‘North Wicklow and The Easter Rising – not a bullet was fired’ Event In Bray Libray

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My sister and I recently went to an event as part of the 1916 events in Bray library. It took place on March 23rd and was entitled, ‘North Wicklow and the Easter Rising – not a bullet was fired’. It was really interesting. Sponsored by County Wicklow Library Service and Bray Cualann Historical Society, many leading figures and less known figures connected to the 1916 Rising were discussed by historian Brian Hughes as well as all the various connections to North Wicklow. There is a great assembly of photographs from the time of the various faces associated with the Rising as well as many of the places in Bray as they were at the time. There was an interesting photograph of two volunteers pretending to be tourists which gives an insight into the dangers people faced at the time if it was discovered that they were volunteers. The Proclamation is also discussed and how you would know the original because they had no letter Es to put in it so they used an F instead and put a bit of tape at the bottom of it. There was also an interesting overview of the times running throughout the talk. I know it was different money back then but my sister and I did have to smile when he said that £1 would get you 600 cigarettes back then.

There is another chance to catch the talk at the Powerscourt Arms Hotel in Enniskerry on Thursday, April 14, at 8.30 p.m.

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Carmel Benson: How to be a Child? at Bray’s Mermaid!

Recently artist Carmel Benson’s art exhibition entitled, “How to be a Child?” ran at The Mermaid in Bray, Wicklow from the 18th of July to the 7th of September. I was lucky enough to get to see it in it’s duration. Me and my sister went to see it.

Benson is originally from Wexford but in 1999 the artist, who graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) and later majored in painting and printmaking in Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design, moved to Roundwood in Wicklow.

Benson’s latest pieces deal with a recurring theme in her work, that of childhood. This particular exhibition centres around the 1950s in Ireland when the “Catechism” was a vital book in Catholic childrens’ lives. A book that brought fear and oppression to the child if they were sensitive to it. There is also many male words in the collection which represent the inequality between men and women. In Benson’s collection these males are restraining the threatening women while Benson’s Sheela-na-Gig motif is her reaction to the world that shaped her. A world which was dominated by the Church and filled fear and remorse in its people. I love the concept of the collection but I found that the collection fell somewhere in-between. Some of I loved, like Crouching Sheelagh and my sis loved that one too, but there was others I wasn’t as crazy about.

But for it’s message and concept and in terms of pictures especially the Crouching Sheelagh it is an exhibition that needs to be seen so if you get a chance at some stage in the future somewhere else I would advise you to check it out! 🙂

Anne Enright At Bray Library For Culture Night!

The Gathering and Man Booker Prize winner for 2007, Irish author Anne Enright was at Bray Library on Friday to celebrate Culture Night and me and my sis Shar went along to see her.

Anne Enright on Bray seafront.

Anne Enright on Bray seafront.

The woman who works in the library introduced her and she was reading some of her next-to-be-released book entitled, “The Green Road” and I can say that it is really good, not that it would be anything else with her writing talents. She also read a short story she wrote called, “Until The Girl Died”. That was really good. Then there was a question and answer session from the crowd which turned up. It was a good amount in the crowd. She seemed a really nice woman and spoke about how she reads her stories aloud to her husband, Martin Murphy, the director of the Pavilion Theatre in Dún Laoghaire. They have lived in Bray for a while but Enright said how they will be moving not too far away soon. She said how the buyers were in the house at the moment so that’s why she had to borrow a copy of the book. She also spoke about not knowing where her ideas come from and the research she had done for her new book.

It was a lovely night out and all the best to Anne with her new book! 🙂