Irish Imbas Projects for 2022

The nice thing about a decent holiday is that it gives you time and space to think outside the rut, to consider new possibilities or the need to change existing circumstances. Like everyone else, I think I’ve been pretty burned out from work and social stress since the emergence of the first Covid strain in… Read more »

SCÉAL

‘Scéal’ is an interesting little story-based game I came across last year (although it was actually released way back in 2016!). Originally created by Sandro Magliocco, the Slovakian-based developer drew on childhood holidays in Carlingford to set the overall look and design of the project. ‘Scéal’ tells the story of the ghost of a young… Read more »

Irish Art Performance Battles

Ever since the infamous Battle of the Books (when the force of Saint Columba and Saint Finnian ended up fighting over the illegal copying of a psalter), Irish people have been opposing each other over the creation and ownership of works of art. It’s been particularly interesting to watch the dynamics in the Irish art… Read more »

A Dark Dawn on a Hill

It’s almost a year to the day since ‘Dark Dawn’ – a free, online interactive project based on the Irish mythological Fenian Cycle was released online. Although produced on a shoe-string budget over the initial chaos of the 2020 Covid pandemic, the final product remains quite strong and garnered some very favourable reviews GrimDark Magazine… Read more »

Sky Dance

I came across Fidget Feet (a Limerick-based Irish ‘aerial circus performance company’) several years ago when I saw their ‘Sky Dance’ – a performance carried out against the backdrop of Dublin’s Customs House as part of the 2016/17 new year’s eve celebrations – which really blew me away. I’ve always had a fascination with dance… Read more »

A Pre-Covid Hubris Project

I’m not sure if anyone remembers this strange project from the pre-Covid world (2018) – a spy thriller based on ‘Casablanca’ that was funded, directed, and acted by Michael Flatley. When it was first announced, the film got something of a savage reception (apparently, reviewers were dubbing it “one of the biggest vanity projects since… Read more »

Screen versus Book

I dropped all my current work to spend a few days working on the series outline for this – basically updating it to incorporate ‘The Seeking‘ and ‘The Metal Men‘ into the final story of Liath Luachra. Writing for the screen is a very different way of writing compared to book writing – you really… Read more »

Cultural Knowledge or Cultural Object

There’s an interesting article in the Irish Times today on attempts to have the Annals of Innisfallen transferred back from Oxford (where it’s now housed) to Killarney, where the annals were first compiled around 1092 AD. I’m of two minds with this one as there are really two ways to consider the Annals of Innisfallen.… Read more »

A Mythological Silhouette

Most striking topographical sites have mythological stories associated with them so it’s no real surprise to find so many linked to the dramatic silhouette that’s Binn Ghulbain – the peak of Gulbain (there’s still a lot of disagreement around what ‘Gulbain’ refers to, but it’s far better than the anglicized – and meaningless – ‘Benbulben’).… Read more »

The ‘Sistine’ Oratory

If you’re passing through Dún Laoghaire’s, one place you might want to check out is the Oratory of the Sacred Heart, one of best-kept local art secrets and a low-key national version of the Sistine Chapel. A tiny chapel hidden behind the main Shopping Centre, the interior is decorated in a Book of Kell style… Read more »

A Conversation with Bodhmhall

I really enjoy writing dialogue – particularly when it’s a dialogue between two strong characters with diferent motivations. This is a quick sample of a conversation between the woman warrior Liath Luachra and the bandraoi (female druid) Bodhmhall, who joined her hunt for a díbhearg (raiding party) in a slightly underhand manner. At this point… Read more »

A Short Irish Film Gem

One Irish film gem I’ve been keen to see for a while is “Abe’s Story”, a short animation produced by Snackbox Films way back in 2019 (and not to be confused with Abram Korn’s novel of the same name). The story itself is set in Victorian London, where an overworked Irish writer draws inspiration from… Read more »

Liath Luachra: The Consent

One plotline that I’d hoped to return to in more detail with ‘The Metal Men’ was Liath Luachra’s relationship with Bressal Binnbéalach – Bressal of the Sweet Tongue – her old rígfénnid and sly ex-leader of Na Cinéaltaí. The interaction between Liath Luachra and Bressal was always one of my favourite elements from the first book in the… Read more »