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Writers' Talks And Photography Exhibition

Poetry Day

Japan Day At Farmleigh House

Free Book

My Web Address

John A. O’Brien


During March, I attended a talk in Balbriggan Library by a retired Garda Detective Chief Superintendent, John A. O’Brien. The talk concentrated on security issues during the 1970s – 80s. The capacity crowd was shown photos of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, policing riots in Dublin, pursuing suspected terrorists near the Border, and political figures of the day. A voice interview with a Garda who helped in the aftermath of a bomb in Dublin city centre was played.

This is part of an ongoing work to gather and preserve records about 100 years of An Garda Síochána. John’s current book is called Securing The Irish State: An Garda Síochána. A Century of Policing, 1922 – 2022.

Nicola Cassidy, Aoife Fitzpatrick, Ken Beirne.

Writers' Talks And Photography Exhibition

April was a packed month when I attended writers’ talks for One City, One Book, among others. All the libraries stock a particular book by an Irish author each April, and talks are organised on that theme. This year the chosen book was a crime story so I enjoyed a couple of crime author talks in the National Library’s Reading Room and Malahide Library. Participating authors were Andrew Hughes, Nicola Cassidy, Sinéad Crowley, Marianne Lee.

I also took in an exhibition of photography by students in Colaiste Dhulaigh, a technical college near me. The work was of an impressive calibre and good variety. I got to chat to the students and take their photos with some of the pieces. The works are also in a virtual display space called ArtSteps.

James William Dillon
Poetry Day

Near the end of the month I visited a Poetry Day event held in the Casino, Marino. This is a small house built to resemble a temple in parkland. Actually, there are three floors and 16 rooms, so this fancy residence which is now owned by the State was not just ornamental. Poets reading included Shree Shen, and James William Dillon who had won the Fingal Poetry Slam and kept us all laughing with his cheerfully wistful ode, Let’s Make Dublin Grand Again.

Japan Day At Farmleigh House

Finally on the last day of April, I visited Japan Day, held at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park. This is a State-owned residence which once was a country home of the Guinness family, and was bought in need of renovation, both purchase and work costing many millions. Here I saw art, calligraphy, music, drumming, dancing, costumes and cookery in the Japanese stye. Also a display of martial arts, including the dramatic kendo with bamboo swords and padded and masked competitors. On the walk back to my parking spot, I snapped photos of the park herd of roe deer, enjoying the evening sunlight.

All these events were free, and my principle is that if you want events to be held, you have to support them. Whether it’s a poetry reading or a science fiction convention, find something in your area and go along, have fun, and thank the organisers. I’m posting some of the photos I took on Linked In, to spread them to a wider audience. We spent long enough confined to or near our homes over the past few years – getting out and about feels wonderful.

Free Book

This month I am making Murder At Dublin Mensa free to download.

Grab it 11 – 14 May. Readers not in the UK or US store should use the .com link, which will offer to bring them to their local Amazon store.

One City, One Book Talk.
Follow my published articles on Medium or my JournoPortfolio page.
Watch my book trailers for my science fiction series:
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for news, puzzles, books, reviews and events. We have created a new page for Young Adult readers. This contains plenty of horses and dogs! You can find my podcasts on the News and Events page. I provide a Writers’ Page giving tips about how to be an independent publisher.
My Goodreads page
All photos © Clare O'Beara
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