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Windharp Poetry Anthology - Poems of Ireland since 1916

Ambassador Dan Mulhall, Fiona Shaw, Niall McMonagle and Graham Norton at the Windharp Poetry Anthology launch at the Embassy. Photo credit – Malcolm McNally

The Embassy was delighted to host the London launch of the Windharp Poetry Anthology, edited by Niall MacMonagle. The anthology features poems of Ireland since 1916. A number of the poets included in the anthology read their work on the evening:

  • Gerard Hanberry read 'The Final Galway v. Kerry'
  • Martin Dyar read 'The Group Scheme'
  • Vivienne McKechnie read 'Letting Go'
  • Cathal McCabe read 'In Donegal'
  • John Fitzgerald read ‘Fields’
  • Louise C Callaghan read 'Inis Meain'
  • Jean O’Brien read ‘Skinny Dipping’
  • Bernard O’Donoghue read 'A Nun Takes the Veil'

It was great to welcome Irish entertainer Graham Norton, a past pupil of Niall MacMonagle’s, to the Embassy and he read ‘Epic’ by Patrick Kavanagh. Irish actress Fiona Shaw finished the evening by reading ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ by W. B. Yeats. Ambassador Dan Mulhall in his welcome to guests, spoke about the centenary of 1916, making the point that the anthology offers an insight into a 100 years of Irish history. The first four poems in the volume offer an insight into the period around 1916 – Pearse’s Wayfarer, Yeats’s Easter 1916, Tom Kettle’s To my daughter Betty, the gift of God (Kettle died on the Somme in 1916 and is memorialised at the House of Commons) and Francis Ledwidge’s Lament for Thomas MacDonagh (a poem in memory of a 1916 leader by an Irish poet who died on the Western Front in 1917).