11 Mar 2014 : Aisling Newton
In a joint initiative with Irish animation company Jam Media, Dingle International Film Festival is set to host ‘Animation Dingle’, a one-day gathering where top industry names will gather to celebrate Irish cartoon.
Oscar nominated Irish animator Richard Baneham (Avatar) is to receive the Murakami Award for achievement in the practice of animation. The Dubliners previous credits include ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘The Iron Giant’ and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia.’
Joining Baneham will be Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon. The pair, who previously studied animation together in Ballyfermot, will give a presentation on Indy versus Blockbuster films. Moore (Secret of Kells) will also discuss the process involved in creating the animated feature film, ‘Song of the Sea’, as part of collaboration between studios across five different countries. The film was among the highlights presented at Cartoon Movie’s animation co-production forum last week in Lyon, France.
Moore said: “We were delighted with the packed out audience for our presentation on ‘Song of the Sea’ in Cartoon Movie. Many people said our presentation made them hungry to see the film.”
Speaking about the upcoming festival in Dingle, Moore added that: “I’m looking forward to discussing the pros and cons of Indy versus Blockbuster filmmaking with Richie and to hear about the exciting work he is doing at the moment.”
Jam Media, led by CEO Kerryman John Rice, will give an opening address followed by a presentation of the YA-O-TY Award (TY Animator of the Year).
A selection of animated shorts from Ireland and abroad such as ‘Alfred & Anna’, The Battle for Ravenwind: The Right to Radios’, ‘Coda’, ‘Rabbit and Deer’, ‘The Missing Scarf’ and ‘The Neighbours’ will feature at the festival. There will also be a free family screening of the Oscar nominated animated feature ‘Ernest & Celestine’,
The short animation film ‘Ledge End of Phil’, written and directed by Paul O’Muiris and produced by Paul Young for Cartoon Saloon, will also be screening at the festival.
O’Muiris said: “It’s great to have been selected to screen as part of the animation showcase for this year’s Dingle festival. It’s an exciting line-up and promises to be a fantastic weekend.”
The festival is presented by Dingle IFF with JAM Media, supported by The Irish Film Board and assisted by The Creative Media Department, ITT.
‘Animation Dingle’ will take place in St. James’ Church on Saturday March 15, the second day of the four day festival, between 12 noon and 4.30pm.
For more information on ‘Animation Dingle’ and the Dingle International Film Festival click here or follow them on Twitter at @DingleFilm
Porbeagle shark washes up in Kerry
A 6ft shark from the Great White family has washed up on a Kerry beach. The female porbeagle shark was discovered by local photographer Bernard Fitzgerald at the weekend as he was walking on the Aughacasla beach in Castlegregory.
The porbeagle shark may have died giving birth. Picture: Bernard Fitzgerald
By Lynne Kelleher
The arrival of the adult shark in Tralee Bay comes as a tagged Great White shark called Lydia is set to be the first recorded member of her species to cross the Atlantic as she swims within 750 miles (1,200km) of our shores.
Marine biologist Kevin Flannery said the porbeagle shark does bear a close resemblance to the sharks made famous by the Jaws movie.
He said: “The porbeagle does look very like a Great White. People could be thinking that the Great White we have been talking about has landed in Kerry. They are from the same family. I’m sure it gave people a fright especially if they had heard the Great White coming close to Ireland.”
The head of Dingle Oceanworld, Kevin Flannery, said the cause of the porbeagle shark’s death is a mystery as the adult looked healthy and there were no signs of injury.
“It is a fully grown adult female porbeagle. She could have died from giving birth. It’s hard to say. It would be early for the shark to give birth but with the weather patterns this year it could be a possibility.
“I have never seen or heard of one getting washed ashore.”
Local photographer Mr Fitzgerald said he was astonished to stumble across the shark when he was walking along the shore last Friday.
“It’s the first time that I have ever come across a shark in all the years that I have been walking the beach. I was really surprised that sharks were so close to our shores.”
Mr Flannery said porbeagles could become more plentiful along the Irish coast following a worldwide ban on shark fishing.
The porbeagle is not known for attacking humans although a Scottish fisherman in 2012 reported a terrifying brush with a 7ft porbeagle who almost bit though his steel top-capped boots and attacked his boat.
“Sharks tend not to attack unless they are absolutely starving,” said Mr Flannery.
Eamonn Fitzmaurice: “Everyone is working really hard and we are not that far from getting a result. There was a lot more head-scratching this time last year. It is frustrating but that is the nature of Division One football now. But I am not a worrier.”
