Fr. Pat’s first appointment was to a curacy in St. John’s parish, Tralee in 1957. During those early years he founded St.
John’s Gregorian Choir which is still going strong and he produced two major Religious Pageants, ‘Massabielle’, the
story of Lourdes, and ‘Golgotha’, a Passion Play.
A series created by him in Tralee and performed by Siamsóirí na Ríochta in 1968 evoked such a positive public
response that he was encouraged to put an entire show together. This was the birth of Siamsa Tíre.
Since those early days the company has performed their unique brand of Folk Theatre at venues all over Ireland North & South, in Britain,
Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Spain, Hungary, America, Canada and Australia.
As it says in the Bible somewhere: “Out of the strong came forth sweetness...”
The GCN has been launched by a group of individuals, chant scholas and existing organisations to coordinate the promotion of Gregorian
Chant in the context of the Roman Catholic liturgy, although the tradition is also encouraged in many Anglican churches.
The focus of the GCN is on England and Wales but they do not have a strict geographical limit.
Gregorian Chant is the ancient singing tradition of Christianity in Western Europe, as opposed to the equally ancient chant tradition of the Orthodox churches of Eastern Europe.
The horrifying events of the first weekend of March 2009, when terror returned to the
streets of Northern
Ireland and heartbreak to its homes, was a depressing reminder that peace, as fine
and as lovely as a
precious jewel, is also as fragile as the wings of a butterfly. The message of this
lovely old song
needs to take root in all Irish hearts, both Green and Orange, even in those that are
It can do surely no harm to read a this remarkable appeal for peace in
‘Peace in Erin’ was written by schoolmaster Hugh McWilliams who
was born in County
Antrim about 1783. The fact that two centuries later we are all still at it should
trouble our collective
Leadership rivals in Northern Ireland as seen from Wales.
In a series of 130 articles Samuel H. Boyd, born in 1919 in Presbyterian
East Belfast in Northern Ireland and now living in Wales, describes the
and possibly still unfinished contest between Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin and
Ian Paisley of
the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Wales is only a quarter of the size of the island of Ireland but, with almost three
million people, it is much more
densely populated. Moreover, there are about half a million speakers of Welsh, and
because of much more vigorous and
relevant government policies it is significantly more visible and usable than
Ireland’s great but largely marginalised national
Cwm Rhondda: dau emyn, dwy iaith, un alaw fendigedig...two hymns, two
languages, one great tune...
S4C is the TV service – available on satellite – for speakers of Welsh,
the most successful of the Celtic languages.
Look for their ‘Clic’ archive service which allows one to watch
programmes online up to 35 days after broadcast.
Unfortunately S4C is available online only in the UK.
Even more unfortunately, such archived programmes cannot be downloaded to hard
However, on a more positive note, unlike TV programmes in Irish from RTÉ
and in Gaelic from the BBC, both of whom encrypt subtitles – to the
inconvenience of native and
fluent speakers alike – S4C makes subtitles, either in English or in Welsh,
available only as click through options: the default setting allows viewing without
This is a more costly but much more satisfactory
This is the BBC’s combined television service in Scottish Gaelic introduced in
It is a first class provision which is also available on satellite. For internet users,
however, the sad fact is that, as with all BBC services, it is accessible
only within the UK.
Even sadder is the fact that the iPlayer, the BBC’s splendidly
arranged and presented
internet archive service for all its radio and TV services, only allows one to listen or
to view for just one week after the original
There is, of course, the iPlayer Download facility which allows one to
delay one's looking or listening again for a maximum of 30 days. However, in a perverse
twist, if one look / listens again at any time using this feature the recording dies 7 days
All of this, remember, from an organisation that likes to think of itself as the finest
public broadcasting service anywhere, ever!
And yes, the Beeb does indeed produce some great moments in broadcasting – in English,
Welsh, Gaelic and Irish ’ that would grace anybody–s hard drive for years to
Ireland’s vigorous 24 hour radio service in Irish (‘Gaelic’)
available around the world on the internet. Though all human life is there it is also the principal broadcaster of
music in Ireland and so has many listeners who speak but little of the language
This is a link to the homepage of RTÉ, Ireland’s national public
service broadcaster, with links to both radio and TV
services. Unlike the narrowly insular internet services of S4C and the BBC –
available only within the UK – many services are available
both at home and abroad on the ‘World Wide Web’.
Most broadcasts are in English but, despite the provision of separate TV and radio
services in Irish only, RTÉ does not completely
exclude the Irish language from its schedules, an indication of its commitment to
providing a service to all.
Some programmes are archived and a few are downloadable – a splendid and generous
service to Irish people and to people of any nationality wherever they may be.
They thought they had no Irish but, for all that, they both knew many Irish words
which they regularly used as part
of their everyday English language. I believe that I have managed to record most of
If you do not know Irish, try to make time to learn it, for, being the ancestral
language of one of the most
distinguished and distinctive nations of Europe it must surely be one of its most
distinguished and distinctive
languages as well.
Articles on Christmas past to get you into mental, emotional and spiritual shape for
Christmas present, wherever, whatever and however that Christmas may turn out to
A Word of Thanks
I bought my first computer, an Apple Mac Performa, in November
This site was begun in September 1998. It was last partially updated on Thursday 9 April
Through all those years I have depended on the unfailing and generous help, advice
and support of brothers Andrew and
Nial Jinks of Riverside, Cardiff. Without them these pages, such as they are, would
Thank you both very much indeed! Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi ill dau! / Go raibh míle
maith ag lán na beirte agaibh!