Tuesday 24 August 2010

Tipperary Home of Hurling - Erin’s Own

 Had to share this great song by a great band to mark a historic occasion. I got to know the lads in Erin's Own through my friendship with the Corrigan Brothers, some of whom also play with Erin's Own. Anyway, enough of introductions - sit back and enjoy:

Tipperary Home of Hurling performed and written  by Erin’s Own- who comprise of Tipp Men, Brian Corrigan, Willie Dunne, Dave Lawlor and Ger Hogan
Released to celebrate Tipperary’s challenge for the All Ireland Title and to inspire the county to triumph over Kilkenny’s five in a row challenge the song tells the story of Hurling in Tipperary. Tom Semple, Jimmy Doyle and man of the other Tipperary Legends are acknowledged in the song.
Erin’s Own are just back from an extensive tour of the USA. 

Tipperary, The Home of Hurling  
Words and Arrangement Erin’s Own


Tipperary, the premier county. We're on the way back up.
Tipperary, the home of hurling, we'll bring back the McCarthy cup


Well I often heard my father speak of the hurling men of old,
Their legend lives to this very today, and they wore the blue and gold.

He told me of Tubberadora, that glorious golden mile,
Where 89 All Ireland Medals were won with bravery and style.



He'd talk of Thomas Semple, a great hurler of renown,
Who lent his name to that Hallowed sod in dear old Thurles town.

Of Hell's Kitchens Storied back line, men of Iron born to spoil,
And of our counties greatest hurler, the brilliant Jimmy Doyle.



I remember that half forward line of Cleary, Leahy, Ryan,
And Nicky's haul on All Ireland day, still the greatest of all time.

And Tommy Dunne in zero one, he led a mighty team,
Each time O'Leary got that ball, he shattered Galway's team.



From Cashel's holy towers, to the slopes of Sliabh na mBán,
From the sandy shores of old Lough Derg, to the homes around Kilruane.

From Kickham's fabled Knocknagow, to the Galtee mountain's might,
Our Hurlers have come willing and are ready now to fight.



So now it's time to rise again and take McCarthy back,
With 15 fearless warriors, to lead a fierce attack.

Liam Sheedy and his band of men will keep our dream alive,
We'll send Kilkenny packing and we'll halt their drive for five.

Oh Tipperary the premier county, we're on the way back up,
Tipperary the home of hurling, we'll bring back the McCarthy Cup.

Tipperary the premier county, with that sacred sod and clay,
Tipperary the home of hurling, home to the GAA.

Oh Tipperary the premier county, we're on the way back up,
Tipperary the home of hurling, we'll bring back the McCarthy Cup

Sunday 22 August 2010

Sunday 15 August 2010

President Josiah Bartlet is coming to Borrisokane

After years of rumours it is finally confirmed. Not only does our parish look forward to a visit from President Barack Obama, now we can also look forward to that other great president of the 21st Century paying us a visit and making a movie in Borrisokane this October. Not his first visit mind you, Martin Sheen whose mother hails from these parts is a regular visitor. As a recent convert to the West Wing I am looking forward to an opportunity to maybe meet this great actor. What is it about this parish? - Next we will discover we have Bush connections! Actually that is a nightmare and if it came true I would be burning all the records I could find ;)

This from today's London Sunday Times

Low-budget movie brings a Hollywood Sheen to Borrisokane

West Wing star to play a priest who questions his vocation as he attempts to establish a rural cinema despite opposition from the church hierarchy
Eithne Shortall
Published: 15 August 2010

From the West Wing to Borrisokane: actor Martin Sheen is to play an Irish priest in a low-budget production being filmed in the North Tipperary town where his mother was born.

Sheen, best known for his roles in Apocalypse Now and as President Josiah Bartlet in The West Wing, is to play Canon Barry, a priest who questions his vocation as he attempts to establish a rural cinema under opposition from politicians and the Catholic church hierarchy in the 1950s.

Stella Days, which is based on a self-published book by a local bank official, will be directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan, who made Ordinary Decent Criminal. Stephen Rea, star of The Crying Game, and Atonement’s Romola Garai will also feature.

The movie was due to shoot in 2007 but was postponed due to legal and financial issues. Filming, largely in Borrisokane, has now been confirmed for the end of October.

Sheen, a devout Catholic, has remained committed to the low-budget project for five years. He was first approached about it while visiting the birthplace of his mother, Mary Ann Phelan, in 2005.

“Martin is very interested in Catholicism. The appeal was a combination of playing a priest who was questioning his vocation and the story’s setting,” said O’Sullivan.