“Welcome to Kerry,” Eamonn Fitzmaurice says cheerfully as the lunchtime bell sounds in Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne and students turn the bright corridors into a beehive. Nobody is going outside today: the rain is terrible and although there is something of the lost weekend about Dingle even on a slumbering Thursday in March, the entire peninsula is hibernating in this weather.
Fitzmaurice makes us tea and has sandwiches prepared and chats away and as he moves through clusters of students lost in their own conversations and it becomes abundantly clear that Fitzmaurice has a working existence entirely separate to that of his public role – his summer life – as manager of the Kerry senior football team.
“They don’t take any notice of me,” he explains with a laugh when we sit down in an empty classroom. “I’m just another teacher giving them homework.”
History is his subject. There could be no more appropriate speciality for a man whose other life revolves around the inheritance of Kerry football, that restless cause which is simultaneously pulled by the extraordinary richness of its past and an incessant obligation to its future.
Irish teenagers of 2014 are just as interested in Irish history as ever, Fitzmaurice believes. It is an optional subject for Leaving Cert so the kids he teaches are there by choice. In Kerry, history and Gaelic football mingle anyhow. Sometimes, when teaching the Civil War section of the course, Fitzmaurice will refer to the darker passages of local political atrocity – the Ballyseedy massacre or the ambush at Knocknagoshel. And he will talk about the Kerry football team of the 1920s, who had Con Brosnan, a Free State officer, and John Joe Sheehy, an unyielding Republican among its central figures.
“They co-operated in order to play for Kerry, basically. And they won All-Irelands. So bitter as that war was here, I do think it is true that football helped people heal more quickly. That period really does fascinate me because of the challenges that they had.”
Everything is relative. For the second season in succession, Fitzmaurice is enduring a testing winter as Kerry manager. The retirement of Paul Galvin, the punk spirit of the modern Kerry team and, as it happens, Fitzmaurice’s brother-in-law was a setback to the cause.
The injury suffered by genius-in-residence Colm Cooper a few weeks later was sufficient for many commentators to write off Kerry’s season. Three league defeats have added to the gloom and Tyrone arrive in Killarney this weekend to offer a rigorous examination of just how vulnerable their old friends are right now.
But the Lixnaw man carries himself now with the same unflappable composure that distinguished him during his playing days, when he served as an understated and indispensable centre-back on All-Ireland-winning Kerry teams lit with the best and the brightest. He agrees beating Tyrone tomorrow would be nice. But losing won’t disturb him unduly. “I don’t,” he sighs when asked if he is beginning to feel the pressure.
“I don’t…because everyone is working really hard and we are not that far from getting a result. There was a lot more head -scratching this time last year. It is frustrating but that is the nature of Division One football now. But I am not a worrier. I can’t be fretting over the next game.”
Fitzmaurice is only 35, a precociously young age to land the commander-in-chief role of Kerry football. When Jack O’Connor spoke about Fitzmaurice’s strengths, he often referred to his attention to detail.
And when Fitzmaurice speaks about his life, he seems to have perfected the balance of a rigorously organised methodology and a very relaxed attitude. For instance, although he has always taught here in Dingle, he lives in Tralee.
The attractions of Dingle are obvious. “It’s on the must-do list,” he vows when asked if he has ever attended any of the fabled Other Voices concerts in St James’s church. But Tralee is more central. It means he has arguably the most spectacular work commute in Europe, driving the Conor Pass daily. “It was a bit tight this morning,” he laughs, and it was, with the narrow road shrouded in mist and a car filled with foreign tourists paused at the mouth of the pass, wondering at the sign for falling rocks warning them to turn back and at the procession of Kerry motorists blithely driving on, rocks and mist and danger be damned. The mountainous drive gives Fitzmaurice a chance to catch breath. He moves from school to home to training without having to ‘be’ the Kerry manager all the time. When he thinks of last summer and Kerry’s breathtaking semi-final with Dublin, he feels now that he maybe was a bit too underground in his day to day life and won’t make that mistake again.
Wind-sculpted region has a monastic air
John G Dwyer
First published: Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 01:00 Irish Times
At what age have other people started inquiring about the quality of your sleep? In my case it’s middle age, for in more youthful times nobody questioned the serenity of my slumbers. These days, however, I have apparently entered the “sleep deprivation age” as over breakfast recently people were approaching with furrowed brow to inquire how I had slept.
Quite well, actually, for I was in the sublimely relaxing surroundings provided by one of my favourite hotels – the Dingle Skellig. Indeed, I now felt energised to visit a most inaccessible monastic site. So later as I headed out to the wind-sculpted lands beyond Mount Brandon, I couldn’t escape a feeling of regressing in time.
