Weekend 2012

Weekend 2012

Heinrich Böll Memorial Weekend 

Achill Island Ireland 

May 4th – May 6th 2012. 

Friday May 4th 7.30pm 

Registration 7.00pm. Cyril Gray Memorial Hall, Dugort. 

Official Opening Dr. Eckhard Lübkemeier. German Ambassador to Ireland. 

Dr. Eckhard Lübkemeier appointed German Ambassador to Ireland, August 2011. Before that he was Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in London. He was Research Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin. From 2003-2006 he was Deputy Director General for European Affairs, Federal Chancellery, Berlin and from 2000-2003 he was Special Commissioner for Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management as well as Head of Section for European Security and Defence Policy, Federal Foreign Office, Berlin. He worked at the Research Institute (Foreign and Security Policy), Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, Bonn, 1980-1999. He was Research Fellow, Harvard University, (Center for Science and International Affairs) and holds a PhD in Political Science, Free University of Berlin. 


Awarding of prizes for essay competition to students from Coláiste Pobail Acla by Dr. Eckhard Lübkemeier. 


From the Domestic to the Sublime; Women Artists on Achill. Illustrated lecture by Catherine Marshall. 

This talk will look at the contribution women artists have made to Irish art as visual chroniclers of the remote and exotic and as pioneers of innovative practice. The women who painted on Achill, either as short-term visitors or as long term residents were not simply holiday painters. Like the 18th century artist Susannah Drury, virtually unknown in art history, apart from her paintings of the Giant’s Causeway, those who painted on Achill; Mainie Jellett, Marie Howett and Nano Reid broke new ground through their courageous experimentation, while Dorothy Blackham and Barbara Warren worked quietly to create a more open environment for new practices. Although their work may not be about Achill, it reflects the character of the place in its strength and individuality. 

Catherine Marshall. Curator of many exhibitions in Ireland and abroad and editor of numerous essays on contemporary Irish artists. And currently joint commissioning editor for a history of Irish art of the 20th Century for the Royal Irish Academy. First Head of Collections at the Irish Museum of Modern Art; author of Irish Art Masterpieces (1995) and Making Visual Art Visible (2002); lectured at Trinity College Dublin and the National College of Art and Design; former Chairperson of the Irish Association of Art Historians; former board member of the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin; currently joint commissioning editor for a history of Irish art of the 20th century. 

This is nowhere more apparent than in the work of Achill’s most dedicated artist, Camille Souter over the past four 

decades and it is being picked up anew in the work of emerging artists such as Gillian Lawler. 

Saturday May 5th 


Eoin Halpin Guided Walk ; Caraun Point: Ice, sand and sea. Meet Achill Rovers Soccer pitch Valley Sandybanks. 

The walk will explore the three significant natural forces which sculpted this landscape. The powerful and dramatic bulldozing of the last glacial period some 10,000 years ago, to the consequent fluctuation in the sea levels which lead to the inundation of vast quantities of sand onto the land, creating the machair landscape we see today. The walk will also take in a group of monuments, the remains of a coastal rath or fairy fort, which was later re-used as a cilin or children’s burial ground and finally the remains of some 18th century houses built as a direct response to the famine on this part of the island. 

Eoin Halpin is a professional archaeologist with some 30 years of experience, gained in both Ireland and abroad. In 1989 he co-founded Archaeological Development Services Ltd, one of the first archaeological companies established in Ireland. The company currently has offices in Dublin, Belfast and Kells. Eoin is a full member and ex-chairman of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland and a full member of the Institute for Field Archaeologists, the professional representative body in the UK.


11.30am Valley House .
Patricia Byrne. Launch and Reading The Veiled Woman of Achill (Collins Press). 

Introduction by Adrian Frazier NUIG.
In 1894 an English landowner, Agnes MacDonnell, was brutally attacked and her home, the Valley House, burnt. Agnes survived but was so disfigured she wore a veil in public for the rest of her days. Achill’s wild man, James Lynchehaun, was convicted of the crime, but escaped custody twice and successfully resisted extradition from the United States where he won a groundbreaking legal case. A Franciscan monk, Brother Paul Carney, who had befriended and assisted Lynchehaun, wrote up the story of the fugitive who became a folk hero. John Millington Synge visited Achill in 1904/1905 and decided to locate his drama, The Playboy of the Western World, in north Mayo. 