The director said the movie’s theme is Barry’s battle with bishops and politicians who have a “de Valerian attitude” to the cinema and think it will lead to foreign influences. Sheen’s character is based on a real-life Canon Cahill, a local priest who was the driving force behind the opening of the Stella cinema.

Michael Doorley, the bank official from Borrisokane, who is now living in Bray, wrote the book as a hobby and published it himself on a modest scale. Maggie Pope, a producer on Stella Days who worked on Into the West, came upon it in a Dublin bookshop.

“If people think we’re in a recession now, Ireland in the 1950s was 10 times worse,” said Doorley. “The Catholic church ruled the roost and it was a very reactionary country. They were almost condemning Hollywood from the pulpit, it was that bad. This is definitely a recession movie.”

The Irish Film Board has provided €600,000 in funding and the production will also avail of Section 481 film tax breaks.

Sheen, 70, has visited Ireland frequently since 1973. He has cousins in Tipperary and studied at NUI Galway in 2006.

Monday 9 August 2010

Leaving Christianity - I know how she feels!

"Twelve years after she converted from atheism, [Anne Rice] author of Interview with the Vampire abandons Christianity over its attitude to birth control, homosexuality and science" (The Guardian) Read More HERE

This has really got me thinking - No I am not about to do likewise but I do know how she feels - So much that is done and said in the name of Christianity leaves me despairing.  Rice does draw the important distinction between Christ and Christianity and declares herself still a follower of Christ but she sees the institution as all too often an obstacle rather than a vehicle of redemption.

Others have said the same before her including Dan Kimball whose bestselling "They like Jesus but not the Church" tells the stories of many people who have found the hypocrisy of the Institution impossible to reconcile with the person of Jesus Christ.

In some ways this is not unrelated to the ongoing Religion vs Spirituality debate which seeks to purify faith of its various material incarnations in a quest for pure Spirituality. Of course such is impossible for us to achieve, as all of our experiences are mediated and thus shaped and interpreted by the medium of that experience. However does this mean they must be so distorted as to render them unrecognisable from that which gave birth to them?

It will be interesting to see where Anne Rice's journey will take her. It is early days and far too soon to judge but I hope that she will continue to challenge 'Christianity' from without as she has from within. Hers is a valid critique and she should not be dismissed just because she has 'left'! It could be argued after all that what she has left is not the totality of Christianity but rather a distorted and pale imitation thereof.

Someone who faced similar issues was Barbara Brown Taylor, an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA / TEC) who though never formally renouncing 'Christianity' did leave parish ministry and in so doing experienced a liberation and a new lease of life while remaining a priest in good standing with her church. I reviewed her book 'Leaving Church'  in an earlier blog post and I found it the singularly most helpful book I have ever read in seeking to understand and deal with the tensions of being an ordained priest/minister. Read the review HERE

To end on an encouraging note a supporter of Anne Rice's has posted this video as a reply to some of the more negative and vitriolic responses to her 'leaving Christianity'

The following is a message from the video's author/creator:
In support of Anne Rice, and a host of other people who haven't stopped loving God but are having trouble fitting in with the church (aka organized religion). This is my official video response to the video "Anne Rice Rejects Christ Goes to HELL" posted by stopgoing2hell.

Regarding the song playing in the background, it is Bride Song by Brian Healey / Dead Artist Syndrome. Here are the lyrics:

Jesus, I love you, but don't understand your wife,
She wears such funny make-up, and she always wants to fight,
Every time I turn my back she's waiting with a knife,
In my world of black and gray she argues shades of white.

Jesus, I love you, but I don't understand your wife,
She wears such funny make-up, and she always wants to fight,
Jesus, I love you, but I don't understand your wife,
She wears such funny make-up, and she always wants to fight.

She loves capital punishment, and nuclear arms,
Then screams about the right to life and the Grand Old Party's charms,
She's always burning bridges, even ones she's standing on,
When I try to tell her, she says, "to you, I don't belong."

Jesus, I love you, but I don't understand your wife,
She wears such funny make-up, and she always wants to fight,
Jesus, I love you, but I don't understand your wife,
She wears such funny make-up, and she always wants to fight.

You're always hearing me complain, and you're listening once more,
I know everything your bride's against, but I don't know what she's for,
So, don't mistake my anger for bitterness and strife,
'cuz on bended knees I'm begging you please "Jesus, talk to your wife!"

(The New Testament refers to the church as the "Bride of Christ" --- thus the song title and content.)