Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pat Kenny - Pimped Up: Economic Prologue

"..after fifteen years in the Strand writing, writing, writing, I had produced little or nothing for more than a day's notice, though feeling that I could do something better. I wanted to write, really, in books, what I thought, instead of writing in newspapers, what other people pretended to think...

After ages of service and pain,
..her mark on the world...her failure at home,
..door of...Empire we have
Erin still doubting, her smile looking out..tear
looking in, from a retrospect rare in its beauty
and bravery, hope, romance; still distrusting
herself and distrusted for that,

Making fetters of freedom..crimes of caprice;
Esteemed for..follies..cursed by her virtues,
While nursing her vices, unaware..strength."


Poet Paul Casey, ó bhéal (mouth stream) web designer, dream-peacemaker, An Mhumhain (Munster) Community Literary Officer in the Tígh Filí (House of Poet) Cork Arts Theatre, (Camden Court, Carrolls Quay) hosts the newest, well attended night of featured and open recital on the island of poetry. He has posted 36 live poems from 17 poets - up, in eight weeks as national slam co-ordinater, recording the finals of two competitions.

The first was a 2007 all island filmed in McHughes Pub - and oldest building in Belfast - where eight representitives from the island's four provinces, two from each in a quarter final, had 2 minutes 15 seconds to knobble a panel of three expert judges of the fenachas lore, from the Senachus Mor civil legal code of poetry - at which point Munster got dropped and four representitives for Connacht Leinster and Ulster (lucky two), attempted again in the semi's - Connacht and Ulster now in the final of the inaugral Radio Four slam, where four administritive boroughs talk it out.

Second was at the In Sight Of Raferty Festival slam in Kiltimagh, where nine more, fighting with no time limit, for a 500 euro split four ways, accumulated on PC's hardrive. I after two pints of Guiness in the Village Inn, Knock - 7pm - the best i ever had - whilst waiting for the connecting transport to Kiltimagh several miles away. These two were soft as only they are in the far West, and i was in the middle of Mayo, being filmed after midnight, upstairs in the Electric Mouse, party central and public house in the middle of a town where Guiness is a third cheaper than Dublin and the ten lines above were written by a journalist and self confessed "most hated man in the country," who Yeats and Gregory were forced to bring in - as the only man left to ask who hadn't turned the request down - to chair an infamous emergency meeting at the Abbey Theatre, when the "Playboy" riots sent the mob ga ga (click ó bhéal link to see all 36 live poems).


"The renown Belfast born journalist and essayist, Robert Lynd, who was a contemporary of Pat Kenny, once wrote that fate has to do with events in the past that are the total of innumerable decisions of innumerable men and women which have summary and unintended results.

I am not intending to launch a debate on Fate and Free Will but in giving this year's Pat Kenny Memorial Lecture, I feel justified in saying that there is some inevitability that has drawn me here to deliver it whether it was destiny or such an unintentional result of events.To start with, I first heard of Pat Kenny as an important figure in journalism when I was very young.

My father - also a journalist who started his career with the old Cork Examiner in 1916 - often spoke of Kenny's writing professionalism while totally disagreeing with what he wrote. Having come from a Catholic and Nationalist background Kenny had turned to a faith in the already dying British Empire and espoused the Unionist cause in Ireland; his Anglophile attitude was an almost mystic belief in the values of a southern English identity that had never really existed. It is true that his anti Catholicism was more anti-clerical while his later anti-semeticism and proto-fascism is hard to understand or justify.

Expressing such views during the turbulent birth pangs of the Irish State was not wise, especially in Mayo..."

Peter Beresford Eliss - Kenny Memorial Lecture 2003: News or Sociology? Kenny and the Forgotten "Greats" of Irish Journalism.


Will she ever come in? - She can never go out;
And her destiny rests in destruction or friendship,
The choice leaving no room for doubt.
..lie to her lovingly, trade on her tenderly, market
her anguish, and live on her cheers;
but...tell her the truth and..ask..for nothing,
Unless to live on and serve her as truly
As she has served....." me.

Prologue - The Five Sorrows of Ireland (1907).

Patrick Dermot (PD Kenny - 1862 - 1944) Edwardian economist and media sage, the most proto-noughties, "real" Pat Kenny, hybrid Eddie Hobbs who ended as a Lismagansion hermit.

Heard speaking by fellow Mayonian Michael Davitt, plucked from a train station platform as a teenage farm labourer and edited his first rag as precociously talented 22 year old Manchester university post-graduate.

" Glasgow. Shortly after we find him on the staff of the Morning Post, on which paper also was a young reporter, Winston Churchill. Finally came his literary triumph on being admitted to the staff of "The Saturday Review." Here he wrote some brilliant criticisms on the drama; he had special praise for a young unknown playwright called Bernard Shaw. Dining with lords and ladies today, with Fleet Street celebrities tomorrow; a home in Brighton by the sea, life must have been for him, in and out of London, one continual time of enjoyment and success.He had a thousand literary anecdotes..."

Paul W.D, Rogers

Chariman of the Kenny/Naughton Society and Autum School. Pat and Bill, whose work and life is celebrated and dissected in immense detail every October bank holiday in and around Aughamore. "a literary gathering which honours the memory of Kenny and Naughton."


"...most writers find necessary to get a thing done, so what I had to do, and which I believe I learnt to do naturally, was to learn to love writing. Or perhaps what I mean is that I made the daily practice of it become second nature to me, as it were, so that any day in which I didn't write or at least turn to my writing was a sort of cipher day, marked by a sense of emptiness..."

Bill Naughton 1910 - 1992. Scriptwriter. Ballyhainus Mayo, to Lancashire in 1914. Educated during World War II at St Peter and St Paul School, Bolton. Worked as a lorry driver, weaver and coal-bagger before achieving literary and cinematic success.

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