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Afterwords

May 20, 2015

Just a catch up on the Walter Macken centenary celebrations.

I wasn’t able to get to Galway on the 3rd May to the street party in St Joseph’s Avenue, but I met Deirdre Kennedy last week. She told me a great time was had by all and they had a good turnout.

A photo appeared on the front page of the Connacht Tribune on Friday 8th.

Photo Joe O Shaughnessy Connacht Tribune

Photo Joe O Shaughnessy Connacht Tribune

And I should say here: although there didn’t seem to be much coverage in the Tribune my wondering if there was coverage in the City Tribune proved to be correct.

Deirdre told me that there was a lot of info, and Macken related material in that paper – which is only available in Galway city.

We bumped into each other on the 12th at Ultan Macken’s one man show about his father. The event took place in An Taibhhearc, where Walter spent many of his years as an actor, writer and director.

It was a lovely evening of remembrance and for those not too familiar with Macken’s writing, a great introduction to the books. Ultan had brought many first editions of his father’s books with him.

In the second half of the evening, a Cursaí/RTÉ documentary from the 1980s was screened. A younger Ultan was the on-screen presenter. The interview with his mother Peggy was wonderful. It reinforced what we had already heard that evening: Walter and Peggy were such a wonderful couple, and a great team.

It’s sad that Macken died so young, leaving Peggy behind him.

So – thanks to Deirdre, and to those who contributed to the talks and events. Other commitments meant that I couldn’t get to everything, unfortunately. But special thanks to Anne McCabe, An Taibhdhearc and Ultan for bringing Walter Macken back to us for an evening.

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2 Comments
  1. Gerry OBoyle permalink

    I enjoyed reading your piece about Walter Macken and I’m really disappointed too that I missed the anniversary. I’m living up north now and its a bit harder to get to Galway. You might remember I replied to your article last year in the NU Galway publication. I’ve written a play with a WMacken connection and I wonder if you know of any local amateur drama group that might be interested in putting it on.

    • Hello Gerry
      Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I don’t know any amateur groups myself, but I think the best way forward for you is to contact the All Ireland Amateur Drama Festival people. They would know the network of local groups, and they might have an idea of what groups like to work with new plays. Their website is dramafestival.ie and they also have a Facebook page.
      John B Keane’s Sive was first performed by a local drama group, if I remember correctly!
      The other option is to maybe send the play to the Drama department in the University of Ulster, or Queens (if there is one) and ask them if they would like to workshop the play?
      Either way, best of luck. I know how difficult it is to submit work!!

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