The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Monday, April 25, 2016


the birds of northernesse had gathered to sing a lay
in a dark tree near a torrent where the nether world issues
a word they want a word they need
a word for an array
there splashed on vision none
their marvellous mystic hues

vermillion said the eagle
the maker of all laws
and since twas he that said it
so by life it was

vermillion said the falcon
and none could give the nay
for his claws were long and sharp
and he would have his way

vermillion said the osprey
keeper of the flame
and he looked around for challenge
in hauteur and disdain

vermillion chanted the other ranks
the mapgie and the wren
the jackdaw and the cormorant
the peewit and the hen

vermillion sang they all
in a wondrous symphony
and their voices rolled throughout the land
from the mountains to the sea

red blood quaked the sparrow
his plumage modest brown
and the birds could not see him
for his station lay far down

red blood piped he again
grown stronger at the truth
and the birds faced reality
and reality was mute

red blood cried he at last
and they saw him crouching low
and they raged at him and flew at him
and struck a mighty blow

shaking the ancient tree
about its massive girth
they seized him and they bore him
and they crushed him to the earth

regaining lofty branches
they did as they were meant
and shook their ruffled feathers
and nodded in assent

a word they had a good word
of a million words abhorred
they would hold to it cling to it
vermillion they roared

Sunday, April 24, 2016

i say it here it comes out there

Commentator and former senator Eoin Harris has spoken out today about the IRA's infiltration of the Irish state controlled television and radio station RTE.
RTE is financed through compulsory taxation on the citizenry.
Mr Harris maintains that the IRA's front organisation Sinn Fein has substantially infiltrated RTE at every level.
Well duhhhhhhhhhhh.
Mr Harris would not agree with me on any ten subjects you care to mention, from the sanctity of life of unborn children, to the necessity for all out war with Muslim Jihadis.
But I believe he is an honorable man.
And he knows about the methodologies of the international terrorist mafia IRA.
Because in the callow days of yore, he was in the IRA.
He states that if the problem of IRA infiltration at the national television station is not addressed, then the mainstream political parties will have to "go in there and address it," presumably through some sort of anti rackateering legislation.
He may be wrong on one point.
The mainstream parties will never move against the IRA's infiltration of RTE. (Or the Civil Service, or the Trade Unions, or the Judiciary.)
Because the IRA has substantially infiltrated the mainstream political parties too.
Remember it was a Fianna Fail government that bankrupted Ireland in 2008 to cover up the IRA's burglarisation of the IRA's own bank, Anglo Irish Bank, a burglarisation carried out through illegal billion dollar loans from the IRA's proxies on the bank's management ,Sean Fitzpatrick and David Drumm, to the IRA's proxies posing as businessmen, Sean Quinn and his odious IRA progeny.
And it was a Fine Gael politician Alan Dukes who gave a veneer of cross party respectability to the bail out of this IRA bank by accepting the Chairmanship at Anglo Irish Bank after the IRA's institutionalised burglarisation of Anglo Irish Bank was in plain view.
More recently it was another Fine Gael politician, a fellow styled Councillor John McCartin, who enabled IRA capo Sean Quinn, the fake businessman and prime facilitator of the original multi billion dollar heists at Anglo, to regain influence at the IRA front companies which Sean Quinn had once used to launder his illegal billion dollar loans from Anglo, but which since then had been forcibly removed by Legal action from IRA control and sold on to genuine businessmen, to regain influence at those businesses, I say, on behalf of the IRA through his new appointment as an Adviser to those companies, an appointment let's be clear again that took place through Councillor McCartin's influence, and which allows Sean Quinn to sit back and relax on a hefty salary from his former IRA proxy companies as the IRA threaten murder towards the new honest owners and management at those same companies if the companies continue to refuse to promote Sean Quinn from his just announced position as Adviser to a position of full control, ie Boss of all Bosses, or in Italian, Capo Di Tutti Capi.
I mean I don't want to go casting no aspoyshuns.
By the way the companies are currently paying IRA capo Sean Quinn half a million dollars a year as Adviser for such gems of advice as: "Put me in charge of the companies or the IRA will kill you."
I kid you not.
The IRA have subverted our mainstream parties along with everything else in this country.
Their actions precisely mirror those systemic subversions used by the Cosa Nostra in Italy.
The wheel is rigged and it's the only game in town.
The wars of the future will be mafia.

from the pope francis duologues

Pope Francis: "You cannot download happiness like a mobile phone app."