Lynchehaun was one of Synge’s inspirations for the character of Christy Mahon. The Achill crime, the trial and escape of Lynchehaun, and the island tensions are unravelled in this gripping account. Patricia Byrne is a Mayo- born writer living in Limerick. She is a graduate of the MA (Writing) programme of NUI Galway and writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Her interest in the Valley House story arose out of family history; her great granduncle, Brother Paul Carney, served as a Franciscan monk in Achill in the late nineteenth century and wrote extensive journals, including a narrative of the life of James Lynchehaun. 

Introduction by Adrian Frazier, NUIG. Author of Behind the Scenes: Yeats, Horniman, and the Struggle for the Abbey Theatre (1990) and George Moore 1852-1933 (2000). 

Creative Writing Seminar with poet Eva Bourke. Áras Forbairt Acla – Crumpaun School. Keel. 

Eoin Bourke. Reading from new book; Poor Green Erin. Cyril Gray Memorial Hall, Dugort. Introduction by Dr Gisela Holfter UL. 

Poor Green Erin is a compilation of travel writings about Ireland, written by German and Austrian authors of the 18th and 19th century. For this volume the texts have been translated into English, some of them for the first time. The empathetic, insightful, sometimes satiric and amusing texts derive from the historically important era of the liberation movement in Ireland between 1738 and 1865. Not only the revolt of 1798 and the split of the church but also the tense relations between landowners and tenants are subject of the accounts. But foremost it was the rampant poverty at that time that led the authors to write about the country and its living conditions. The texts are well-founded eye-witness accounts and thus depict living conditions in Ireland of the time from the foreign authors’ immediate experience, while at the same time comparing it to the conditions of their own societies of the same period. 

Eoin Bourke. Grew up in Dublin, moved to the Continent in the early 60’s, studied German Literature at Munich University and completed his doctorate there. Emeritus Professor of German Studies at National University of Ireland, Galway. Among his books are The Austrian Anschluss in History and Literature and “Poor Green Erin” – German Travel Writers’on Ireland from before the 1798 Rising to after the Great Famine. Has specialized in several research areas including “Vormärz”, intercultural studies, immigrant writing, German-Jewish Studies, travel and expedition literature, the critical “Volksstück”, literature as testimony. Has translated poetry and prose texts by many Germanophone writers, among others Ernst Jandl, Erich Fried, Erich Kästner, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Christoph Ransmayr, Peter Bichsel, Margrit Schreiner and Stella Rotenberg. He published two books with translations of the Turkish-German poet Nevfel Cumart. He lives in Galway and Berlin. 

4.15pm. Launch of “Heinrich Böll and Ireland” by Dr Gisela Holfter by Ambassador Dr. Eckhard Lübkemeier. Reading by Dr Gisela Holfter. 

Nobel Prize winning author Heinrich Böll’s “Irisches Tagebuch” (Irish Journal) which was first published in 1957, has been read by millions of German readers and has had an unsurpassed impact on the German image of Ireland. But there is much more to Heinrich Böll’s relationship with Ireland than the Irisches Tagebuch. In this new book, Böll scholar Gisela Holfter carefully charts Heinrich Böll’s personal and literary connections with Ireland and Irish literature from his reading Irish fairytales in early childhood, to establishing a second home on Achill Island and his and his wife Annemarie’s translations of numerous books by Irish authors. 


Holfter’s study also examines the response in Ireland to Böll’s works, notably the controversy that ensued following the broadcast of his film “Irland und seine Kinder” (Children of Eire) in the 1960s. “Heinrich Böll and Ireland” offers new insights for students, academics and the general reader alike. Dr Gisela Holfter (MA, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, USA; PhD, Universität Köln, Germany) is Senior Lecturer in German and Joint Director of the Centre for Irish-German Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland. She researches Irish-German relations (currently German-speaking refugees who came to Ireland 1933-1945) and contemporary German literature. Her many publications on Heinrich Böll include the edited volume “Heinrich Böll’s ‘Irisches Tagebuch’ in Context” (Trier: WVT, 2010). 

8.00 pm. 

Reading by 

Eva Bourke At Cyril Gray Memorial Hall, Dugort. 

Eva Bourke is originally from Germany but has lived in Ireland most of her life. She has published six collections of poetry, among others Spring in Henry Street, Travels with Gandolpho , The Latitude of Naples, and piano (all Dedalus Press). Two anthologies of translations of Irish poets; Hundsrose (Maroverlag) and Mit Grüner Tinte (Kolibri), a selection of Medbh McGuckian’s poetry (Akzente Munich), a collection by the German poet Elisabeth Borchers Winter auf weissem Papier/Winter on White Paper, (Poetry Europe Series, Dedalus Press) as well as poems by Friedrich Hölderlin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Gottfried Benn and Ingeborg Bachmann, and is just completing the translations for an anthology of poetry by contemporary German poets. 

