May 21 2016, Féile Londubh a great success

Seamus Heaney’s links with Ashford were celebrated in style recently as ‘Féile Londubh’ was celebrated at Nun’s Cross Church.

Féile Londubh night of music and poetry at Nuns Cross Church: Jane Clarke poet, Shirley McClure poet, Philip Back, Annette Cleary, Cormac Breatnach (sp) Rachel Factor, Eamonn Sweeney

For the last three years, the former Ashford resident and Nobel Prize-winning poet has been celebrated with a concert of music and poetry. Formerly called ‘Féile Heaney’, this year the name was changed to ‘Féile Londubh’, in reference to Seamus’ long-standing association with the image of a blackbird.

Among those to contribute their considerable talents to the evening were Wicklow-based writers Jane Clarke, a recent winner of a Hennessy Literary Award for poetry, and Shirley McClure.

Local group Sonamus – featuring Cormac Breatnach (whistles), Annette Cleary (cello), Rachel Factor (harpsichord) and Eamon Sweeney (guitar) – provided atmospheric music as a background to the readings, which also included the works of Seamus Heaney and WB Yeats, as well as a new piece in honour of Roger Casement, who had family ties to Ashford.

Seamus Heaney, his wife Marie and their family enjoyed many happy years in Glanmore near Ashford – first renting a cottage in the 1970s and later after they purchased the cottage in the late ’80s, when it was used as a quiet writing space and a family retreat.

Wicklow People