Before me was the spectacular landscape where David Lean made Ryan’s Daughter only to find his stellar cast alarmingly upstaged by the beguiling west Kerry backdrop. Parking at Ballinknockane (see panel) it was through a gate and then along a track before going right and following the waymarkers for the Dingle Way to open mountainside. Heading right for the huge cliffs, an improbable patch of green caught my eye 400 metres below.
This was Fothair na Manach (greenfield of the monks) – surely the remotest, most spectacular monastic site on the Irish mainland. First-time visitors will immediately wonder how anyone, let alone a sandal-shod monk, could possibly descend the monstrous cliffs to reach these ancient fields and clochans. Careful investigation, however, showed that descent is possible by a tortuous ramp and so I began down-climbing. Initially steep going required great care, but the slope eased and I enjoy spectacular views over this wildest of west Kerry shores.
Arriving at the monastic site, the setting was breathtaking but the monastic remains proved unrelentingly minimalist. The exquisite ornamentation of Clonmacnoise’s Cross of Scriptures was never going to be created where survival was the daily imperative.
After exchanging pleasantries with a couple, I began the quad-burning re-ascent. Going upwards on vertiginous ground is less intimidating and quickly I reached the clifftop.
I proceeded right to gain the viewing point of Binn na mBan. Here unfolds a magical prospect of sea, sky and shapely hills, with the Blasket Islands forming a photogenic backdrop. And directly below was the unmistakable sandstone slit of Brandon Creek, where it is reputed St Brendan departed on his first transatlantic voyage. Finally, it’s just an easy amble above the cliffs until a path leads inland and back to rejoin the Dingle Way a short distance from my parking place.
Go Walk West Kerry
Starting Point: Beyond Dingle follow signs for Brandon Creek. When the Dingle Way crosses the road go right and follow the arrows to Ballinknockane parking place. Suitability: The walk is straightforward as it mostly follows the Dingle Way and the handrail of the clifftop. The descent into Fothar na Manach should, however, only be considered by experienced hillwalkers used to coping with steep terrain and possessing the necessary fitness for the demanding re-ascent.
Time: Allow two hours for the clifftop walk or four hours if including the descent to the monastic ruins.
Map: OSi, Mount Brandon, 1:25,000
'It's been 63 days since I've worked' says Dingle fisherman
THE last time fisherman Michael Hennessy went to sea was in early December.
Majella O’Sullivan – 10 February 2014
Since then his boat ‘Realt na Mara’ has been moored at Dingle Pier and his two-man crew left with no work and no income.
As skipper, Mr Hennessy (50), a married father of two, is self-employed and not entitled to any social welfare payment for the days he can’t work.
He says the two men working with him on the boat are in a similar situation, like many of his neighbours operating small inshore boats that don’t go beyond a 12-mile radius of the shore.
"Most of the lads fishing with me have young families to support. The way it works is we’re paid when we have fish but when there’s no fish there’s no money.
"We each get a share of the catch but when there’s no catch there’s no share," explained Mr Hennessy, who has been fishing out of Dingle for over 30 years.
"Our representative organisations are making no noise especially about the inshore boats.
"The last time we were fishing was on December 8. We were down in Dunmore East herring fishing."
He said the loss of a lot of equipment such as pots and nets in the storms has added to their woes.
"The farmers get aid packages but we haven’t got anything like that in over 20 years from Bord Iascaigh Mhara. There hasn’t been one cent put in place since to help out the fishermen," Mr Hennessy added.
A Dingle treasure to give two shows
ACCOMPLISHED: Gerry O’Beirne plays in Golden Bay and Nelson next week.
Traditional Irish Music Festival - Killarney, Ireland - Book Now!
It’s been eight years since acclaimed Irish musician and songwriter Gerry O’Beirne was last in New Zealand, but next week he’s bringing his music to The Mussel Inn and The Free House as part of a national tour.
Born in Ennis, County Clare, along Ireland’s music-rich west coast, O’Beirne is a renowned singer, songwriter and guitarist, playing the six and 12-string guitar, tiple, ukulele, and slide guitar among others. His songwriting is a hybrid of the passion found in traditional Irish ballads and the freshness of contemporary music, telling of yearning for a home, romantic love, and the spiritual qualities of place.
O’Beirne has had an eclectic life, growing up in Ireland and Ghana and living in England, California, and Mexico. He has performed at the White House, opened for the Grateful Dead, and played electric guitar with Marianne Faithfull. He lives now near Dingle in County Kerry.
