Literature: Craicing night out
Saturday 14 March 1998
Featuring Dermot Healy, Joe O'Connor, Josephine "Damage" Hart, Cherry Smyth and Michael D Higgins (poet and Ireland's visionary former arts minister), the gala runs the full gamut of Irish writing: from the loves of small-town girls in lacy cardigans and the rascally exploits of wee boys slipping through the hands of the Christian brothers, to raucous slabs of pogueish urban savvy.
"It's striking how confident and diverse the voices are now. We've finally stopped being influenced by each other," points out Joe O'Connor, who will be reading from his new Dublin-based comic revenge thriller, The Salesman.
For all Ireland's post-Maastricht economic success and Riverdance PR make-over, tonight's gala also serves as a reminder of the needs of many of its young emigrants in London, raising funds for the Action Group for Irish Youth. "It's convenient to ignore anyone who doesn't fit into our new Celtic tiger image," says O'Connor. "But we continue to export our problems - our poor, our uneducated, our weak. I'm always struck by how many of the young homeless people you meet in London are Irish."
Maeve Binchy, like Joe O'Connor has filled many a wry page with mixed- blessing descriptions of the young Irish-in-London experience, and both writers agree they have one thing to thank London for. "Like a lot of us, I never wrote anything until I left Ireland. Not because I was so crucified by Mother Ireland, I was just too busy having fun," explains Binchy who went on to best-seller earnings with Light a Penny Candle. "But in London, a city of so many million, there was a little bit of loneliness, and, without it, I'm not sure that I'd ever have sat down and written a thing. I'd still be sitting around with friends in Dublin bars talking about the book I was going to write."
Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington Nl (0171-278 8787) 14 Mar, 7.30pm, pounds 1O (pounds 5)
Life & Style blogs
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
Facebook, Instagram websites down — Lizard Squad hint at involvement, but Facebook claims it broke itself
SAG Awards 2015: Best and worst gowns on the red carpet
Nike Back to the Future style self-lacing shoes 'will arrive in 2015'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity for an ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading digital agenci...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A chance to work for an extreme...