James Healy: "Is that what you said to Pope Benedict before you ousted him?"

theatre review

(James Healy reviews John McManus' play The Quare Land)

Reviewing plays in the dulcet South Kildare hamlet of Kilcullen is something of an adventure sport.
It is a task best not taken lightly.
Kilcullen thesps and their lady directors occasionally shoot back.
A slip of the tongue could cost you your Free Haircuts For Life voucher at a local salon.
A gentle bon mot about Maurice O'Mahoney's acting might see you vilified in print in an otherwise occasionally excellent community magazine.
An original insight about life in general that you haven't checked first with the cultural thought police will surely result in you being drummed out of the Rah or the Prayer Group (Same thing in Kilcullen - Ed note) or whatever and shot at dawn.
Or so I have found 
Best not to overthink the matter. Shut your eyes . Dive right in. What's the worst they can do to me? Insist I pay for the haircuts I owe them for?  Bore me to death with their mafioso fake patriotism? I laugh at such blandishments.  What's a blandishment? Never mind. Onward!
Once more into the breech once more, we'll stop their overacting with our Saxon dead.
Well, you know what I mean.
A long and winding, and somewhat unlikely, road has led to the present incarnation on the Kilcullen stage of John McManus' darkly comic play The Quare Land.
Some months ago Kilcullen expatriate Donal Saint Leger bought a ticket to an off Broadway version of the play for Kilcullen director Eilis Phillips who was visiting him in New York. Eilis Phillips liked what she saw and contacted the playwright. who forwarded the play and agreed to sell the rights.
At this point someone passed it to me for an unofficial opinion.The work was not entirely to my liking. McManus' profanity laced depiction of negotiations in a bathroom between an elderly farmer and a younger businessman who wants to buy his field was not really my cup of theatrical tea. But I did my best to be encouraging.
Having first exacted a promise that he would never tell Eilis Phillips what I said, I told the person who passed me the play: "Do not do this play. It is tasteless, profane, blasphemous trash. Don't do it under any circumstances."
And here we are.
The biggest hit to grace the Town Hall Theatre in a decade.
How on earth did it happen?
That is the question at the core of my review
For something did happen.
Something magical. Something rare. Something for me wholly unexpected.
Pure theatre alchemy.
And I'm still not sure quite how they did it.
Let me hazard a few guesses.
In the present production by Kilcullen Drama Group, John McManus script somehow moved from a pessimistic gleefully malevolent schadenfreude evocation of the battle between Traditional and Modern Ireland as exemplified by his two protagonists Hugh Pugh and Rob McNulty, to a joyful celebration of the human condition, subtly laced with an homage to the grandest tricks of the theatre trade, as exemplified by Bernard Berney and Vivian Clarke's wonderfully inventive, wizardly comic interpretations of McManus characters the roguish farmer and cowboy property developer.
For me Vivian Clarke and Bernard Berney turned Mr McManus dark vision into light.
I'm just not sure what their director thought.
Yet she must have known what she was doing when she cast them in the roles.
Mustn't she?
Casting two essentially uncontrollable exuberantly comic actors against type in a pessimistic noir drama was either an act of high vision or utter madness.
Out of such paradoxes theatre gold is born.
The casting of Bernard Berney and Vivian Clarke served another purpose too. It made the regional audience willing to enter McManus' world of darkness where they would soon be so pleasantly surprised. I don't think they'd have gone in there otherwise.
There were rewrites too which I would expect with Mr Berney involved. His adjustments, if they were his, were gems. I'm told the playwright John McManus who attended the Kilcullen show at times looked sick as a parrot. He was like a man seeing his own play for the first time. I hope he learned something.
The Quare Land is a two man play and the two men cast in the roles brought a focus to their work which might have been difficult with a larger cast. Mr Clarke's evocation of ambition thwarted by the most unikely of opponents showed moments of great artistry and superb instinctive playing. His rapport with his co star was matched only by his rapport with the audience. His ability in one scene to move from comic playing to pathos to drama and back again was seamless. His character's speech about the collapse of his family life in the face of business pressures was a tour de force.
Bernard Berney has perhaps had bigger successes with Kilcullen Drama Group but his performance in The Quare Land will remain a personal favourite for me. Against all the odds of course, since I initially hated the material. Mr Berney's acting had a relaxed quality and an ease to it that enaged the audience from the outset. He has a Frank Carson-esque ability to make old jokes seem new again. His verve and energy were finely honed for this performance. His natural spontaneity and anarchic charisma had been harnessed and directed into a mature and assured portrayal of Hugh Pugh. He was on top of his game. At one point he created a most poignant vignette as he sang a love song to an image of the singer Enya on a record album cover. The moment transcended several genres and belonged to none but it was beautiful here.
"She's a saint," his character mused as he finished singing.
"The patron saint of songs that all sound the f---ing same," answered Mr Clarke.
Letitia Hanratty's set was a perfect recreation of a mountainy man's hovel. Take it from me. I'm a mountainy man and I live in one. Her door at the rear of the stage could have been more visible though. We mountainy men like our doors where we can see them.
The family team of Emer and Tara Mucke, and Mischa Fekete handled lighting and sound effects with aplomb. The lighting was unobtrusive but always effective. The lighting plan was neatly orchestrated, executed and designed. An interesting touch was added by the use of back lights which left Mr Clarke's face slightly in shadow at times.My only quibble with the sound effects is that I'd have preferred a real person doing dog sounds in the wings, to the recorded sounds that were actually used.
At two hours running time, I thought the play was a bit long. Two hours is a long time to ask anyone to laugh. When director Eilis Phillips wrote her letter of complaint to the Bridge about my review of her last production I thought it was great good fun. But I still only laughed for about an hour at her letter. An hour and and a half would have been a good running time for the present production which in any case was also great good fun.

(Photo left to right: Vivian Clarke, the pop singer Enya, and Bernard Berney in The Quare Land)