Each album he releases draws rave reviews. His first solo album, Half Moon Bay, featured his own songs and instrumental compositions and was named one of the 12 best releases of the year by Performing Songwriter magazine, and also chosen as one of Folkworld’s Top Ten Albums of the year.
His second album The Bog Bodies And Other Stories: Music For Guitar, was named CD of the Month on the radio show Echoes, and one of the essential albums of the year on the same show and was featured recently on the Irish TV show Nationwide.
Most recently, Folkworld described his latest album Yesterday I Saw The Earth Beautiful, with fiddler Rosie Shipley, as “an extraordinary album with innovative arrangements and hauntingly beautiful songs”.
Many of his songs have been embraced by the contemporary folk community, and O’Beirne has toured the globe as a solo artist and with the Sharon Shannon Band, Patrick Street, Midnight Well, Andy M. Stewart, Kevin Burke, Andy Irvine, and the Waterboys.
Praise for O’Beirne from reviewers around the world is long and enthusiastic. The Ranelagh Arts festival said: “Everything he touches resounds to us with an echo of truth and beauty and perfection.” The Sunday Times called his instrumentals “out of this world” and said his playing was “superlative and subtle beyond words”, while London’s The Word called him “compulsory listening” for aspiring guitarists. “It’s not just his technical dexterity and brilliance that catches the imagination; it’s the inventive use of arrangements, lyrics and melody.”
- Gerry O’Beirne, The Mussel Inn, Tuesday, 9pm, entry $5 on the door; and The Free House, Nelson, Waitangi Day, 8pm, entry free with drink purchase.
- © Fairfax NZ News
When the next parish is America and the wind is coming from that direction, you will have a wild and wonderful walk along a coastline fringed with spectacular beaches surrounded by imposing uplands.
Even on a calm day, the little circular bay of Clogher, Co Kerry, is enchanting, with a pocket beach encased by battered cliffs and, offshore, stretched in repose, the arresting Fear Marbh, or Dead Man, the most northerly of the Blasket Islands.
With a strong westerly wind blowing, it is transformed into a maelstrom. Waves up to eight metres high thunder into the cove and break on the cliffs in great fountains of spray that seem to hang suspended in the air for seconds, before falling back into the turmoil beneath them.
You could become so mesmerised by the scene that you might forget you have a saunter ahead of you. Walk back a short distance up the road, to the stile that marks the start of Cuas na nEighe, a loop walk around the edge of the cliffs north of Clogher, where you are closer to the tumult of the waves while protected by a stone wall. Ahead the land sweeps up to a sharp ridge, the northeastern end of which forms the distinctive peaks of The Three Sisters, two of which have male names – Binn Hanraí and Binn Diarmada. I wonder what that’s all about …
At the end of the cliff walk, a farm track leads back on to the R599, but you’ll be able to escape from it back on to the quiet country roads after 600m.
This road leads directly to Dún an Óir, the scene of an infamous massacre in 1680 during the second Desmond rebellion when a force of 600 Spanish and Italian soldiers, who had been sent by Pope Gregory, were attacked by a 4,000-strong English force led by Lord Grey.
When the invaders surrendered, all but the chief officers were executed. They were decapitated one by one with their bodies thrown in the harbour and their heads buried in a nearby field now known as Gort a Ghearradh (the Field of the Cutting.).
Stretching away from this site of ancient carnage is An Béal Bán, a Green Coast beach. These are beaches that have EU water-quality standards and an unspoiled environment but that do not have the other facilities required for Blue Flag status. You have a good chance of having the beach to yourself at most times of the year.
At the end of the beach, a small headland is occupied by a scattering of caravans beyond which is your objective, Wine Strand. Slightly smaller than Clogher, it is much more sheltered and has darker sand, from which it gets its name.
It is a peaceful spot in which to rest and contemplate the peaks of the Brandon range before heading back to the cacophony of Clogher.
Clogher Beach to Wine Strand, Co Kerry
Map: OSI Discovery, sheet 70. (The 4th edition shows the changes to route.
Start: Carpark at Clogher beach.
Finish: Pier at Wine Strand. If you don’t have two cars at your disposal or don’t fancy a long walk, take the road that runs from An Béal Bán beach back through Na Gorta Dubha.
Get there: Take R559, west of Dingle, turning left just beyond Milltown Bridge and follow signposts for Ballyferriter. Time: Three hours. Distance: 9km. Suitability: Easy. Dress to suit weather.