West Kerry’s welcome to foreigners was the watchword at the launch of a new collection of poetry by Simon Ó Faolain, which has remoteness as its central theme.
he collection of Irish-language poetry titled ‘Iasachtaigh’ was started by Brenda Ní Shúílleabhain, with music provided by bagpiper and low whistle player, Eoin Duignan.
In her launch speech, Brenda spoke of the growing number of people born in other places joining the West Kerry community and the benefits many of them have brought.
Simon himself is an example. Although born in Dublin, he grew up in West Kerry and after training as an archaeologist turned his intellect to the richness of Irish language and poetry. Since then, his work has received numerous awards.
In this fourth and final collection of poetry, Simon tackles the subject of estrangement. The collection includes a poem about the shearwaters of Blasket Island who, as they sail by the stars on their migratory journeys, are sometimes misled by the town lights of Dingle and end up in the streets.
It also raises questions about a society where the lonely person seeks companionship through technology, and the book ends with a selection of sonnets from the life of Colm Cille who spent his final years banished to the Isle of Iona. .
The book is published by Coiscéim and is available in good bookstores for €8.50.