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First BAFFLE Festival of this decade

The sun shone on this year’s festivities and will be shining in Craughwell for some time to come. Why? Well, Craughwell man James Kennedy walked away with the top prize of the weekend and was crowned BAFFLE Bard 2010 at the Finals in Lough Rea Hotel on Sunday 24th October.

The Festival opened with a great Friday night’s entertainment in Loughrea Library with poetry readings from Collette Nic Aodha and Maureen Gallagher. This was preceded by readings from some past BAFFLE Bards who reminded the audience of the poems that won them the coveted title. The Bards who read were: Noelle Lynskey, Anne Marie Hough, Ian McDonald, Ray Gately and Miceál Kearney.

Saturday began with a full house for Gerard Hanberry’s creative writing workshop and continued into something not quite so cultural, The Zombie Walk. This consisted of hundreds of adults, kids and Bafflers walking the streets of Loughrea in their best Zombie outfits! This was run in aid of the Loughrea Tidy Town’s fund.

A short time to recover (in the pub) and then the poetry heats took place in Harney’s Bar and O’Dea’s Hotel from which 16 finalists were chosen.

Late nights all around and some sore heads for those who attended the BAFFLE Brunch in O’Dea’s Hotel. Laughter is the best cure for a hangover and there were certainly plenty of laughs. Vinnie Caprani, Peter Goulding (2009 BAFFLE Bard) and Sean Lyons from Kerry entertained the crowd to an hour of hilarity.

The Grand Finale took place that evening and commenced with an opening speech by Finuala McNally who surprised all with her very funny poem about the Baffle committee. Declan O’Brien took charge of proceedings again this year and entertained us with his fabulously funny recitations. Martin Dyar who jointly judged the competition with Maureen Gallagher started the ball rolling by reading from his recent poetry book. Then it was the turn of the finalists and they were as follows: Joe Kelly, Ian McDonald, Peter Goulding, Ger Bane, Mary Ida Kelly, Johnny Kelly, Wiltrud Duell, Liam Ryan, Ray Gately, Eamonn O’Hanlon, Ann Marie Hough, and Pat Lawless.

1st: James Kennedy

2nd: Méabh McDonnell

3rd: Miceál Kearney

People's Choice: Mags Treanor


A great weekend was had by one and all.



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