She edited together with Borbála Fárago an anthology of immigrant poets to Ireland, entitled Landing Places (Dedalus Press, 2010).Eva Bourke has read at festivals all over Europe, the US and Central America. Her work has been translated into many languages, her collections The Latitude of Naples and piano have been published in Italian translation. She has lectured on poetry and taught creative writing at universities in the United States and Ireland, at the present moment she teaches poetry in the MFA program at NUI Galway. She has received numerous awards and bursaries from the Arts Council and is a member of Aosdána. 

Reading by Leland Bardwell. 

Different Kinds of Love (stories) Bardwell’s keen-eyed, unflinching short stories, were originally published in 1987, and deal with a range of topics of considerable relevance to readers in our own difficult times. As fresh and relevant as when they first appeared, these stories, like Bardwell’s poetry, record what Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin has called “the shocks of our time, the private impacts and the historic changes”. Leland Bardwell was born in India, grew up in Leixlip and was educated in Dublin with extra mural studies in London University. She has published five novels, most recently Mother to a Stranger which was a bestseller in translation in Germany, while her early novel The House was recently issued in their classic series by Blackstaff Press. Numerous radio plays and stories have been broadcast on RTÉ radio and her stage plays include The Life of Edith Piaf. 

Her most recent poetry collection is The Noise of Masonry Settling (Dedalus, 2006). Her memoir, A Restless Life, appeared in 2008 from Liberties Press. The recipient of the Marten Toonder Award in 1993, and the Dede Korkut Short Story Award from Turkish PEN in 2010, she is a co-editor of the long-running literary magazine, Cyphers. A member of Aosdána, she lives in County Sligo. 

Reading by Klaus Modick. (In conjunction with the Goethe-Institut Irland). 

Klaus Modick was born in Oldenburg in 1951. He studied German, History and Educational Theory at the University of Hamburg where he wrote his PhD on the writer Lion Feuchtwanger in 1980. Initially he worked as advertising writer and lecturer. Since the publishing of his first short story “Moos” (Moss) in 1984 he is a freelance writer and translator. He held guest professorships in Germany and the US and is now living in Oldenburg. In his novels Klaus Modick engages in topics concerning German-American relations, for example the emigration of scientists and authors into the US, who got involved in the hysteria of the McCarthy-era. The exile as a subject is also present in his latest novel Sunset in which the friendship between the authors Bertolt Brecht and Lion Feuchtwanger, who both emigrated to Los Angeles, is described. Another core area of his work are family relations, but he also dealt with the literary scene in a satirical way. 


The author received important grants and awards, including of the Villa Massimo in Rome and the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris. In 1994 Klaus Modick was awarded with the Bettina-von-Arnim-Prize and in 2005 received the Nicolas-Born-Award of the German Federal State Lower Saxony. His latest Novel Sunset was nominated for the longlist of the German Book Prize 2011. His work has been translated into numerous languages. 

Sunday May 6th 9.00am

Eoin Halpin. 

Clare Island: Pre-history, priests and pirates. Guided walk Clare Island. Meet Clough Mór Pier. ( Advance booking Essential Boat supplement €30). 

The rocks which make up Clare Island are some of the oldest known in Ireland and date back some 600 million years to the pre-Silurian epoch, formed when two continents collided. The island has subsequently been subjected to the forces of geological faulting, ice and sea to create the island we see today. Man arrived on the island some 6,000 years ago, during the Neolithic period and we will visit one of his burial tombs. The Bronze Age saw the introduction of metal into Ireland and this period is evidenced by the remains of burnt mounds or Fulachta Fiadh which are a feature of the islands archaeological remains. 

Our tour will take in the Abbey, which was founded in the mid-13th century as a cell of the Cistercian Abbey in Abbeyknockmoy, Co Galway, but was re-built around 1460 by the O’Malley clan whose crest can be seen prominently displayed. As well as the canopied tomb, the interior of the abbey also contains an example of some of the finest medieval wall paintings found in Ireland. Finally we will explore Grace O’Malley or Granuaile’s Castle, a tower house built in the 16th century. The Pirate Queen used this and her other castle at Rockfleet to raid northwards as far as the west coast of Scotland and southwards to the mouth of the Shannon and Limerick. 

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