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Displaying items by tag: Peig Sayers

As if there wasn’t enough Kerry sadness with Fungie’s disappearance, along comes Peig Sayers...

As The Sunday Independent reports today, a newly published collection of stories by one of the Great Blasket’s best-known residents shows her “grámhar or more flirtatious side.

The new dual-language publication, entitled Níl Deireadh Ráite/Not the Final Word, is published by New Island Press.

It has been collated by Dr Pádraig Ó Héalaí of NUI Galway (NUIG)and the late Prof Bo Almqvist of University College Dublin (UCD) and includes recordings of Sayers on audio CDs.

A woman who liked a sup of whiskey and was a feminist of her time, Sayers is still synonymous with nightmares among past generations of secondary school students who studied her autobiography, Peig.

“The image of her created by the text on the Leaving Certificate curriculum was unfortunate, as it didn’t give a good indication of the woman she really was, “ Dr Ó Héalaí says.

A tale of a woman who had a child with a merman, and other stories which showed a more open, complex and often defiant character, are among the accounts gathered.

Ó Héalaí and Almqvist drew on remastered recordings by the Irish Folklore Commission, which were taped in 1952 when Sayers was being treated for cancer in St Anne’s Hospital in Ranelagh, Dublin.

The two men had published a previous collection, entitled Labharfad le Cách / I will Speak to you All, over a decade ago. This work referred to BBC, RTÉ and UCD archives of Sayers’s stories – now translated into many languages including Esperanto.

Sayers, who died in 1958, was born near Dún Chaoin and married a Blasket islander Pádraig Ó Guithín. The couple lost five of ten children – three in infancy, one of measles, and their teenage son Tomás died when he fell down a cliff.

Although she knew much poverty and hardship, she was well able to have a laugh, was “interested in lads”, had an emerging sexuality and a gift for language which included being able to utter a “good curse”, Ó Héalaí adds.

The stories are “not all entertainment” as one very touching account is of a farming couple whose three children all died young, and were helped in their grief by a story from a stranger, Ó Healái says.

Four of Sayers’s surviving five children emigrated to the US, and she related her autobiography – published in Irish in 1936 - to Maidhc, the only one who stayed at home.

Fellow folklorist and sean nós singer Lillis Ó Laoire of NUIG’s school of Irish says the new release deserves to be a “Christmas bestseller”.

Sayers’s warmth and humour and ability to be “sexy” are well reflected between its pages, he says – noting that one of the great “myths” is that her biography was compulsory for Leaving Certificate Irish.

“It never was – it was up to the individual teachers to select texts,” Ó Laoire says.

“There are about 5,000 pages of manuscript in the Irish Folklore Commission, so this is only touching on what is still there,” Dr Ó Healaí explains.

“Hence the title of the book!”

Níl Deireadh Ráite/Not the Final Word (New Island Press) is on sale for €25

Read The Sunday Independent here

Published in Book Review

Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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