage Pádraig O Fiannachta.  His cultural breath still breathes on this great land of ours and its influence gives life throughout the cultural world.

The text below is a translation from our 2006 work ‘Letting Go of That which you most Ardently Desire’ an artwork that dealt with the issue of armed struggle in Irish history and our recent decommissioning process.

An tAthair O Fiannachta passed away in July of this year into the mythical.

                                                  Ní fheicimíd a leithéid arís ann

gunbutts                                      

 

  The Grip That Binds Us

As human beings we are constantly trying to deal and come to terms with internalised trauma.  Being unable or unwilling to resolve certain issues, we cling even tighter to them and, though we yearn for peace and rest and progress, we can’t seem to let go of that which threatens to destroy us.

What is it like to walk away from conflict, to put your weapons beyond use?  To dwell upon all the years committed to the never ending cycle of fright, fight, flight.  Resentment, hatred, fury and denial all form part of the energy field that has dominated us human beings for thousands of years.
Along with the hardware, these emotions need to be deactivated if the grip that has bound us for generations to armed conflict is to be loosened finally and permanently.

Letting go is always a process of loss, a process of grieving. The dawning realisation that you cannot retake what you’ve reconciled to let go of.  And the final, slow acceptance that it is no longer of service to you anyway.
The grip that binds us is a reflective process which offers participants a chance to engage with the emotional dynamics  that underlie letting go and the emergence of something new.

© Gerard Mannix Flynn

Glas-snaidhm orainn

Bímid, mar dhaoine daonna, de shíor ar gor ar chréachtaí inmheánaithe, agus ag iarraidh bheith réidh leo. Toisc nach féidir linn, nó nach toil linn, fadhbanna áirithe a réiteach, is daingne fós ár ngreim orthu; cé go mbímid ag tnúth le síocháin, le suaimhneas agus le dul chun cinn, ní bhíonn ar ár gcumas, de réir dealraimh, scaradh leis an rud seo a bhíonn á bhagairt sinn a scrios.

Conas a mhothaíonn sé cúl a thabhairt le coimhlint, d’airm a chur ó mhaith?
Bheith ag cuimhneamh gan stad ar na blianta gan áireamh gafa ag sceon agus comhrac, tóir agus teitheamh, teitheamh agus tóir.
Tá fuath agus fíoch, fearg agus faltanas i réim i ngarraí treafa polaitíochta Éireann leis na cianta cairbreacha.

Ní hiad na hairm chogaidh amháin atá le cur ó mhaith agus le scrios ach freisin na mothúcháin úd go léir a nasc sinn, glúin ar ghlúin, le cogaíocht an ghunna – táid le scaoileadh go deo faoi dheireadh thiar thall.

Is geall le cailliúint, le caoineadh, i gcónaí rud a scaoileadh uait. Tuigeann tú de réir a chéile nach féidir leat greim a fháil go deo arís ar an rud ar ar réitigh tú scaradh leis. Glacann tú leis de réir a chéile nach aon tairbhe duit é cibé scéal é.

An glas-snaidhm a cheanglaíonn sinn, is próiséas meabhrach é a thugann caoi dóibh siúd a bhíonn páirteach ann dul i ngleic leis na fórsaí mothaithe is bonn don scaoileadh ar shiúl agus do shaolú na nua-bhreithe.

© Gerard Mannix Flynn
Aistriúcháin – Fr. Pádraig Ó Fiannachta

 

 

Wanted: 1980 VHS footage of Late Late Show

I am hoping to track down footage that is currently missing from the RTE archives.

The Late Late show program (Gay Bryne RTE 1)  was broadcast on 17th May 1980 

If anyone still has their collection of VHS recordings from TV shows from the 1980tys or any of the bands/performers below kept copies of the show could they please contact me.

libertysuit

The Late Late show broadcast on 17th May 1980 

Guests on that night’s show were:

Daddy Cool and the Lollipops

Tony Dowling, 

Tony Cull 

Katherine Kelly

Gerard Mannix Flynn

Limerick Grannies

Solid Gold

Tony Summers

Please pass on to anyone who might be able to source VHS TV recordings.  Thanks

You can email me on farcryproductionsltd@gmail.com