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BAFFLE Festival 2011

The festival had an early start, as the winners (and parents) of the junior poetry competition as gaeilge gathered in Hope’s Bakery on Thursday, the 20th, for an enthusiastic reading of their poems.

The grown-ups festival started on the evening of Friday the 28th, when Liam Nolan gently but accurately led Michael Murphy, famous for his work in RTE and his book, “At Five in the Afternoon”, in the “Up Close and Personal” interview. Michael proved a fascinating and candid guest, and all present were greatly impressed by the innovative occasion.

Saturday morning saw Joan McBreen lead a successful creative writing workshop, and Loughrea’s resident sculptor, Tom Glendon, conduct an instructive tour of the headstones at the Abbey Cemetery.

Later Lillis O’Laoire gave an insight into the magic, and paradoxically, the logic to our folklore, combined with some hypnotic sean nos singing.

The BAFFLE Brunch was enjoyed by all in its new venue, The Hungry Bookworm. The combination of tasty treats and readings by Vinnie Caprani and Gerry Hanberry was a massive hit.

The BAFFLE Bard competition produced its usual mixture of the sensitive and the comic. Harneys and Maggie May’s rocked to the rafters on Saturday night and sixteen poets who wrote in both English agus as Gaeilge, were duly sent to the final at the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa on the Sunday night before judges Kevin Barry and Dr. Lisa Padden.

Kathleen Callanan , now the reigning BAFFLE Bard, was triumphant with her witty “Daughters of Apollo”. Regular contributor Anne Marie Hough came second with “Rumours of Rosie”, a reflection on some of the sadder aspects of our society, while third, with “Dancing with Lola”, which the judges described as nostalgic and poignant, was Pat Lawless.

The final is never complete without the declaration of the Peoples’ Choice. It was no surprise, when Joe Kennedy, disguised as a chicken, dominated the ballot with his ditty “Egness”, which could well have won him the race to the Áras.

The finalists were as follows: Miceál Kearney, Cathleen Callanan, Pat Lawless, Brian Nolan, Denise Garvey, Eamonn McNally, Margaret Hickey, Ann Marie Hough, Peter Goulding, Stephen Shields, Mike Coye, Amanda Younge, Michael O’Rian, Meabh McDonnell, Sean Treanor, Joe Kennedy.

Musical Interludes over the weekend were provided by the Loughrea Barbershop ‘Quartet’ and the Keynotes.

A very successful festival which of course would not take place if it were not for the many Sponsors and ‘Friends of BAFFLE’. The list of all these can be viewed on this site. See ‘More BAFFLE’/Friends and Sponsors.


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