Wednesday, February 24, 2010


The first Boyne Readings and Open Mic session of the year took place in the Village Hall, Knightsbridge, Trim last Thursday18 February.

Paddy Smyth was master of ceremonies, Susan Connolly, and I read from our own collections to a small but appreciative audience in the Village Hall. Susan read some of her finest poems and I read prose.

Members of the audience read in the open mic session. There was a great variety of style and content to the poems and stories read, some tinged with sadness, others hilarious and Michael Regan reenacted court room dramas from his time as a legal eagle.

 Tea and bickies were served afterwards and I hit the road  for Navan.

Susan Connolly, Michael Sheils.
Photo courtesy P. Smyth, The Boyne Writers'

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Boyne Writers' Open Mic Night

The Boyne Writers', are holding their first open mic session of the year, next Thursday18 February, in the Village Hall, Knightsbridge, Trim at 8oc.

The featured readers are Susan Connolly and yours truly.

Susan Connolly lives in Droghed Co. Louth and is one of Ireland's best known poets.  She was winner of  The Patrick and Catherine Kavanagh Fellowship for poetry in 2001.

Her principle poetry collections include For The Stranger ( Dublin Dedalus Press, 1993 ); and with Anne-Marie Moroney, Stone and Tree Sheltering Water: An Exploration of Sacred and Secular Wells in Co. Louth ( Flax Mill, 1998 ).

Other short collections include, How High The Moon ( Poetry Ireland / Cooperation North 1991 ); Race to the Sea ( Flax Mill, 1999 ); Ogham: Ancesters Remembered in Stone ( Flax Mill 2000 ); A Salmon in the Pool ( Tearmann, 2001 ) a literary and placenames map of the River Boyne from source to sea.

Her most recent collection of poetry is Forest Music ( 2009 )

Source courtesy Boyne Writers' web site.

As for myself, well, self praise, is no praise, what you see on the night is what you'll get.
I'm looking foward to the event and hoping that Paddy Smyth forgets his whistle.

I was in Navan library the other day, lost in a book, when Noel French sneaked up on me and whispered in my ear " I hear the people of Trim are erecting barricades all over town "
" Why "
" To keep the Sheriff out "
I looked him straight in the eye and said, " Have car, will travel!! "
This seemed to unnerve him as he glanced to the ground to avoid eye contact.

Admission €5: tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


To hear: Gerry Tully, Kane O'Rourke and my son Paul Sheils ( Pipe ) performing in the Solstice Art Center Navan.       CLICK HERE

Monday, February 1, 2010



The Mine holds dangers
dark and deep
What I remember is the darkness.
The stench of diesel
taking your breath away.
The noise.
The unrelenting noise
which still rings in my ear
to this day.
The danger.
The No 7 orepass
spewing out it's deadly cloud
of dry dust
blinding as you drove through the ribcage.
Rock-bolts, pelican picks and scaling bars.
The unsocible hours.
The long graveyard shifts.
Icicles hanging from the back
in wintertime.
Wind on the decline
which cut to the bone.
I'll never forget
Bud Ditto's words at the interview.
" How hungry are you?
only I was so God damned hungry
I never would have gone in to mining " Bud said
I remember other colleagues too
the ones who survived
some scarred for life
and those who lost their lives.
And all for what.
To have our pensions stolen.
Shame on the company.